Quinnelly, Block, Lacey, and Cruse
Qualify for ESPN Match-Play
Television Championship

4 August 2000 - Fayetteville, NC - The top 32 professionals from the 2000 National Championship advanced into the ESPN TV Qualifying Match Play tournament. The morning began with a playoff to determine which 3 of the 6 individuals who tied for 30th would move into the Brackets. Daryl Freeman, Kevin Lacey and Darrell Britt were the fortunate players to move into the brackets.  The goal of each competitor on this day was to win his bracket to move into the Semi-Finals to be shown on ESPN Television.

TV Bracket #1

1 Quinnelly Quinnelly
7-6
Quinnelly
4-3
Quinnelly
SD-1
32 Britt
16 Gross Flavin
SD-4
17 Flavin
8 Lebo Estep
3-2
Nutini
2-1
25 Estep
9 Warren Nutini
3-2
24 Nutini

Bracket One started at 9:AM with 8 Competitors.  The first match featured Alan Quinnelly and Darrell Britt. Quinnelly came out of the first 18 on Course 1 up Two holes, then proceeded to make 11 of the next 12 holes to take a commanding lead, winning 7 up with 6 to play.  The second match went to Sudden Death, where Mike Flavin defeated Tom Gross on the 4th Sudden Death hole to move into a match with Quinnelly.  In Match 3 Jeff Estep defeated Brad Lebo 3 and 2, and in the Fourth Match Dave Nutini defeated Frank Warren 3 and 2 to move into a match with Jeff Estep.  Quinnelly played his 2nd round match defeating Mike Flavin 4 and 3, while Dave Nutini defeated Jeff Estep 2 and 1.  The final match of the first bracket was very competitive.  Both Nutini and Quinnelly fought neck and neck and the Match was Quinnelly one up with 3 to play going into the 16th hole on the covered course.  Quinnelly's ball came back through the opening right of the obstacle from which he made a 3.  Nutini made up his putt for 2 to square the match.  Both competitors deuced the last two holes sending it to sudden death.  On the first playoff hole, Alan Quinnelly aced the first hole after Nutini missed to take the first qualifying spot.

TV Bracket #3

3 Cruse Cruse
7-6
Cruse
3-2
Cruse
3-2
30 Freeman
14 Reeves R. Taylor
3-2
19 R. Taylor
6 Newport Newport
7-6
Ward
3-2
27 Miller
11 Barfield Ward
3-2
22 Ward

The other bracket that went off in the morning was Bracket 3.  Jim Cruse defeated Daryl Freeman 7 and 6.  Randy Reeves defeated Rusty Taylor 3 and 2, Greg Newport defeated Rod Miller 7 and 6, and Greg Ward defeated Todd Barfield 3 and 2. Cruse defeated Taylor 3 and 2 and Ward defeated Newport to advance to the final of the 3rd bracket. In the final, Cruse and Ward played an excellent match, going back in fourth. On the 16th hole on Course #1, Cruse aced and Ward missed to give Cruse the Match and the television spot 3 and 2.

TV Bracket #2

2 Coradini Lacey
2-1
Lacey
SD-1
Lacey
6-5
31 Lacey
15 Matthews Matthews
2-1
18 Frederick
7 Alessi Lynch
2-1
Lynch
6-5
26 Lynch
10 Kirby Guthrie
9-8
23 Guthrie

The second and fourth brackets went off at 1:PM.  In Bracket 2, Andy Coradini faced off against morning playoff qualifier Kevin Lacey, where Lacey defeated Coradini 2 and 1. Cliff Matthews defeated Ron Frederick 2 and 1.  The Fan, David Lynch, defeated Rick Alessi 2 and 1.  The most surprising match of the day was rookie Ray Guthrie vs. Bill Kirby Jr. Guthrie opened his match versus Kirby by making hole 1, missing 2 and 3, then running in 14 of the next 15 holes -- on the THEME Course, with his only blemish being the bogey on hole 17. Guthrie made a total 22 of the 28 holes he played in that match to defeat Kirby 9 and 8.  Kevin Lacey defeated Cliff Matthews on the first Sudden Death hole and David Lynch defeated Guthrie 6 and 5 to advance to the finals of Bracket 2.  In that match, Lynch was 1 up going into 18 on course 1 on the first 18 holes, Lynch got his deuce but Lacey aced to square the match.  Lacey proceeded to go to Course 2 and missed hole one, and Lynch aced to go back one up.  Tables turned after that, as Lynch turned to ice and Lacey caught fire.  After hole 9, Lacey was 6 up and cruised in to the television series winning 6 and 5.

TV Bracket #4

4 Bason Bason
5-4
Hitt
2-1
Block
SD-4
29 J. Smith
13 Dore Hitt
3-2
20 Hitt
5 Block Block
2-1
Block
SD-2
28 Burton
12 Baird Baird
1-Up
21 O'Rourke

Bracket 4 was the last bracket to finish the day.  Bart Bason defeated Jeff Smith 5 and 4, and Michael Hitt defeated Danny Dore 3 and 2.  Roland Block defeated Lewis Burton 2 and 1, while Rick Baird defeated Mike O'Rourke 1 up.  Michael Hitt and Bart Bason's match stayed close, with Michael Hitt advancing to the finals of the bracket defeated Bason 2 and 1. Rick Baird's match had suspense, as he found himself 2 down with 2 holes to play on the Theme Course versus Roland Block.  Baird made hole 17 and hole 18 to square the match and bring it to Sudden Death.  Baird missed hole 2 on the covered course and Block aced to advanced to the finals of the bracket versus Michael Hitt.  In that match, Hitt was 2 holes down with 4 to play.  Hitt cut it to one by making hole 15, and squared the match on hole 16.  Hitt lagged his putt on 17 and Block ran it in to retake the lead 1 up with 1 to play.  Block hit his putt that barely missed on the left side of the hole on 18, and made his deuce.  Hitt had to make 18 to continue the match, which he hit dead solid perfect into the center of the cup.  This match went to the 4th playoff hole, where Hitt's first putt had the monster slide and the ball ended up going past the anthill. Hitt made that deuce banking it on the rail on top of the ant hill.  Roland made hole 4 to qualifying for television.

Television taping will be on Saturday August 5th, with the first show being the JPA Show featuring Team Richmond and Team Burlington competing for $6,000 in scholarship money.  The Second show will be the first semifinal match featuring Alan Quinnelly and Roland Block, and the Third show will be Kevin Lacey versus Jim Cruse. The winners of the second and third show will compete in the fourth show for the ESPN Television Championship.  The champion's share of the ESPN Television Championship will earn $10,000, with the runner up earning $5,000 and the two semi-finalists earning $2,500.

Recap and summary provided by Rick Rybaczek.

 

 

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