Vince Batten Wins in Asheboro, NC in a Playoff Over Ray Guthrie
Vince Batten playing in the 2000 Virginia State Championship in Fredericksburg, Virginia.
17 June 2001 - Asheboro, NC - Gilbert Sharpe won his first tournament on North Carolina soil earlier this year in Durham. On Sunday, fellow Richmond player Vince Batten added to the list of players from the state of Virginia to collect his first win on North Carolina soil. This time, the site would be Asheboro, and he had to win in a playoff to achieve the feat. Batten fired an opening round 25, good enough to tie Ray Guthrie for first after that point. The 25 also was the low round of the day in Asheboro. Through two rounds, Guthrie would take the lead at 53, with Batten in a close second at 55. Batten would get right back in with a 28, and coupled with Guthrie's 30, the two would enter what would be the fourth playoff this season in North Carolina. Ironically, Guthrie was in one of them and won that one in White Lake.
Guthrie could not win his second playoff of the season as Batten came away with a six-shot win in the playoff. Batten fired a nine-under 27 to win his first event on the North Carolina tour. Both he and Guthrie finished regulation at 83. Greg Newport, who won Saturday's tournament in High Point, finished third at 85. Andy Coradini and Gary Hester rounded out the top five at 86.
On Saturday, Bear Landin won on Jimmy Comer's home course in High Point. On Sunday, Jimmy Comer would return the favor on Landin's turf in Asheboro. Comer and Landin dueled it out for 36 holes with Comer holding to a two-shot advantage on the hometown favorite. Landin would run into trouble in the final round with a 33 and Comer pulled away with his fourth win of the season with a final score of 87. Comer won by seven shots over Landin. Chuck Nance finished in third at 95.
This was the first time since 1985 that the North Carolina tour made a stop in Asheboro, one of the oldest courses in America. The cash line sat at 89 as it was placed as a full share. There were only 14 money spots from the tournament and two from the Amateur Division. Landin's score of 94 was the cash line there. Batten took the State Qualifying spot from this tournament and Bill Kirby received the Match Play spot after winning that in a five-way playoff. Landin took the two-day APA Qualifying spot.
The next time the North Carolina tour returns to action will be on Saturday, July 7, in Gastonia, on Course 3. The event will get underway at 12:00pm. Then, they will trek east down I-85 to Charlotte as they will be playing there for the first time since 1996. The tournament will be played on Course 2, starting at 10:00am on Sunday, July 8. These events are also combined stops with the South Carolina tour.
Scores provided by Rick Rybaczek and tournament recap provided by Opie Roberts.