Andy Coradini Returns to Winner's Circle in Lumberton, NC
Andy Coradini playing in the 2000 PPA National Championship.
6 May 2001 - Lumberton, NC - Andy Coradini dominated play in Lumberton on Sunday by firing rounds of 26, 26, and 28 to win by two shots. Coradini has had many opportunities for a victory since the start of the 2000 season, which includes the Virginia State Championship, the North Carolina Championship, and the National Championship, but came up short in those endeavors. This time, Coradini would walk away from Lumberton with his first PPA singles win since winning the North Carolina State Match-Play Championship in September 1999.
There was a three-way tie for the lead, which included Coradini, his teams partner Rick Baird, and Tony Varnadore. All three fired opening round 26's to lead by one over three other players. Coradini would break it open in the second round on one of the most unique courses in the state, shooting another 26 to lead by three on Varnadore and defending Lumberton Open champion Greg Newport.
Coradini would cruise to victory as he fired a 28 to win, but not before he was challenged down the stretch by Baird and Robert Johnson. Each shot 24 in the final round to fall two out of the win. Coradini fired a final score of 80, which was the second best score ever posted in a state event in Lumberton. Baird and Johnson ended up second at 82. Rick Rybaczek capped off his sensational play with a final round 27 to finish in fourth at 84, while Newport and Varnadore shared fifth place along with Jimmy Mott, at 85.
Last year, three players had to fend off for first place in the APA playoff. In 2001, the scenario was put in play once again as there were three players fighting for first after regulation. Tommy Hutchinson had the lead by two shots on Steve Helton and Todd Trent going into the last round. Helton caught Hutchinson with a 32 that round, but Jimmy Comer fired a final round 30 to end up tied with the two South Carolina players.
After the three ended up at 94, Helton won the playoff firing a 28 to win by two over Comer and three on Hutchinson. The win for Helton makes him the second player this year to have multiple wins in the APA Division, and, also combined with his 91 on Saturday in White Lake, has solidified a two-day combined score spot into the State Championship.
There were 12 money spots paid out in the Pro Division with the score of 90 receiving a three-way split for the last available spot. There were only two APA reimbursement expenses in this tournament, but three were paid out as the losers of the playoff received a split. With the victory on Sunday, Coradini took both the State Qualifying and Match Play spots for later this year.
North Carolina will compete again on Thursday night, May 17, in Burlington, for the seventh annual Howard Loy Memorial. This tournament will precede the upcoming $10,000 National event, slated for the 19th and 20th.
Scores provided by Rick Rybaczek and tournament recap provided by Opie Roberts.