Andy Coradini Wins His Second Straight State Championship Within a Week

Tommy Hutchinson Comes From Eight Strokes Down on Second Day to Win North Carolina APA State Title by One Over Brian Hutchins

October 6-7, 2001 - Lumberton, NC - For the first time ever in PPA history, a player has won two state medal play titles within the same season. Last weekend in Richmond, Andy Coradini won his first ever state medal play title in Richmond. Earlier in the season in Lumberton, Coradini picked up his lone North Carolina victory. Now, with the 2001 North Carolina State Championship in hand, the native of Loganville, Georgia has collected two wins in Lumberton for the season and most importantly, two state titles in a span of seven days.

In the regular season encounter, Coradini won by two shots over Rick Baird and Robert Johnson with an impressive score of 80. This weekend, he had to work hard to come from four shots down after the end of the third round and play solid despite an extra round played on Sunday.

Play began Saturday with a threat of morning showers that would move on before the start of play. Skies were overcast during the practice session and no rain did fall. Conditions were also muggy for the 27th renewal of the North Carolina State Championship. Things got underway on a sour note when defending champion Greg Ward opened the tournament with a bogey three on the first hole. The opening round was led by Thomasville's Randy Carter, playing in his first full season after a 13-year layoff, with a 24 and Charlotte's Jimmy Mott in second at 25.

Carter continued to raise eyebrows after the second round after his 29 maintained his lead at 53 and was up one on Mott still and on Eden's Randal Smith. Virginia player Peter Neumann moved into fourth at that point with a 27 to go in at 55.

The amateurs began their six-round state championship with defending champion Chris Hudson unable to attend, leaving an open opportunity for 11 competitors. In the field were three former winners with a collective four titles of their own, and two other champions from other states who won a collective four of their own. Brian Hutchins, who won the South Carolina State Championship in 1999, got the ball rolling in the first round as he opened a four-shot lead over Chuck Nance. Hutchins led the field with a 25 and then was leading the Pros with a 27 to go in at 52 to lead by seven over Nance.

In the third round, the Pros would find a new leader. Pennsylvania product Brad Lebo fired a 24 to take the clubhouse lead at 80 and was in command. He was leading by two shots over Neumann and Smith, while Carter dropped strokes that round with a 33 to fall six back of the lead.

In the North Carolina State Championship, it is a two-day event with the format being eight rounds for the Pros (four on each day) and six for the APA (three on each day). During the fourth round of play for the Pros (while the APA was completing their third round), skies began to open up and a heavy shower pelted the course causing it to inundate within a matter of minutes. After a 10-minute delay, NCPPA chairman Chris Bunting announced play would cease for the rest of the day due to unplayable conditions and that the tournament would resume on Sunday and the fourth round would be thrown out since the round was incomplete (third for the APA). This would give the players an extra round of play on Sunday.

An awards banquet was scheduled after play on Saturday in the shelter at the facility. A cookout was provided by course operator Alan Fowlkes, who served the players hot dogs, hamburgers, and chicken wings. Special awards were presented to Greg Newport for winning the 2001 NCPPA Player of the Year, Baird and Coradini for becoming the 2001 Team of the Year, Jimmy Comer for capturing the 2001 NCAPA Player of the Year, and Gary Moore, who was the recipient of the Bill Walsh Sportsmanship Award.

The naming of the 2002 NCPPA Committee was also announced with a new five-man committee. The tour will be handled by Chris Bunting, Rick Baird, Greg Newport, Rick Rybaczek, and newcomer Billy Caudle. North Carolina also fielded its 10 members of the Clayton Cup team, which will consist of Randy Reeves (captain), Greg Newport and Rick Baird (who will be the only players to represent North Carolina in every event), Chris Bunting, Rick Rybaczek, Ray Guthrie, and first-time players Tommy Barbour, Billy Caudle, and Gary Hester. Randal Smith was voted by the other nine players as their tenth man on the team.

Play resumed on Sunday with the APA teeing off first to start their third round. The weather on Sunday was much better as sunny skies prevailed but temperatures approximately 20 degrees cooler and a blustery northwest wind were the key factors. Hutchins began his second day with a commanding seven-shot lead but would start to deteriorate and fell apart in each round. Tommy Hutchinson, who was eight back of the lead and tied for third, started to make a run to the title with rounds of 31 and 27 to within shot of the lead. Hutchins started his day with rounds of 34 and 31 to make the contest interesting.

Into the fifth round, the two found themselves tied for the top spot at 148. However, a third player was making his own move to keep it close. Keith Waters, who won in 1993, fired rounds of 31, 26, and 30 to move to within two shots of the lead at 150. In the final round, the winner was decided on the back nine. Waters tried to take the lead outright, but missed two critical tee shots on the last two holes and ended up finish at 179. Hutchinson made 18 to walk in the house at 177 and Hutchins was a shot back with two to play. Needing at least one ace to stay alive in the championship, Hutchins missed the final two holes to end up one back of Hutchinson. Hutchinson, who won three previous state titles in South Carolina, collected his first North Carolina title ever with a final score of 177 and won by a single shot over Hutchins, who ended up at 178. Waters settle for third at 179 and Adam Smith came in fourth at 181.

Meanwhile, the Pros continued their action with the beginning of the fourth round. Lebo held a two-shot lead going into play and would continue his strong play. Lebo fired a 27 to lead at 107. His lead was still two shots, but Coradini would make a charge of his own after a 25 in the fourth round put him at 109. By the end of the fifth round, it would become a three-man race for the title as Neumann put himself right back in the chase with a 25 to move to within three shots of the lead. Lebo still held on to his two-shot lead on Coradini with three rounds remain.

Coradini managed to tie things up by besting Lebo by two shots in the sixth round. Lebo and Coradini were sharing the lead at 163 and Neumann was now two back at 165. The three players carded a seventh round 28 to stay close to each other and Coradini and Lebo still held on to their co-lead. With one round left, both players were in at 191 and Neumann was at 193. In the seventh round, Robert Johnson, who began the weekend in 34th place after a first round 34, posted a 22, which included a perfect back nine, to jump to fourth.

The front nine would be the deciding outcome for Coradini as he posted an 11 to take a huge lead on Lebo. Coradini would seal his first state title in North Carolina with a final round 25 and won the tournament by four shots over Lebo. Coradini fired a five-round Sunday score of 132 to post a final score of 216. It is the highest score ever posted in a North Carolina State Championship since the format became eight rounds, eclipsing the winning score of 215 posted in Durham by 1999 State Champion Bart Bason and runner-up Michael Hitt.

For his win, Coradini received $800 first prize, while Lebo cashed in $650 for second. The purse for the Pro Division was $9, 175. Neumann's final round 32 dropped him to a third place tie with Johnson and Reeves at 225. Kevin Garrett had a strong weekend of his own to finish in sixth at 227. Defending champion Greg Ward tied Newport for seventh at 228 and Vince Batten and Thomas Rawles round out the top 10 with a ninth-place tie at 229. Players in the field were representing from six different states from Alabama to Pennsylvania and points in-between.

The North Carolina tour will play one more weekend for 2001. They will be in Durham on Saturday, November 3 for the Teams Championship, which was re-scheduled from earlier this year that was postponed due to terrorists attacks across the country. The event will get underway at 10:00am on Course 2, with the team of Baird and Coradini going first. On Sunday, November 4, 24 players will vie for the Match Play title, currently defended by Ray Guthrie, and it will get underway at 9:00am on Course 2.

Tournament recap and scores courtesy of Opie Roberts

Professional Scores from the 2001 North Carolina State Championship
(Lumberton, NC - 6-7 October 2001)

Round Prize
Player Hometown 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Total Money
1 Andy Coradini Loganville, GA 27 30 27 25 28 26 28 25 216 $800.00
2 Brad Lebo Shippensburg, PA 26 30 24 27 28 28 28 29 220 $650.00
3 Robert Johnson Lake Wylie, SC 34 30 26 29 27 27 22 30 225 $533.33
Peter Neumann Blacksburg, VA 28 27 27 31 25 27 28 32 225 $533.33
Randy Reeves Montgomery, AL 32 31 28 25 27 28 29 25 225 $533.33
6 Kevin Garrett Richmond, VA 28 30 26 30 30 27 29 27 227 $450.00
7 Greg Newport Liberty, NC 31 28 28 25 27 31 28 29 228 $375.00
Greg Ward Loganville, GA 30 29 25 29 29 31 29 25 228 $375.00
9 Vince Batten Richmond, VA 28 30 28 28 29 29 28 29 229 $315.00
Thomas Rawles Portsmouth, VA 29 27 32 29 26 28 29 29 229 $315.00
11 Darrell Britt Loganville, GA 29 32 29 25 32 31 24 28 230 $270.00
Gary English Buford, GA 29 30 26 29 31 25 31 29 230 $270.00
13 Mike Griffin Graham, NC 33 30 27 28 26 30 30 27 231 $240.00
14 Ray Guthrie Walnut Cove, NC 31 29 26 32 30 27 30 27 232 $220.00
15 Bill Kirby, Jr. Fayetteville, NC 33 28 26 30 34 26 28 28 233 $200.00
16 Tony Jackson Spartanburg, SC 28 31 25 30 31 33 29 27 234 $187.50
Gary Moore Mechanicsville, VA 29 29 31 27 31 25 34 28 234 $187.50
18 Gilbert Sharpe Richmond, VA 26 31 29 30 28 30 31 30 235 $177.50
Tony Varnadore Rock Hill, SC 32 31 27 32 27 24 30 32 235 $177.50
20 Jay Klapper Loganville, GA 28 31 31 30 30 27 30 30 237 $167.50
Jimmy Mott Charlotte, NC 25 29 31 30 29 31 27 35 237 $167.50
22 Rick Baird Pineville, NC 29 32 29 28 31 31 31 28 239 $155.00
Chris Bunting Graham, NC 35 31 26 28 31 31 27 30 239 $155.00
Michael Hitt Greensboro, NC 29 34 29 32 31 26 28 30 239 $155.00
25 Randal Smith Eden, NC 29 25 28 32 33 32 33 28 240 $145.00
26 Randy Carter Thomasville, NC 24 29 33 32 30 31 33 29 241 $135.00
Billy Caudle Harrisburg, NC 28 30 28 27 34 28 33 33 241 $135.00
Rick Rybaczek Greensboro, NC 29 30 33 28 35 26 29 31 241 $135.00
29 Tommy Barbour Graham, NC 31 31 29 37 28 30 29 29 244 $130.00
30 Michael Cardwell Mayodan, NC 29 29 32 28 31 31 35 30 245 $127.50
Bob Haizlip Whitsett, NC 33 31 30 30 28 30 31 32 245 $127.50
32 Larry Simpson Elon, NC 30 30 28 35 32 31 32 29 247 $125.00
33 Opie Roberts Eden, NC 35 34 31 28 33 27 29 31 248 $125.00
34 Glenwood Arrington Martinsville, VA 30 31 29 36 30 36 26 35 253 $120.00
35 Robert Ward High Point, NC 31 30 30 32 25 29 34 33 254 $120.00
36 Bart Bason Gibsonville, NC 31 30 32 32 37 33 32 36 263 $120.00

  Amateur Scores from the 2001 North Carolina State Championship
(Lumberton, NC - 6-7 October 2001)

Round Prize
Player Hometown 1 2 3 4 5 6 Total Money
1 Tommy Hutchinson Spartanburg, SC 31 29 31 27 30 29 177 $25.00
2 Brian Hutchins Ellenboro, NC 25 27 34 31 31 30 178 $25.00
3 Keith Waters Raleigh, NC 31 32 31 26 30 29 179 $25.00
4 Adam Smith Salisbury, NC 31 32 31 29 30 28 181
5 Jimmy Comer High Point, NC 33 32 31 33 31 30 190
6 Bear Landin Asheboro, NC 36 28 31 32 31 33 191
7 Steve Helton Spartanburg, SC 30 30 37 33 32 30 192
8 Chuck Nance Gibsonville, NC 29 30 40 35 31 30 195
9 Todd Trent Hampton, GA 36 30 36 32 29 34 197
10 Walter Kolb Arlington, VA 34 35 32 31 33 34 199
11 Kenny Goin Mount Olive, NC 38 31 35 32 32 36 204

 

 

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