14 July 2001 - Richmond, VA - Less than 24 hours from the annual Virginia Open, the Virginia tour played its warm-up in Richmond. The tournament was played on Course 2, site of last year's Clayton Cup, and it proved to be one of the closest contests in recent tour memory. The top ten players that finished were separated by a mere two strokes. Two of those players had to face off for first place in the playoff in an attempt for his first win on the tour for the 2001 campaign. Ed Grajewski, who returned to the Pro Division ranks in 1999, faced off against Rusty Taylor, who was only in his fourth year as a Pro, after they both ended up finishing regulation with a 78.
Ed Grajewski Wins His First Tournament of 2001 in Richmond, Virginia
Ed Grajewski playing in Fredericksburg, Virginia in 2000.
Both players were behind after two rounds and it would be Taylor who would have to severely climb his way into the position he finished in. Andy Coradini and Manfred Stewart had the share of the lead at 51, with Grajewski and two others being two back in a tie for third, and Taylor at 57 in a tie for 13th. Taylor put himself in overdrive by firing a course-tying record of 21 in the final round and coupled with Grajewski's final round 25 put the two in the playoff. Grajewski would win the playoff for his first PPA win since return to the Pros.
Coradini tied Vince Batten, Danny Dore, and Dave Taylor for the third position at 79, while another four players finished out the top 10 at 80.
Tyler Proffitt playing in Richmond, Virginia..
The tournament also featured the return of Bryan Boyd, who was playing in his first event in Richmond since he won the National Championship in 1992. Boyd return to the game in last year's National Championship in Fayetteville and the Bristol, Tennessee product had been placing himself back on the competitive level over the past year, along with fellow Bristol player and Hall of Famer Daryl Freeman.
Tyler Proffitt picked up his second APA win of the season and in his career as he, too, won in a playoff over fellow local Marty Handschuh. Both competitors fought back and forth throughout the day as they both ended up with a score of 83 before Proffitt won in the playoff. Jonathan Moore finished in third at 86, while Paul Lowery and Russell Johnson completed the top five at 87.
The Virginia tour returns to action on Sunday, July 15, on Course 2, with Bo Luthie as the defending champion of the Virginia Open. The four-round gets underway at 10:00am.
Scores provided by Ed Grajewski.