2004 Great Lakes Tour Championship
Kevin Lacey Defeats Brandon Yee to Become a Two-Time Champion on Great Lakes Tour
2004 PPA Great Lakes Tour Champion
12 September 2004 Hamilton, OH Kevin Lacey of Cincinnati, Ohio scored a 2-1 victory over Brandon Yee to become the second player to repeat as Great Lakes Tour Champion since the tour resumed play in the mid-90s. Lacey played under some trying conditions, since he had just driven back from VA that morning and not had much sleep. Lacey play was excellent under difficult conditions and led throughout the match. For Laceys excellent play he was able to capture his second tour championship and the $1,000 first place prize money.
The GLT Championship format, unique among PPA state tours, pits the winner of a match play bracket against the winner of a 108-hole medal play bracket in a 36-hole championship match for the overall title. Lacey advanced to the championship via medal play bracket, while Yee was victorious in the match play bracket.
In that championship match, Lacey had forged a 4 up lead in the first 18 holes only to see that dwindle down to 1 up after 18 holes. Then Lacey won hole 3 to go up by two, but Yee aced the difficult 8th hole to cut the lead back to one. The two halved the rest of the holes until hole 12 where Lacey aced the hole behind Yee to take a 2 up lead. Lacey maintained the same margin until Lacey putted the difficult 17th hole and once the putt was hit called the putt front door, which is exactly what happen. By going in front door Lacey was able to close out the match and become a two time champion of the GLT.
Lacey is one of the most feared match play players on the state and national tour. That means he is a difficult player to beat and will always give it his all to defeat his opponent. Yee received a runner-up trophy and the $600 runner-up prize.
Ted Cain Defeats Andy McCoy to Win Great Lakes Tour APA Championship
2004 APA Great Lakes Tour Champion
12 September 2004 - Hamilton, OH For the second consecutive year a local favorite has made it to victory lane. Hamiltons Ted Cain was probably not considered one of the favorites to win the GLT APA crown entering the tour championship weekendexcept by Ted Cain that is. Although not a frequent participant on the GLT, Cain has enjoyed success, particularly at his home course in Hamilton, OH. Cain brings a quite, but intense desire to win to each event he enters.
Andy McCoy of Columbus for the year 2004 has been a consistent player all year and has put together quite a resume for this year. He talked about dedicating this year to playing consistent tournaments. And the year almost paid off for him. McCoy in the past was considered a play with a lot of ability, but did not put forth the effort on the Great Lakes Tour. When McCoy and Cain met in the championship match of the GLT Championship those who knew both players knew it was going to be a battle.
McCoy built a three hole lead early on the front nine and maintained that margin throughout the first eighteen holes of the match. Cain was able to gain his focus on the second eighteen and erase that deficit by hole 5, where McCoy could not match Cains ace on hole 6 and that produced a 1 up lead for Cain. The two players battled over the next three holes, alternating wins on holes 7 through 9. Then Cain stepped up his play another level and built a lead that McCoy could not over come. Despite valiant attempts by McCoy to come back, Cain maintained a solid level of play and defeated McCoy by a final score of 4-3. McCoy earned his berth in the championship match by winning Saturdays match play competition over Scott Copeland of Springfield, OH.
Cain was a big winner in the APA medal play, where he shot a final 6 round score of 171. His rounds of 27-29-31-30-25-29 gave him a score of 171, 45 under par and a one shot victory over Chris Graham of Springfield at 172.
Brandon Yee Defeats defending GLT State Champ Paul Johns to Win Match Play Bracket of the GLT Championship
2004 PPA Great Lakes Tour Champion Runner-Up
11 September 2004 - Hamilton, OH - 2004 had been a relatively off year for Brandon Yee entering the GLT Championship weekend. Despite playing in 10 events, Yee has one win and finished 13th in the points race. But the relative newcomer to the tour was able to turn in a winning performance and he demonstrated that throughout the match play bracket in the GLT Championship. He defeated Cleveland pro Jay Hadsell in the opening round and then pulled off a mild upset beating local favorite James Weber. He then was able to defeat former National Doubles Champion Robin Ventura and then his biggest victory before the final match was a victory over 2003 World Match Play Champion Jim Heikkinen.
With that victory it sent Yee to the bracket finals where current GLT Champion Paul Johns awaited him. Johns had defeated Rod Miller in round one and then defeated 2001 GLT Champion Todd Viau. A 1 up victory over the 2004 National Seniors Champion in the semis set the stage for Yee to face Johns in the bracket finals.
But Johns seemed to run out of gas in the final match. Yee took the lead early and kept acing to build a four hole margin at the turn. Johns won holes on occasion, but could never build enough momentum to make a serious comeback. Yee won the match by a final score of 5-4 to advance to Sundays championship match.
Kevin Lacey Wins Medal Play of Great Lakes Tour Championship
in a Playoff over defending Champ Paul Johns
12 September 2004 - Hamilton, OH Kevin Lacey drove all night from Virginia to make the GLT Finals and the drive paid off. Lacey claim his spot in the GLT finals, but it was not easy the 2000 National Match Play Champion and perennial contender in PPA major events. He had to contend with the current GLT Champion Paul Johns and it demonstrated why he is considered one of the very best in the game today. Lacey fired rounds of 27-27-30-25-32-28 for a score of 169, 47 under par. But he would need a playoff victory over Paul Johns of Columbus to win the medal play and advance to the GLT Championship match.
Lacey led the competition by two over two players when he shot 54. A follow-up 30 put him one behind Paul Johns of Columbus, OH. Lacey got hot in the forth round by shooting a 25 and taking a 3 shot lead. A clean 32 for put Lacey one behind Johns once again, but this set the stage for an exciting finish to the 2004 season.
Lacey and Johns went back and forth on the last round; since both were playing in the last group together they would be able to keep an eye on each others score. Johns had a one shot lead going to the 17th hole where Johns putting first deuced the hole and Lacey was able to hit a perfect shot and ace the hole. Both players score routine pars on the last hole and both ended tie after 108 holes of competition. .The tie score forced the 18-hole playoff, which Lacey won by acing the 18th hole and advance to the championship match.
Johns finished second in the medal play and finished second in the match play. Miller finished third, two back at 171, and Roger Beckerman and Todd Viau finished in a tie for fourth at 174. Rounding out the top ten were Robb Titchell who finished sixth at 175, Nate Nichols, Ken Hastings and James White who tied for seventh, eighth and ninth at 177 and Tom OBrien tenth at 178.
Paul Johns - 2004 Great Lakes Tour PPA Player of the Year
Paul Johns Named 2004 Great Lakes Tour PPA Player of the Year
12 September 2004 Hamilton, OH Paul Johns of Gahanna, OH was voted 2004 GLT Player of the Year by the GLT membership. Johns won four tournaments, including 3 majors, the 2004 GLT Doubles, the 2004 Michigan Open and 2004 Ray Browning Memorial and finished 3rd in points. Johns was the tours leading money winner for 2004 and was first in weighted stroke average after the GLT Championship. Five pros were awarded prize money for their rank in the points standings. The five were John Bambling ($150), Roger Beckerman ($125), Paul Johns ($100), James Weber ($75) and Dave Nutini ($50).
Andy McCoy Named 2004 Great Lakes Tour APA Player of the Year
12 September 2004 - Hamilton, OH Andy McCoy of Columbus, OH won five APA titles and one match play events. He finished second in points and finished 5th in weighted stroke average. McCoy was voted GLT APA player of the year for 2004.
2004 Great Lakes Tour PPA Sportsmanship Award Winner
John Bambling (PPA) and Rob McGraner and Jeff Brown (APA) Named 2004 Great Lakes Tour Sportsmanship Award Winners
12 September 2004 - Hamilton, OH - Congratulations to John Bambling, being voted PPA Sportsmanship Award winner. In addition, congratulations to Rob McGraner and Jeff Brown who were both voted APA Sportsmanship Award winners for the 2004 GLT season. Bambling is a fierce competitor, but understands that in the heat of the battle you still need to be congenial. Rob McGraner is still fairly young to competitive putting, but has shown that even on a day when he is not putting up to his standards he still can make sure to congratulate a player for playing good. Jeff Brown is one of a few players in the APA Division who is first in line to congratulate a player for winning or playing well. All three players are most deserving of the accolade.
Scores provided by Robb Titchell and tournament recap provided by Paul Johns