Brad Lebo Fires 78 in Fredericksburg, VA to Earn His Eighth Win of the 2005 Season
20 August 2005 - Fredericksburg, VA - Overbearing heat and humidity greeted the Virginia PPA Tour in the first of two weekend tournaments contested on course # 3 in Fredericksburg, VA. Brad Lebo fired unspectacular but steady rounds of 27, 26, and 25 for a 54-hole total of 78, acing seven of the final eight holes of the tournament to win the war of attrition in the oppressive conditions by two strokes over Vince Batten. The victory was the eighth of the 2005 PPA season for Lebo. Batten posted a 54-hole total of 80 to notch runner-up honors. Finishing in solo third place was Manfred Stewart at 81. Rounding out the top five were reigning Virginia State Champion Matt Summey and Rick Rybaczek, who tied for fourth position at 83.
Winner of 2005 PPA Virginia State Tour Event in Fredericksburg, VA
Action commenced with Batten continuing his recent stellar play. Fresh off of tying his own 54-hole PPA world record score of 65 in a local tournament in Richmond, VA just four days earlier, Batten posted a brilliant first-round 24 to tie Summey for the opening-round lead. At 24, the duo would share low-round honors for the tournament. Tied for third at 26 were Rybaczek and Virginia PPA Tour chairman Gary Hinshaw. Lurking another stroke back at 27 and tied for fifth place were Lebo and Gary Moore.
The leader board tightened considerably after two rounds of play, with eight contestants within three strokes of the lead. Batten fired a second-round 28 to take sole possession of the 36-hole lead at 52. Hovering one stroke back and tied for second position at 53 were Lebo and Summey. A fourth-place logjam at 54 included Rybaczek, Gary Moore, Buddy Taylor, and James White, who soared into contention with a second-round 25.
Lebo attempted to take command of the tournament early in the third round as field scoring rose with the increasing temperatures and fluffing carpet fibers. After deucing the first two holes of the round, Lebo aced the next six holes. Disaster struck for Lebo at the ninth and tenth holes, however, as his aggressive but unsuccessful ace efforts resulted in back-to-back bogeys. Lebo regained his focus and rebounded to ace seven of the final eight holes of the tournament to post a final-round 25 and a 54-hole total of 78, enough for a two-stroke victory over Batten, who finished alone in second place at 80. The victory was Lebo's eighth of the 2005 PPA season. Stewart's final-round 26 pole vaulted him into third position at 81. Rounding out the top five at 83 were Summey and Rybaczek. The cash line for the ten money spots awarded in the tournament fell at 87.
APA Winner of 2005 PPA Virginia State Tour Event in Fredericksburg, VA
In the amateur division, 2005 Virginia Open APA Champion Conway Coffey posted rounds of 28, 27, and 25 for a 54-hole total of 80 and a three-stroke victory over the hard-charging Barry Moore, who finished alone in second position at 83. The victory was the second of the season for the Lynchburg, VA standout.
Play began in the amateur division with Amy Smith and 2005 Palmetto Classic APA Champion Frankie Peters surging into a tie for the first-round lead at 26. Coffey and Dennis Biesma were two strokes off the lead at 28. The trio of Moore, Chuck Dibbs, and 2003 APA National Champion Bonnie White were another stroke back at 29.
With Smith and Peters struggling a bit in the second round, the Lynchburg, VA tandem of Coffey and John Petrie took advantage, shooting respective rounds of 27 and 25 to move into a tie for the 36-hole lead at 55. Smith fell to third position at 56. Peters was in fourth place at 57. Tied for fifth position at 58 were Moore and Dibbs.
Moore made an inspired final-round charge, firing 11 on the front nine and moving into tie for the lead with Coffey with nine holes remaining. Coffey responded valiantly, however, acing the final four holes of the tournament to record a third-round 25. Coffey's 54-hole total of 80 earned him a three-stroke victory over Moore, who finished alone in second place at 83. Peters rebounded nicely from a disappointing second round with a final-round 27 to finish third at 84. In a tie for fourth place and rounding out the amateur expense reimbursement spots at 87 were Smith and Biesma.
The Virginia PPA Tour will return to action with the tour's third major tournament of the season, the Virginia Putting Classic, to be contested on course # 3 in Fredericksburg, VA beginning at 10:00 a.m. on Sunday, August 21.
Scores and Article provided by Brad Lebo.