Nate Nichols Wins 2007 Legends Classic
28-29 July 2007 - Columbus, IN -
Twenty-one professionals, 12 amateurs and three novices convened for
the annual Legends Classic on Course 2 at the beautiful,
well-maintained Columbus, Ind. Putt-Putt. The tournament, created on
the former Indiana Tour to honor the state's greats, is always held
on an Indiana course, including the last three years in Columbus.
The eight-round tournament, the longest of the Northern Putting
Tour season, would serve as good preparation for players who will
participate in the PPA national events on the same 18 holes Aug.
The most prepared at the end of the weekend was Columbus own
Nate Nichols, who won the pro tourney to claim his second victory of
the season. He shot 210, 78 under par, and won an 18-hole playoff
over 1997 National Champion Randy Reeves.
The tournament began with damp carpets on Saturday after
overnight rain. Nichols negotiated the first day with a 102 to take
the lead into Sunday. Reeves, who made the 500-plus mile trek from
Montgomery, Ala. to prepare for the nationals, was in at 104.
Four-time 2007 NPT winner Kevin Lacey came in at 105 on the strength
of a closing 22, the best round of the whole tournament. Those three
comprised the final group for Sundays closing four rounds.
Sunday turned out to be hotter than Saturday. The carpets were
dry, leading to a rise in scoring as the tourney progressed.
The opening action belonged to Dave Nutini, who began play six
strokes behind Nichols. He opened the day with consecutive 24s to
pull within a stroke of Reeves and Nichols, who were tied for first
at 155. Reeves shot a 24 of his own in that sixth round, gaining on
Meanwhile, Lacey began the day with a 26 and 27 to be in at 158,
making it a four-player race to the finish as fifth place was 165.
Lacey shot a 25 in the next round to tie Nichols heading into the
final 18, as Nichols shot 28. They were two behind Reeves after his
Nutini fell back after carding a 30, and could not mount a charge
in the final round. He still tied Reeves for the best score of the
day with 107 and finished in fourth overall at 215.
That left it up to the last group. Reeves led Nichols by two
strokes with four holes to play, but Nichols aced 15 and 17, while
Reeves missed the final four holes of regulation. Lacey never got it
going the final round and finished three strokes back at 213 after a
In the extra session, neither Reeves nor Nichols led by more than
a stroke. Reeves had his final advantage after acing the 13th hole,
but Nichols made the next two holes to claim a one-stroke lead of
Nichols then bogeyed the challenging 16th, his first 3 of the
entire weekend, and Reeves followed with a deuce to tie the match.
Reeves then missed 17, and Nichols made it to take the lead into 18,
an elevated plateau with a backdoor shot.
Nichols narrowly missed his ace attempt to clinch the match, but
Reeves attempt to tie ended up less than a foot short, and Nichols
had won his first Legends title.
In the amateur division, Louisvilles Anthony Russell shot a 216,
72 under par, to post a four-stroke win over Cambridge City, Ind.
lefthander Kyle Poole. They were tied at 108 after the first day,
and Jeff Brown was a stroke behind at 109.
Russell led by three strokes over Brown entering the final round,
and Poole was four behind. Poole pulled within two strokes on the
back nine, but Russell closed with an 11 on the inbound nine and a
26 for the round to hold him off.
Poole had carded a 24 in the seventh round, including a perfect 9
on the front, to get back in the hunt after a disastrous sixth
It was the second win of the year for Russell, the 2005 APA World
Match Play Champion and 2006 NPT Medal Play champ. He is one of
three amateurs with a pair of wins this season, joining Brandon
Davis and Scott Copeland.
Local youngster Hunter Carlsen won the novice division with a
291, seven strokes ahead of Cincinnati kid Maxx Wooddell. Carlsen
led Wooddell by 16 strokes after the first day, but Wooddell pulled
within five entering the final round before Carlsen rebounded with a
35 to seal the win.
The NPT would like to thank Carl Miller and his staff for their
always excellent hospitality and looks forward to the PPA Northern
Open and Tournament Players Championship later this month.
Scores provided by
Nate Nichols, Article by James Weber.