Kevin Lacey Earns Third Victory of 2007 NPT Season with Playoff Victory over O'Brien
6 May 2007 - Hamilton, OH - For the third time in four tournaments this season, a playoff was needed to determine the professional winner on the Northern Putting Tour. And for the third time this season, Kevin Lacey claimed a title on the NPT. Lacey beat Tom OBrien in an 18-hole playoff to win the Western Ohio Classic on Course 2 at the Hamilton, Ohio location Sunday, May 6.
First day of the 2006 PPA National Championship (Martinez, GA)
Lacey swept the weekends events and claimed his third consecutive NPT win on Course 2. He overcame pain to do it, as he was scheduled to undergo knee surgery two days later.
In contrast to the previous days beautiful weather, jackets and sweatshirts were the attire of choice as a field of 17 pros and 10 amateurs played in chilly, windy conditions.
High winds and low scores do not often mix on Course 2 at Hamilton. That was the case in the first round, as OBrien and 2006 NPT Medal Play Champion Robb Titchell were the only players to break 30. OBriens 27 led Titchell by two.
OBrien continued his solid play with a 28, and his 55 led Hamilton local James Weber by three strokes. In the next 18, OBrien stayed under 30 with a 29 to be in at 84 with one round to play while Weber kept pace with his own 29.
However, both lost ground to several players who had strong third rounds. Cincinnatian John Ventura matched the best round of the day with a 25 to tie OBrien at 84. Lacey shot a 26 to come in at 86, and Dom Perry shot the other 25 to move into the hunt at 87.
Lacey finished his tournament first and shot a 30 to end at 116. Weber then ended with a 30 to be a stroke behind, eventually good for third place.
Completing his round later, Ventura struggled in the last round with a 34 and finished two strokes back. Then, Perry shot a 31 to tie Ventura in fourth at 118.
Kevin Lacey aces the ninth hole in the playoff against Tom O'Brien.
One of the last players to finish, OBrien shot 32 in the last round, but aced hole 18 to tie Lacey and force a playoff. Lacey took an early lead in the overtime session and cruised to a five-stroke win for his second extra-holes victory in as many days.
Titchell finished sixth with a 120, and Nate Nichols claimed the last cash spot at 121. OBrien and Perry earned their spots for the NPT match play finals.
In the amateur division, it was Hamilton locals claiming the top two spots, as veteran Ted Cain shot a 22-under par 122 to edge Cincinnati teenager Brandon Davis by two strokes.
Cain, who has been playing at the Hamilton course since the early 1960s, was the 2004 APA state champion in the former Great Lakes Tour. He won his third state tournament on the Course 2 layout, as his steady rounds of 30-30-31-31 were enough to hold off a tightly bunched field.
Michael Bell of Columbus was tied with Cain after three rounds at 91, but fired a 34 to finish third. Saturdays winner, Scott Copeland, was a stroke back at 92 and finished fourth. David Phillippi and Jeff Brown finished fifth and sixth to round out the cash field. Barb Mingo claimed the match play spot for the tour finals.
The Northern Putting Tour returns to action June 2-3, playing Course 3 in Southport, Ind. The weekend includes the Bill Hammons Memorial Sunday, June 3.
Scores and tournament recap provided by James Weber and Scott Copeland.