Nate Nichols Earns His Sixth Professional Victory on Southport, IN Course
2 June 2007 - Southport, IN - Nate Nichols' home course is Columbus, Ind., but the beautiful 54-hole facility in Southport, Ind., just south of Indianapolis, has been a second home to the young professional putter. The Columbus resident won the first tournament of the weekend as the Northern Putting Tour resumed play at Southport.
Nichols fired a 79, 29 under par, to claim a three-stroke win in the Terry Ferguson Classic. It was his sixth pro tourney win at Southport and second on the Course 3 layout. It is also the second time Nichols has won a tournament named after Ferguson, the course owner.
Nichols shot a 27 to begin the tourney, putting him one stroke behind co-leaders Harry Sykes and 2006 World Match Play Champion Peter Neumann at 26.
Nichols improved with a 26 in the second round, tying Neumann for the lead with a 53. Sykes added a 28 to be in at 54, and three players were at 55 to set up a potentially exciting finish.
Things became tighter when John Ventura, playing in the first group, made a big run in the last round. He shot a 26 to finish at 82, although that included a 5 on the tricky 17th hole.
However, Nichols would continue his solid play in the final round, rallying for a 26 after acing just two of his first seven holes. His 79 easily held up, as the other contenders faltered in the final round. Tim Greenert, 2005 ProPutters.com Classic champion, was the only player at 55 or better entering the final round to break 30, shooting a 29.
The best round of the day belonged to PPA Hall of Fame member Roger Beckerman. Playing in the last group, he was in at 60 after two rounds but stormed in with a 22 to finish in a tie for second at 82.
Neumanns final 83 was good for fourth. Greenert and Sykes tied for the last cash spot with an 84. Beckerman and Neumann claimed spots for the NPT match play finals.
Beckerman took the momentum from his strong finish into match play, beating Nichols in the final.
In the amateur division, it was Scott McCutchen of Greenfield, Ind. winning his first tour event in four years. A part-time player on the NPT, McCutchen fired a 26 in the final to post an 85, coming from three strokes behind to earn the win. Josh Garrison, the two-round leader at 56, tied for second with an 86 with 2006 NPT Medal Play Champion Anthony Russell.
McCutchen swept the day's action, beating Garrison in the match play final. Garrison claimed his match play spot for the NPT finals.
Scores and tournament recap provided by James Weber and Peter Neumann.