Greg Ward Coasts to Victory
After Second Round 21

19 May 2007 - High Point, NC - A picture perfect spring afternoon brought a record participation of 54 professionals to High Point for the upcoming PPA Southern Open, the first of four scheduled PPA National events for 2007. For some, this was their first trip to High Point in ten years, and for a few more, this was their first trip ever.


Greg Ward playing the 17th hole in the third round of play in High Point (photo courtesy of Opie Roberts).

Chris Graney, course manager of the High Point Putt-Putt facility, welcomed the Professional Putters Association and the Southern Putting Tour to High Point for a major extravaganza. High Point has hosted many standard tournaments over the years, and has drawn some of the biggest crowds. By far, this was the biggest turnout for a PPA event in the Furniture City with 54 professionals in attendance. The mark of 54 shattered the record of 40 on the Southern Tour, held exactly one year to the weekend in High Point when the tour hosted the Wayne Hancock Memorial. Players traveled from Ohio and Pennsylvania from the north, while one came from as far west as Dallas, Texas to compete.

High Point has been known to attract tons of low scores, even early on. However, no one in the field could do better than 12-under 24. Reigning Southern Tour champion Vince Batten, winner of the event on this very course the last time the Southern Tour played, came in first to shoot 24. Peter Neumann, Gary English, and former National Champion Jay Klapper all followed in with a 24 as well for a four-way share of the lead with Batten. Another four players were a stroke off the lead at 25, including Greg Ward.

Even though the winds primarily subsided throughout the day than in recent years, scores were still surprisingly high through the second round. Northern Tour player Mark Hasty, who was two off the lead, came in with a 25 to take the temporary clubhouse lead at 51. Randy Reeves soon followed with a 24, making it the fifth of the day and came in with a share of the clubhouse lead.

However, Ward was up to his old tricks once again. At the outset of the second round, Ward was playing like a machine, acing 14 of the first 15 in play. After 17, he was -15 and had a shot at a record-tying score of 20, most recently shot in 2004 by Bob Haizlip. Ward stepped up on 18 and hit one of the most unexplainable putts in his career. His tee shot on the up-and-back ramp hole missed a good three feet right of the cup on the return from the back rail. In any regard, he still shot the tour's best round of the season so far with a 21. It would stake him to a four-shot lead and no one could muster a round close to Ward all afternoon, except for another Northern Tour player Jerry Pinotti. Pinotti fired a 22 in the same round to take second by himself at 50, leaving Hasty and Reeves tied for third at 51, and fifth was occupied by English, Neumann, Klapper, Ricky Schults, Caleb Kennedy, and local player Ray Guthrie at 52.

Shuffling for position continued in the final round, but no one could get near Ward, although the 2001 National Champion from Atlanta fired his worst round, 26, at the close. Two players shot 23 for the best round there as Greg Newport and Randy Orr each did it to finish at 76. That would only get them to finish within four strokes of Ward, who would capture his third win of the season. Ward posted a score of 72, the second time this season he has posted on the tour, with the other coming in a playoff win in Burlington to start the 2007 season. Newport, Orr, and Pinotti all had to settle for second at 76. Orr used a perfect nine on the front in advance to his outstanding closing round. English and Schults came in a tie for fifth at 77. Bill Kirby shot 78 for seventh, and Batten, Hasty, and Klapper rounded out the top ten with an eighth place finish at 79.

This tournament was a "warm-up" of sorts for the upcoming PPA Southern Open that will be played on Sunday. Ward is the defending champion as he took the event the last time it was played in 2001 in Martinez.

The Southern Putting Tour will resume its schedule on Saturday, June 2 as they will venture into Gastonia for the first time in tour history. Two scheduled events are set for Saturday and Sunday, June 2 & 3 on Course 3, with the first event on June 2 at 12:00 p.m. and the second event on June 3 at 10:00 a.m.

Article and scores provided by Opie Roberts and the PPA Southern Putting Tour.

Professional Division
(High Point, NC - Course # 1
- 19 May 2007)

  Round Prize
 Player123TotalMoney
1Greg Ward25212672 $ 150.00
2Greg Newport27262376 $ 100.00
 Randy Orr27262376 $ 100.00
 Jerry Pinotti28222676 $ 100.00
5Gary English24282577 $   83.00
 Ricky Schults27252577 $   83.00
7Bill Kirby25282578 $   75.00
8Vince Batten24292679 $   65.00
 Mark Hasty26252879 $   65.00
 Jay Klapper24282779 $   65.00
11Peter Neumann24282880 $   55.00
 Allen Wall27282580 $   55.00
 James Weber27262780 $   55.00
 Caleb Kennedy26262880 $   55.00
15Randy Reeves27243081 $   52.00
 Rick Rybaczek29252781 $   52.00
 Paul Johns29262681 $   52.00
 Ray Guthrie27252981 $   52.00
19Michael Hitt30262682 $   50.00
 Robin Ventura26282882 $   50.00
 John Bambling25312682 $   50.00
 Tony Jackson28272782 $   50.00
 Tony Varnadore28282682 $   50.00
24Andy Coradini26292883 $   23.00
 Robert Johnson27282883 $   23.00
 Darrell Anderson27263083 $   23.00
 Charlie Greenwalt27282883 $   23.00
 Bill Baus27272983 $   23.00
 Nate Nichols28292683 $   23.00
 Jeffrey Smith29262883 $   23.00
 Tim Greenert28292683 $   23.00
 Lance Perdue26292883 $   23.00
33Dan Anders30292584 
 Steve Lyon27263184 
35Kevin Lacey30312485 
 Rusty Taylor30253085 
37Brad Lebo27312886 
 Bob Haizlip25303186 
39Steve Shively28293087 
 Randal Smith31282887 
 Jeff Carr28332687 
 Stan Seethoff27312987 
43Tom O'Brien32322488 
 Daryl Freeman28273388 
 Russell Sigmon, Jr32272988 
 Rick Baird32272988 
 Billy Caudle29293088 
48Rick Culverhouse29322889 
49Michael Cardwell31312991 
50Randy Carter32303092 
51Darrell Britt33313094 
52Steve Toomey29323596 
 Robert Ward34303296 
54Frank Warren333433100 

* Earned a qualification spot for the 2007 PPA Southern Putting Tour Championship.

Malcolm Shumaker Sneaks Into First APA Victory on Southern Putting Tour

19 May 2007 - High Point, NC - Fresh off a win last week on the Virginia Tour in Abingdon, Maryland, Malcolm Shumaker came down to High Point in hopes to continue his success. In just his third event ever as a participant on the Southern Tour, Shumaker reached into the winner's circle in a record-setting 28-player amateur field under beautiful spring skies on Saturday.


Malcolm Shumaker on hole 18 in the final round. Shumaker would make the hole to clinch his first Southern Tour win (photo courtesy of Opie Roberts).

The competition would be a bit of a challenge this Saturday with the largest APA crowd on hand. Leading the season with four wins was Dennis Biesma and it looked like number five was looming. Biesma jumped the gates early with a perfect nine on the front, but hit headwind on the back and made just one ace on the backstretch to shoot 26. Biesma would instead be sharing the opening round lead over players who are more accustomed to the course. Local players Larry Hoover, David Myers, Frankie Peters, and Keith Waters all shot 26 for a five-way lead in the standings. Three other players shot 27 and that was performed by Shumaker, Chris Alley, and former High Point product Michael Foster, making a return to his former home course for the first time since 1997.

Biesma's hardened luck on the back nine of the first round carried it over to the start of the second round. Biesma started his round +1 through four holes, but lady luck finally reversed herself as he aced out the front from there to finish with a respectable front of 14. However, his agony on the back continued and only shot 16 for a round of 30.

Hoover maintained his putting pace in the second round with another 26 for the outright lead of 52. The lead by Hoover, who has yet to yield a Southern Tour win, was one over Myers and Larry Smith, two over Shumaker and Carolinas' Open champion Ben Blake, and three over Adam Smith.

In the final round, Hoover continued toward his potential first win of the season, but would find a stopping point midway through the round. After aces on the first four holes to hold on to his lead, Hoover bogeyed hole 5 and then made just two of the next nine in play. After a 5-for-10 start for Biesma in the final round, Biesma made one last effort to save face and pick up his fifth win. Biesma would run aces from 11 through 17 and then missed his mark on 18 that would give him an array of hope. The miss on 18 would prove costly later on. Biesma ended his day at 81 and waited for others in contention to report.

Shumaker was in the following group and had a chance to win on 18. Shumaker made his tee shot from the right center cut to walk into the clubhouse at 80. Blake was a stroke back with three holes to play and had a chance to possibly win his second straight. However, that task would be denied as he failed on the final three holes to finish tied at 81. Hoover still had an outside chance with four holes to play. After an ace on 15, Hoover then missed 16. Hoover would need to make the final two holes to stay alive. After missing 17, the result clinched the title for the amateur from Farmville, Virginia.

Shumaker would win his first APA event on the Southern Tour and would claim his second consecutive win in as many weeks. Biesma, Hoover, and Blake all finished tied for second at 81. Tied for fifth were Myers and Chuck Nance, both at 83. Adam Smith was seventh at 84. A three-way tie was for eighth at 85 that included L. Smith, Peters, and Barry Moore.

These players will compete on Sunday for the 2007 PPA Southern Open that will tee off at 9:00am. The Southern Putting Tour will return to action on Saturday, June 2 in Gastonia.

Article and scores provided by Opie Roberts and the PPA Southern Putting Tour.

Amateur Division
(High Point, NC - Course # 1
- 19 May 2007)

  Round Expense
 Player123TotalMoney
1Malcolm Shumaker27272680 $   10.00
2Dennis Biesma26302581 $   10.00
 Ben Blake29252781 $   10.00
 Larry Hoover26262981 $   10.00
5Chuck Nance29282683 $   10.00
 David Myers26273083 $   10.00
7Adam Smith29262984 $   10.00
8Barry Moore28302785 $   10.00
 Frankie Peters26332685 $   10.00
 Larry Smith27263285 $   10.00
11Todd Trent28302987 $   10.00
 Vanette Block29302887 $   10.00
 Chris Alley27332787 $   10.00
14Rodney Ashley31312789 $    5.00
 Mark Lawson32282989 $    5.00
 Keith Waters26333089 $    5.00
17Michael Foster27323190 
 Bo DeBruin34263090 
19David Gregor33283091 
 Terry Whitaker34312691 
21Terry Hendrix32313194 
22Randy Simpson30363096 
 Donald Ralph31343196 
24Linwood Moist31303697 
25William DeBruin33333298 
26Lynn Self363232100 
27Bill Combs323536103 
28James LeBrun333937109 

 

 

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