Action commenced with Taylor seizing the 18-hole lead at 27. Bunched in a second-place tie at 28 were Lebo, Schooler, and Rybaczek. Rawles hovered in fifth position at 30.
Rybaczek improved to 27 in the second round of play and leapfrogged to the top of the 36-hole leader board at 55. Lebo lurked just a stroke off of Rybaczek's lead, in second place at 56. After a middle-round 30, Taylor dropped into a tie for third position with Schooler at 57. Rawles remained in contention, in fifth place at 59.
Standing at two-under par after five holes in the final round, Lebo separated from the rest of the field by acing nine of his next ten holes. Despite recording deuces on his final three holes, Lebo's final-round 25 was enough to ensure a victory. Lebo's 54-hole total of 81 gave him his fifth overall win of the 2007 PPA season. Schooler posted a third-round 27 to leap into a second-place tie with Rybaczek at 84. Taylor clung to fourth position at 88 to earn the final cash spot awarded in the professional division in the event. Freeman and Rawles shared fifth place at 90.
In the amateur division of competition, 2006 PPA Women's National Champion Vanette Block and Roanoke course owner Dave Mitchell, who was returning to state-level action after a hiatus of over a dozen years, tied for the 54-hole lead at 81 at the completion of regulation play. In the ensuing 18-hole playoff, Block recorded a dramatic ace the final hole to defeat Mitchell, 27-28, and capture her second win of the 2007 season. 2007 Southern Open and Eastern Open APA Champion Dennis Biesma finished in third place at 83. Local player Mark Smith charged into fourth position at 85 by virtue of a final-round 26. Defending champion Conway Coffey rounded out the amateur division's top five finishers at 86.
Play began in the amateur division with Coffey percolating a brilliant first-round 25 to soar into a two-shot opening-round lead over Biesma, who stood alone in second place at 27. Grouped in a tie for third position at 28 were Block, Mark Smith, and two-time VA Open APA Champion Amy Smith.
Mitchell crafted a stellar second-round 24, featuring a front nine score of 10, to jump into the 36-hole amateur division lead at 54. Despite a middle-round 30, Coffey remained just a stroke off of Mitchell's lead, tied for second position with Block at 55. The dapperly-clad James Walker posted a sizzling second-round 26 to climb into a fourth-place tie with Biesma at 56.
Block continued her torrid pace in the final round of action, recording an impressive third-round 26 to take the early clubhouse 54-hole lead at 81. Mitchell fired a steady third-round 27 to tie Block at 81. A victor would be determined in an 18-hole playoff. Biesma completed the tournament in third place at 83. Mark Smith used a third-round 26 to climb into fourth position at 85. At 86, Coffey finished in fifth place and earned the final expense reimbursement spot awarded in the event's amateur division.
In a back-and-forth 18-hole amateur division playoff, Mitchell aced the 9th hole to take a one-shot lead at the turn, 13-14. After exchanging aces on the 10th and 11th holes, Block aced the 12th hole to square the match. Block took her first lead of the playoff with a clutch ace on the 16th hole. After each player deuced the 17th hole, Block aced the 18th hole with honors to secure the playoff victory, 27-28. The win was Block's second of the 2007 season.
Local player Morgan Caldwell captured top honors in the tournament's novice division.
The Virginia PPA Tour will return to action with another 54-hole event on course # 2 in Roanoke, VA beginning at 10:00 a.m. on Sunday, July 8.
Scores and Article provided by Brad Lebo, Rick Rybaczek and AmPutters.com.
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