Kevin Lacey Wins 2008 PPA National Championship 

Kevin Lacey
20 September 2008 - Richmond, VA - After many heart-breaking close losses in the event, Kevin Lacey finally fulfilled his destiny and captured his first PPA National Championship. The victory was the icing on the cake of a stellar career for Lacey, whose other major PPA National Tour titles include the 1998 PPA Southern Open, the 2000 PPA Match Play Championship, and most recently the 2008 PPA Tournament Players Championship. Lacey brilliantly negotiated courses # 2 and # 3 at the beautiful Richmond, VA Putt-Putt Fun Center with rounds of 21, 26, 23, 26, 26, 24, 25, 20, 21, 22, 26, and 24 for a 148-under par, 216-hole total of 284 to earn the $2000.00 first prize. Lacey prudently laid up the final hole of the tournament for a deuce to narrowly defeat two recent PPA National Champions. 2005 PPA National Champion Jay Klapper charged into the clubhouse with closing rounds of 21 and 23, but fell one stroke short of tying Lacey and settled for runner-up honors at 285. 2006 PPA National Champion Brad Lebo, the tournament leader in rounds 4-9, finished another stroke behind Lacey, completing the event in third place at 286. Firing 21 on course # 3 in each of the final-day rounds on the course, 1993 PPA National Champion Andy Coradini stormed up the final leader board into fourth position at 288. Texan Wade Sahmel played solidly throughout the tournament to notch a fifth-place finish at 290. Rounding out the top ten finishers were perennial contender Rainey Statum in sixth place at 291, 2001 PPA National Champion Greg Ward in seventh at 293, 2004 PPA World Match Play Champion Darrell Anderson and 2008 GA State Champion Jeff Carr in an eighth-place tie at 295, and two-time PPA National Champion Cliff Matthews and 1997 PPA National Champion Randy Reeves in a tenth-place tie at 296.

Jay Klapper
First day action began with Lacey, Sahmel, Statum, and 1987 Elton Davis Memorial Champion Steve Shively flying out of the gates to assume 18-hole co-leadership at 21. Sahmel posted a second-round 23 to take a one-stroke lead after two rounds at 44 over the trio of Statum, Shively, and 2007 PPA Northern Open Champion Rick Culverhouse. A third-round 22 enabled Klapper to pole-vault into a tie for the 54-hole lead with Sahmel at 69. Carding a fourth-round 23, Lebo finished off a steady day and quietly moved into a tie for the 72-hole lead with Klapper at 93. Sahmel and Matthews lurked two strokes behind the leaders, deadlocked in third place at 95. At 96, Lacey and Statum hovered another stroke off of the lead, tied for fifth position at 96 heading into the second day of play.

Lebo and Klapper opened the second day of play with matching 23's and remained tied for the lead after five rounds at 116. With a fifth-round 22, Matthews drew within a stroke of the co-leaders, standing alone in third place at 117. Two-time PPA National Match Play Champion Charlie Greenwalt set a new course record on course # 2 in the fifth round with a tournament-low round of 19. In the event's sixth round, Statum continued his second-day march up the leader board. Statum backed up his fifth-round 22 with a sixth-round 23 to jump into a tie for the 108-hole lead with Lebo at 141. Klapper and Matthews stayed in close pursuit of the leaders, sharing third position at 142. Firing a solid seventh-round 23, Lebo opened up a bit of breathing room at the top of the scoreboard, taking a three-stroke lead on the field after seven rounds at 164. Statum dropped into second place at 167, with Klapper and Sahmel in a tie for third position at 168. In the eighth round, Lacey made the biggest move, jumpstarting his run to glory with a round of 20. Lebo posted an eighth-round 24 to maintain a three-stroke lead on the field at 188 after the second day of play. With his stellar round, Lacey leapfrogged into a second-place tie with Statum at 191. Coradini recorded a spectacular second-day score of 91 to skyrocket from well back in the pack into a fourth-place tie with Sahmel at 193 after 144 holes.

Brad Lebo

The third and final day commenced with a torrid scoring pace being set by most of the leaders. Lebo carded a ninth-round 23 to hold on to the tournament lead after nine rounds at 211. By virtue of a magnificent ninth-round 21, Lacey trimmed two strokes off of Lebo's lead and took sole possession of second place at 212. Statum and Sahmel respectively shot 23 and 21 and stood in a tie for third position at 214, with Klapper recording a ninth-round 21 to move into fifth place at 215.

The tenth round proved to be the turning point for Lacey. After Lebo and Lacey each aced the first six holes on course # 3 in the tenth round, disaster struck for Lebo on the 7th hole. Following an ace by Lacey on the 7th hole, Lebo's ace effort lipped out of the hole and into a far corner. He eventually recorded a double-bogey, his only over-par hole of the 12-round event. The isolated mistake would be a costly one, however, as the three-stroke swing caused Lebo to relinquish the lead for the first time since the event's fourth round. Lacey narrowly missed the final hole of the round but still shot 22 to jump to the top of the tenth-round leader board at 234. In the process, Lacey tied the lowest score for three consecutive rounds in PPA history, firing a 54-hole total of 63 in rounds 8-10. Lebo rebounded valiantly from his mid-round nightmare, posting a tenth-round 24. Lebo fell into second place but at 235 stayed within a stroke of Lacey's lead. Sahmel stood alone in third position at 240.

In the eleventh round of play, Lacey and Lebo struggled to some degree and allowed the other contenders to move within striking distance. The well of aces ran dry for Lacey on the mercurial back nine of course # 2 and he posted a mere 26. Despite acing the final four holes of the round, Lebo carded only a pedestrian 27. Klapper took full advantage, crafting a blistering eleventh-round 21. When the dust settled, Lacey held the lead at 260. Klapper pole-vaulted into a second-place tie with Lebo at 262. Sahmel kept his flickering championship hopes alive with an eleventh-round 24, entering the final round in fourth position at 264.

The chase for the title became quite heated as the final round progressed. Lebo aced the first two holes of the round to regain a share of the lead with Lacey, who deuced the round's first three holes. Lacey quickly regrouped, however, to ace the remaining holes on the outward nine and re-establish a two-stroke lead on Lebo at the turn. Meanwhile, playing ahead of Lacey and Lebo in the penultimate pairing, Klapper posted a final-round 23 and set the clubhouse lead at 285. Stepping to the 16th tee one stroke behind Klapper and one stroke ahead of Lebo, Lacey struck perfect ace putts on both holes 16 and 17 and took a one-stroke lead to the 18th hole. Lacey strategically laid up the final hole for a tap-in deuce to capture his first PPA National Championship at 284. Klapper settled for runner-up honors at 285. Lebo carded a final-round 24 to finish in third place at 286. With his second final-day 21 on course # 3, Coradini leaped into fourth place at 288. Sahmel completed the event in fifth place at 290.

The PPA National Tour membership would like to extend thanks and express its appreciation to course manager and host professional Gary Hinshaw, his wife Patsy, and their staff for their hard work in preparing the Richmond, VA Putt-Putt Fun Center courses and facility for the National Championship week and for graciously hosting a week of very successful tournaments. The PPA National Championship tournament concluded the 2008 PPA National Tour schedule.

Article provided by Brad Lebo

Leaders of the 2008 PPA National Championship by Round

1st Round LeadersKevin Lacey, Wade Sahmel, Rainey Statum, and Steve Shively21 (15 under par)
2nd Round LeaderWade Sahmel44 (28 under par)
3rd Round LeadersJay Klapper and Wade Sahmel69 (39 under par)
4th Round LeadersBrad Lebo and Jay Klapper93 (51 under par)
5th Round LeadersBrad Lebo and Jay Klapper116 (64 under par)
6th Round LeadersBrad Lebo and Rainey Statum141 (75 under par)
7th Round LeaderBrad Lebo164 (88 under par)
8th Round LeaderBrad Lebo188 (100 under par)
9th Round LeaderBrad Lebo211 (113 under par)
10th Round LeaderKevin Lacey234 (126 under par)
11th Round LeaderKevin Lacey260 (136 under par)

 Scoreboard from the 2008 PPA National Championship
(Richmond, VA 18-20 September 2008)

1Kevin Lacey212623262624252021222624284-148150.00 $  2,000.00
2Jay Klapper232422242326262621262123285-147145.00 $  1,500.00
3Brad Lebo222424232325232423242724286-146140.00 $  1,200.00
4Andy Coradini232726262221252327212621288-144135.00 $  1,000.00
5Wade Sahmel212325262623242521262426290-142130.00 $     850.00
6Rainey Statum212427242223262423272426291-141125.00 $     700.00
7Greg Ward272226282521232723232523293-139120.00 $     650.00
8Jeff Carr242725232624222525222725295-137112.50 $     612.50
Darrell Anderson243025262322242427252520295-137112.50 $     612.50
10Cliff Matthews242623222225282525272524296-136102.50 $     562.50
Randy Reeves232327252324262324272328296-136102.50 $     562.50
12Rick Rybaczek252628242924232427232222297-13597.00 $     512.50
Jeffrey Smith252328252425252623242326297-13597.00 $     512.50
14Rick Baird282324262924232721252326299-13392.00 $     450.00
Daryl Freeman262124282326262628262223299-13392.00 $     450.00
John Bambling292524252424252326252524299-13392.00 $     450.00
17Charlie Greenwalt252727281926302323222327300-13286.00 $     375.00
Robert Johnson242327292427232524262325300-13286.00 $     375.00
Nate Nichols252624242527272322262823300-13286.00 $     375.00
20James Taylor262225302426242326242724301-13182.00 $     330.00
21Vince Batten232527262725272426212724302-13080.00 $     315.00
22Joel Baker272625242522282424252528303-12978.00 $     300.00
23Bill Kirby Jr.232424272624292725282621304-12875.00 $     287.50
Tony Jackson272629282427252323232326304-12875.00 $     287.50
25Michael Hitt252824252727232529242524306-12671.00 $     140.00
Tony Varnadore242524252825262628252525306-12671.00 $     140.00
27Rick Culverhouse222327282726262825252426307-12567.00
Greg Newport242528262423242530232629307-12567.00
29Ed Grajewski242724302628252424272426309-12364.00
30Manfred Stewart252532252326262526242726310-12258.00
Gary Hinshaw242524273024292722252627310-12258.00
Dave Taylor242524282824282626252725310-12258.00
Jerry Pinotti253027252426242627242626310-12258.00
James White232728262724262426272824310-12258.00
35Frank Warren242722272425303026272425311-12150.33
Buddy Taylor242628272724272724282425311-12150.33
Matt McCaslin252728272624282624262426311-12150.33
38Rusty Taylor262823252627252625282430313-11948.00
39Darrell Britt282427282325303024252426314-11846.00
Randy Orr272729262725282528252324314-11846.00
Gary Watson282127262726252622302927314-11846.00
42Mike Baldoza252825272925292526272624316-11643.50
Ricky Schults223228292228232825302722316-11643.50
44Paul Johns283127282725282427252126317-11542.00
45Bob Marcellino242625252830282826242826318-11441.00
Thomas Rawles262928262729262725242229318-11440.00
47Roger Beckerman282628272527242723283026319-11339.00
48Bill Baus252424283026282730262824320-11237.50
James Weber272630282725282924292522320-11237.50
50David McCollister242628252727272725332329321-11135.50
Stan Seethoff252829262926262725292229321-11135.50
52Tim Greenert302525233123283022313024322-11033.50
Mark Hasty272729292428242525282828322-11033.50
54Gary English253130292624262825252628323-10932.00
55Rick Alessi232628272732283022282529325-10731.00
56Dom Perry272425292729312730282623326-10629.50
David Jones232726262728332726283025326-10629.50
58Lewis Burton272727322727272928242925329-10328.00
59Danny Tatum263227292828353030363226359-7327.00
60Steve Shively2124302227253128    WD26.00
61Rich Handschuh2728262831283328    WD25.00


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