Brad Lebo Defeats Vince Batten and Dennis Biesma in Playoff for Victory in Charlottesville

7 June 2008 - Charlottesville, VA - On an oppressively hot and humid late spring day, long-time course owner and gracious Virginia Tour supporter Lloyd Wood and his staff welcomed the Virginia PPA Tour to the first of two weekend tournaments on the beautiful but challenging course # 2 in Charlottesville, VA. The course and its enigmatic carpets were the real winners of the day, as they completely perplexed the players and yielded embarrassingly-high field scoring. 2006 PPA National Champion Brad Lebo managed bogey-free rounds of 29, 31, and 29 for a 54-hole total of 89 to earn a spot in a three-way playoff with defending champion Vince Batten and PPA rookie sensation Dennis Biesma. In the ensuing 18-hole playoff, Lebo parred the first six holes, but rebounded to ace eight of the next eleven holes. With a playoff score of 29, Lebo defeated Batten and Biesma by one and three strokes, respectively, and in the process earned his third victory of the 2008 PPA season. PPA Hall of Fame legend Daryl Freeman finished in fourth position at 90. At 93, 2007 PPA ProPutters.com Classic Champion Greg Newport completed the event in fifth position.


Brad Lebo

Action began with Freeman taking the opening-round lead with a stellar round of 27, which eventually would tie Batten and two-time PPA National Doubles Champion Rick Rybaczek for the low round of the event. Veteran PPA professional Rick Shelton returned to tournament play after a lengthy hiatus by posting a first-round 28 and moving into second position. Lebo and Biesma lurked in a third-place tie at 29. 2007 VA Open Champion Matt Summey stood in fifth position at 30.

As the second round progressed, the baking heat and sunshine caused the course's carpet fibers to rise significantly. Field scoring rose dramatically as well, as no professional broke 30 in the event's middle round. Although each player only recorded a second-round 31, Lebo and Biesma leapfrogged into a tie with Freeman for the 36-hole lead at 60. Shelton fell into fourth position at 61. With a second-round 30, Batten soared into fifth position at 62.

The tightly-bunched 36-hole leader board led to exciting final-round drama. Playing in the first pairing, Batten carded a brilliant third-round 27 to take the clubhouse lead at 89. Paired together in the final group, Lebo and Biesma fought on the final nine holes to match Batten's score. In position to take command of the tournament, Biesma recorded an untimely double-bogey on the sidehill 12th hole. With aces on holes 14, 15, and 16, Lebo tied Batten for the lead. After both players made disappointing pars on the simple 17th hole, Lebo remained tied with Batten and Biesma stood one stroke off of the lead. On the two-tiered, tabletopped 18th hole, Lebo's ace effort rattled and was rejected by the upper-tier opening, leaving Lebo with an awkward and lengthy deuce putt from several feet in front of the teemat. Lebo successfully negotiated the miracle deuce attempt to join Batten at 89. Biesma followed with a clutch final-hole ace to force a three-way tie. A victor would be determined in an 18-hole playoff. Freeman finished in fourth position at 90. At 93, Newport rounded out the event's top-five finishers. In an impressive exhibition of courage, determination, and will, Rybaczek rebounded from an opening-round sextuple-bogey "8" on the sidehill 12th hole to move inside the final cash line, as he tied for sixth place with Shelton at 94. The cash line for the eight money spots awarded in the professional division of the tournament fell at 96.

In the 18-hole playoff, all three contestants started slowly. Batten aced the sixth hole to take a one-stroke lead on Biesma and a two-stroke lead on the aceless Lebo. Lebo jumpstarted his round with aces on holes 7, 8, and 9. Batten maintained the lead after the outward nine holes at 14. Lebo carded a front-nine 15, with Biesma three strokes behind the lead at 17. Lebo aced holes 10 and 11 to wrestle the lead from Batten by a stroke. After all three players deuced the 12th and 13th holes, Batten aced hole 14 to regain a share of the playoff lead with Lebo. Lebo answered with aces on holes 15, 16, and 17 to take a two-stroke lead on Batten into the final playoff hole. With honors, Lebo once again rattled the upper-tier opening of the 18th hole and faced a lengthy deuce putt from the lower tier, which this time he missed, settling for a bogey. Batten's ace effort to force sudden death narrowly missed, however, and Lebo survived to claim his third victory of the 2008 PPA season. Lebo carded a playoff score of 29, with Batten and Biesma shooting 30 and 32, respectively.


Mike Matthews

In the amateur division, 1983 VA State APA Champion Mike Matthews carded solid rounds of 31, 29, and 29 for a 54-hole total of 89 to dominate the amateur field and capture his first amateur title of the 2008 season. 1999 VA State APA Champion Malcolm Shumaker notched runner-up honors at 93. Reigning VA State APA Champion Conway Coffey brewed up a 94 to finish in third place. At 95, five-time VA State APA Champion Chuck Dibbs completed the tournament in fourth position. Two-time VA Open APA Champion Amy Smith rounded out the amateur division's top five finishers at 97.

Play commenced in the amateur division with the difficult course conditions getting the best of the amateur field, as no amateur contestant broke 30 in the opening round. Shumaker and Coffey percolated to the top of the opening-round amateur leader board with first-round 30's. Tidewater compatriots Matthews and Dibbs hovered in a third-place tie, just a stroke off of the lead at 31. A fifth-place tie at 32 included Smith and 2004 JPA National Champion John Petrie.

Posting the only round below 30 in the first two rounds of amateur division action, Matthews jumped into the second-round lead. Matthews' middle-round 29 gave him a 36-hole total of 60 and a two-stroke lead over the trio of Shumaker, Coffey, and Smith. Dibbs dropped five strokes off of the lead, alone in fifth position at 65.

Matthews eliminated any drama from the tournament's outcome by carding a second-consecutive 29 in the final round. Matthews cruised to a four-stroke victory with a 54-hole total of 89. Shumaker recorded a third-round 31 to take sole possession of second place at 93. Coffey finished in third position at 94. Dibbs rebounded with a third-round 30 to move into fourth place at 95 and earn the final amateur division expense reimbursement spot. At 97, Smith completed the event in fifth position.

The Virginia PPA Tour will return to action with the contesting of the tour's first major tournament of the season, the 72-hole Dogwood Festival Open, on course # 2 in Charlottesville, VA. Action commences at 10:00 a.m. on Sunday, June 8, 2008.

Article provided by Brad Lebo

Professional Division
(Charlottesville, VA - Course # 2 -
7 June 2008
)

RoundVirginia Prize 
Player123TotalPoints Money 
1Lebo, Brad2931298925.00 $ 175.00
2Batten, Vince3230278923.50 $ 105.00
Biesma, Dennis2931298923.50 $ 105.00
4Freeman, Daryl2733309022.00 $   75.00
5Newport, Greg3133299321.00 $   60.00
6Rybaczek, Rick3532279419.50 $   52.50
Shelton, Rick2833339419.50 $   52.50
8Baus, Bill3431319618.00 $   50.00
9Schooler, Ken3334309716.50
Rawles, Thomas3333319716.50
11Hinshaw, Gary3433329914.50
Stewart, Manfred3333339914.50
13Summey, Matt30363510113.00
14Grajewski, Ed36353110212.00
15Drexler, Jonathan36323510311.00

 Amateur Division
(Charlottesville, VA - Course # 2 -
7 June 2008
)

RoundVirginia Expense 
Player123TotalPoints Money 
1Matthews, Mike3129298920.00 $   30.00
2Shumaker, Malcolm3032319318.00 $   25.00
3Coffey, Conway3032329417.00 $   15.00
4Dibbs, Chuck3134309516.00 $   10.00
5Smith, Amy3230359715.00
6Petrie, John3234329814.00
7Shiflet, Shayne34392910213.00
8Matthews, Chris34383110312.00
9Sanner, Jerry34373410511.00
10Petrie, Bill36333710610.00
11Cyr, Chuck3535381089.00

 

 

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