Larry Smith Caps Off Stellar 2009 Amateur Campaign By Capturing 2009 APA National Championship

Larry Smith

18 September 2009 - Orlando, FL - After recording four top-six finishes in the past four APA National Championship tournaments, including a 2006 playoff loss to Caleb Kennedy, two-time APA Senior National Champion Larry Smith finally emerged victorious with a hard-fought, come-from-behind triumph in the two-day, eight-round event, contested at the picturesque Orange Lake Resort and Country Club's Putt-Putt Golf facility in Orlando, FL. Smith fired rounds of 26, 28, 32, 27, 25, 26, 27, and 27 for a 144-hole total of 218, enough to defeat 2007 NC APA State Champion Chris Alley by two strokes. In 2009, Smith also notched amateur division titles in the PPA Eastern Open and PPA Senior National Championship and well as a runner-up finish in the PPA Tournament Players Championship and a third-place finish in the PPA Classic. Despite his impressive and lengthy career resume, Smith remained humble in victory. "I feel quite fortunate to have won such a great event," said the 52-year-old facilities manager from Birmingham, AL. "There were many great players in the APA field, and I have been truly blessed to have won the greatest prize that an APA player can win."

Chris Alley

Play commenced in the amateur division with 2007 APA National Doubles Champion Adam Sahmel posting a brilliant first-round 24 to seize a one-shot opening-round lead over 2009 Reunion Tournament APA Champion Conway Coffey. With a second-round 28, Sahmel remained atop the amateur leaderboard after 36 holes, tied at 52 with reigning Southern Putting Tour APA Champion Ben Blake, who turned in a second-round 25. Sahmel and Blake matched third-round 29's and continued to share the lead after 54 holes at 81. Coffey hovered just two strokes behind the leaders, in third position at 83. With Sahmel struggling in the day's final round, Blake grabbed sole possession of the lead at the tournament's midpoint with a 72-hole total of 108. Alley and 2003 APA National Champion Bonnie White made the biggest moves of the fourth round, shooting 25 and 24, respectively. Alley completed the day at 109, just one stroke off of Blake's lead, with White alone in third position at 110. Smith maneuvered into contention, alone in fourth place at 113.

Bonnie White

The second day of action featured numerous lead changes in the amateur division. With Blake suffering a fifth-round 33, Alley leaped to the top of the amateur scoreboard with a 90-hole total of 136. Smith carded a fifth-round 25 to move into second place at 138. White stood in third position at 139, with Blake dropping into fourth at 141. Alley and Smith matched sixth-round 26's to move further ahead of the rest of the amateur division. Alley established the 108-hole lead at 162, with Smith remaining in second position at 164. At 167, White held third place, with Sahmel jumping back into fourth position at 172 with a sixth-round 27. After seven rounds, the tournament developed into a three-player race. Smith crafted a seventh-round 27 to leapfrog into the 126-hole lead at 191. Alley endured two seventh-round double bogeys en route to a round of 31 and dropped into second place at 193. White entered the final round in third place at 196.

Smith completed his quest for the amateur division's grandest honor by recording a solid eighth-round 27 for a 144-hole total of 218, 70-under-par. That score earned Smith a two-shot victory over runner-up Chris Alley, who also shot a last-round 27 to finish at 220. At 225, White completed the event in third place. A two-way, fourth-place tie at 228 included Blake and Jason Sheffield, who charged into the clubhouse with a final-round 26. The final of the sixteen amateur division expense reimbursement spots awarded in the tournament came at a 144-hole score of 233.

The APA National Championship tournament concluded the 2009 APA National Tour schedule.

Article provided by Brad Lebo

Leaders of 2009 APA National Championship by Round

1st Round LeaderAdam Sahmel24 (12 under par)
2nd Round LeadersAdam Sahmel and Ben Blake52 (20 under par)
3rd Round LeadersAdam Sahmel and Ben Blake81 (27 under par)
4th Round LeaderBen Blake108 (36 under par)
5th Round LeaderChris Alley136 (44 under par)
6th Round LeaderChris Alley162 (54 under par)
7th Round LeaderLarry Smith191 (61 under par)


Scoreboard from the 2009 APA National Championship
(Course Order: Day 1 = F-M-F-M, Day 2 = M-F-M-F)
(Orlando, FL  17-18 September 2009)

1Larry Smith2628322725262727218-70150.00 $100.00
2Chris Alley3026282527263127220-68145.00 $100.00
3Bonnie White3025312429282929225-63140.00 $100.00
4Ben Blake2725292733322629228-60132.50 $100.00
Jason Sheffield3126293129292726228-60132.50 $100.00
6Michael Foster2830282928312728229-59122.50 $100.00
Lynn Self2629343127282727229-59122.50 $100.00
8Adam Sahmel2428293430272929230-58112.50 $100.00
Alan Sahmel2930312926322528230-58112.50 $100.00
10Ken Stanfill3129282832292925231-57101.00 $100.00
Mickey Delucca2928283128292929231-57101.00 $100.00
Phil Kosobucki2634273030262731231-57101.00 $100.00
13Danny Tatum3629272228362628232-5694.00 $100.00
Jeff Brown2728342734272728232-5694.00 $100.00
Mike Matthews2826362628302830232-5694.00 $100.00
16Todd Trent2832293028272732233-5590.00 $100.00
17Malcolm Shumaker3229252830303228234-5487.00
Wade Driskill3129322828282830234-5487.00
19Conway Coffey2528303232293029235-5384.00
20Chris Hudson2929342632283028236-5280.00
Pat Simpson2931292932292928236-5280.00
Terry Smith3231293030282630236-5280.00
23Chuck Dibbs3225293135263029237-5176.00
24David Myers2928322927293331238-5074.00
25Barb Mingo3231272731293033240-4871.00
Randy Baldwin3129343226273130240-4871.00
27Bill Combs3033312437272931242-4668.00
28Keith Waters2929322928373030244-4466.00
29Trevor Lewin2834302932352730245-4364.00
30Art Koerber2832313132343028246-4262.00
31Rodney Ashley3133332733342932252-3660.00
32Adam Smith2933303336372931258-3058.00
33Todd Cabe3134323232353531262-2656.00
34Gilles Delorme3336363431353428267-2154.00
35Jason Sheffield Jr47444144383640403304252.00
36Steven Ventura3331303132WITHDREW50.00




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