Jay Klapper Aces First Hole of Sudden Death in Playoff to Defeat Rick Baird for 2009 PPA Southern Open Title   

19 July 2009 - Martinez, GA - On a sunny and slightly breezy weekend, the PPA National Tour contested its third tournament of the 2009 season, the two-day, 144-hole PPA Southern Open, at the picturesque and historic Martinez, GA Putt-Putt Fun Center. The PPA Southern Putting Tour hosted and ran the tournament. In the months leading up to the event, course owner Mark Ross and maintenance director Stan Seethoff, both PPA professionals and tournament participants, worked tirelessly to prepare the Blue Course for the PPA Southern Open. As a result, the field of 39 professionals and 28 amateurs were treated to a course and grounds which were in immaculate shape and playing conditions which were ideal.

Jay Klapper

In a tightly-contested battle in the professional division, four players stepped to the final tee of the event with a chance to join a playoff. Playing in the penultimate pairing, 2005 PPA National Champion Jay Klapper established the 144-hole clubhouse lead with an 83-under par score of 205 after firing rounds of 26, 25, 27, 23, 27, 22, 29, and 26 for the event. 2007 PPA National Champion Rick Baird successfully converted a clutch ace effort on his final hole to match Klapper's total and force an 18-hole playoff. 2006 PPA National Champion Brad Lebo, who led the event by one stroke after seven rounds, and reigning PPA National Champion Kevin Lacey each failed to ace the last hole of regulation, missing the playoff by one stroke and settling for a tie for third place at 206. Martinez local putting icon Frank Warren dazzled the gallery with a spectacular first-day 72-hole total of 96, which included a tournament-low second-round 21, to seize a two-stroke overnight tournament lead. However, the well of aces went dry for Warren in the final four rounds on the oft-fickle Blue Course layout. Warren held on valiantly to ultimately share fifth place at 208 with two-time PPA National Doubles Champion Rick Rybaczek, who orchestrated a brilliant final-day charge up the leaderboard.

Rick Baird

The subsequent 18-hole playoff proved to be a roller coaster affair. After Klapper recorded a bogey on the playoff's second hole, Baird aced the third hole to take an early two-stroke lead. After the duo matched aces on the 4th and 5th holes, Baird bogeyed the challenging 6th hole. Klapper's ace on the same hole gave him a share of the lead. The players made the turn tied with scores of 13 on the outward nine. The contestants each aced three of the first five holes on the inward nine holes to stay deadlocked with four holes remaining. Aces by Klapper on holes 15 and 16 gave him a two-stroke cushion over Baird with two holes remaining. But then, with honors, Klapper suffered an untimely bogey on the tedious 17th hole. Baird took full advantage of the opening, acing the 17th hole to once again square the match. Deuces by both players on the 18th hole sent the playoff into sudden death after the contestants tied with playoff scores of 28. After Baird deuced the first hole of sudden death, Klapper aced the hole to secure the 2009 PPA Southern Open title. The victory was a continuation of recent stellar PPA National Tour play by Klapper, who in his two prior PPA National Tour events finished as runner-up to Kevin Lacey in the 2008 PPA National Championship and lost in a playoff to Greg Newport in the 2009 PPA Eastern Open.

Twelve qualifying spots for the PPA Tournament Players Championship were awarded to the top twelve finishers in the field who had not already earned such a spot. Players accepting those spots included Lebo, Warren, Rybaczek, Robert Johnson, Nate Nichols, Tony Jackson, Tony Varnadore, Gary English, Gary Watson, Randy Orr, Stan Seethoff, and Tim Greenert. The final of the sixteen money spots allocated in the professional division in the event fell at a score of 216.

Brandon Davis

In the amateur division, 2007 APA Tournament Players Champion Brandon Davis dominated the field, carding rounds of 25, 24, 26, 24, 27, 28, 23, and 26 for a 144-hole total of 203 and an eye-popping 10-stroke triumph. The teen putting prodigy posted an opening-day 72-hole total of 99 to take a three-stroke lead over the recently-surging Johnny Brown at the tournament's halfway mark. 2007 NC APA State Champion Chris Alley manufactured the biggest second-day charge at Davis' lead, however. Alley fired a sixth-round 25 to creep within three strokes of Davis with two rounds remaining. Davis charged back with a seventh-round 23, however, to establish a seven-stroke lead with one round left to play and coasted to victory with a closing-round 26. Alley earned runner-up honors at 213. Martinez local player Art Koerber performed steadily and impressively, completing the tournament in third place at 220. Brown finished in fourth position at 221. At 223, PPA Western Tour director Danny Tatum rounded out the amateur division's top five finishers. Accepting the six qualifying spots into the amateur division of the 2009 Tournament Players Championship which were distributed in the event were Koerber, Tatum, Mike Newman, Chris Hudson, David Myers, and Pat Simpson. The last of the ten amateur division expense reimbursement spots awarded in the tournament came at a 144-hole total of 228.

The PPA National Tour wishes to extend its collective thanks and gratitude to course owner Mark Ross and his staff for graciously welcoming the tour to the beautiful Martinez, GA Putt-Putt Fun Center for a very successful tournament weekend. The PPA National Tour returns to play on the weekend of August 15-16, 2009 on course # 2 at the Columbus, IN Putt-Putt Fun Center for the contesting of the 144-hole 2009 PPA Northern Open, which will be hosted by course owner Carl Miller and the Indiana and Great Lakes Tours. The first four rounds of the event will begin at noon on Saturday, August 15. The final four rounds of the tournament will tee off at 9:00 a.m. on Sunday, August 16.

Article provided by Brad Lebo

Professional Division of the 2009 PPA Southern Open
(Martinez, GA - Course Blue - 18-19 July 2009

RoundPoints Prize 
Player Name12345678TotalEarned Money 
1Jay Klapper2625272327222926205100.00 $  1,000.00
2Rick Baird242525242527282720598.00 $     800.00
3Brad Lebo222329262622292920695.00 $     562.50
Kevin Lacey232627252527272620695.00 $     562.50
5Frank Warren222126272928282720891.00 $     387.50
Rick Rybaczek282626272624252620891.00 $     387.50
7Greg Ward252627292624262620988.00 $     300.00
8Randy Reeves232628282724292521084.00 $     250.00
Jeff Carr292726242226282821084.00 $     250.00
Daryl Freeman272527272628282221084.00 $     250.00
11Greg Newport242627253025272721179.00 $     195.00
Robert Johnson262627312525252621179.00 $     195.00
13Nate Nichols262725272727302421375.00 $     182.50
Tony Jackson252927292822242921375.00 $     182.50
15Charlie Greenwalt302526312823282421572.00 $     175.00
16Tony Varnadore242928292624292721670.00 $     170.00
17Michael Hitt282626282926292521766.00
Bill Kirby302530242627292621766.00
Andy Coradini322629252825262621766.00
20Gary English262628283025292621860.00
Darrell Britt272826282926282621860.00
Allen Wall292725282531272621860.00
23Jeffrey Smith322628272528262922156.00
24Gary Watson282728312428272922254.00
25Ricky Schults322628272826263022352.00
26Mark Hasty242527312731322822548.50
Randy Orr312531262925273122548.50
Paul Johns293028272630282722548.50
Bobby Ward312827322425312722548.50
30Stan Seethoff283124282729273222646.00
31Tim Greenert302829292530292722745.00
32David McCollister283032292928292723244.00
33Lewis Burton282731293027283323343.00
34Steve Toomey312731242730313323442.00
35Matt McCaslin323328252828303323741.00
36Bill Baus302833322729303124040.00
37Mark Ross283335302830302824239.00
38John Todd353835313029343026238.00
39Dennis Biesma28282726322825---WD37.00

* Players listed in bold and italic font earned a qualification spots into the
2009 PPA Tournament Players Championship

Amateur Division of the 2009 PPA Southern Open
(Martinez, GA - Course Blue - 18-19 July 2009

RoundPoints Expense 
Player Name12345678TotalEarned Money 
1Brandon Davis2524262427282326203100.00 $       60.00
2Chris Alley282328262725272921398.00 $       60.00
3Art Koerber262429273128262922096.00 $       60.00
4Johnny Brown252524282930312922194.00 $       60.00
5Danny Tatum272832272929242722392.00 $       60.00
6Mickey Delucca272630263128263122590.00 $       60.00
7Larry Smith282826292928273122687.00 $       60.00
Billy Caudle293032292524302722687.00 $       60.00
9Mike Newman243031283025322722784.00 $       60.00
10Ben Blake302830292730262822882.00$       60.00
11Chris Hudson283032282730302422980.00
12Larry Hoover332629312627292923078.00
13Paula Gay252829293328273323276.00
14Todd Trent302832302729263123373.00
Adam Wall302931322630282723373.00
16Ray Guthrie302932263131302523468.00
David Myers313225312928302823468.00
Pat Simpson282935332825272923468.00
19Lynn Self252931312828333023564.00
20Wesley Beck303031302929263123662.00
21Adam Sahmel292728322931283523960.00
22Adam Smith363029292933303024658.00
23Bill Combs302933313428323024756.00
24James Chastain303029333130303524854.00
25Barb Mingo283134342830323325052.00
26Donald Ralph313135363330313025750.00
27Linwood Moist313333383431313326449.00
28Brad Dunn343939393331373929148.00

* Players listed in bold and italic font earned a qualification spots into the
2009 APA Tournament Players Championship



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