2 August 2009 - Columbus, IN - Nate Nichols
picked a great time to win his first state tour event of the season. The Columbus, Indiana. pro won the Legends Classic on Course 2 at his home facility, which will also host the PPA Northern Open on August 15-16. Nichols used consistently sweet shooting to post a 195, 93-under par, to win by three strokes over Charlie Greenwalt
of Indianapolis. Nichols was just three strokes off the PPA scoring record for a complete eight-round tournament (192) set in 2002 by Randy Reeves
on the Red Course in Martinez, Ga. Ironically, Reeves was in the 11-player pro field for the tourney, which provided some low scores early and often.
Nichols was one of four players under 100 after the first half of the two-day tournament. He was in at 97, three strokes behind defending PPA national champion Kevin Lacey
, who posted an outstanding 94, which included a third-round 21. Greenwalt and John Ventura
were tied for third at 98, as Ventura closed with a 21, one off the course record.
Day 2 began with Nichols briefly taking the lead in Round 5 before taking a 3 and a 4 on the back nine. Paired with Lacey in the last group, Nichols was able to recover and match him in the first rounds, as both shot identical 26-25 rounds to start. Greenwalt stood five shots behind Lacey heading into the final two rounds.
Round 7 belonged to Nichols, who fired an 11 on each nine for a 22 to take the lead, while Lacey struggled with a 28. Greenwalt posted a strong 23 to tie Lacey at 173, and both were three shots behind Nichols at 170. Meanwhile, 2008 Northern Open champ Jerry Pinotti
, who was tied for sixth place entering the day, moved into contention with a 68 for three rounds. He entered the final 18 at 175, five back.
Pinotti finished with a 24 and an outstanding 92 for the day but the leaders didn't give him enough of an opening. Greenwalt shot 25, but Nichols withstood the pressure with a solid 25 to close. Pinotti ended in third place at 199. Lacey was fourth at 200, and Ventura took the last cash spot with 206. Although he didn't crack the payroll for the tourney, Mark Hasty
carded the days best round, a 21.
In the amateur division, Cincinnati teenager Brandon Davis
added to his impressive season by winning the Legends title for the second straight year. Coming off a dominating performance in the 2009 Southern Open in Martinez, in which his 203 beat all the professionals that weekend, Davis had to call on his winning experience to pull out the win in Columbus for his sixth IPT title of the year. He was locked in a head-to-head match with Rick Ossenfort
on Day 2. After Ossenfort fired a 24 in the seventh round, the pair was tied heading into the final 18. Davis took a two-stroke lead midway through the round, but Ossenfort tied it with six holes to go. They remained tied until hole 16 before Davis aced 16 and 17 to take a two-shot advantage.
The IPT offers a sincere thanks to Columbus course owner Carl Miller, who keeps the course well-maintained and always goes beyond the call of duty to provide lunch for the players.
The tour once again thanks Management & Training Corporation of Edinburgh, Indiana for adding a $100 sponsorship to the tournament. The IPT will return to Columbus for a Thursday night special Aug. 13 in a prep tournament for the Northern Open that weekend.