13 June 2009 - Under sunny late afternoon skies, the Southern Putting Tour held the second of three weekend 54-hole events on the Blue Course at the Martinez, GA Putt-Putt Fun Center. 1993 PPA National Champion Andy Coradini
took an early commanding three-shot lead by firing a blistering opening-round 20, tying the existing single-round course record shared by Frank Warren
and Rick Baird
. Coradini recorded a second-round 25 to maintain a two-shot lead after 36 holes over playing partner and PPA Hall of Fame legend Daryl Freeman
, who moved into serious contention with a middle-round 23. Still leading Freeman by several strokes upon reaching the event's penultimate hole and with the tournament title seemingly in hand, Coradini took a major risk in an effort to break the existing 54-hole course record. Coradini bravely charged his ace effort on the dangerous 17th hole and missed, setting up a lengthy deuce putt from the back rail. The gamble was not costly, however, as Coradini successfully negotiated the difficult par-saving putt on the 17th hole and subsequently aced the 18th hole to establish a new 54-hole course record at 71. The victory was Coradini's first of his abbreviated 2009 PPA playing schedule. Freeman matched Coradini's final-round 26 to earn runner-up honors at 73. After posting an even-par 18 on his second nine holes of the tournament, 2008 Southern Putting Tour Match Play Champion Rick Rybaczek
rebounded impressively, carving out a three-round score of 75 to complete the event in third place. Martinez, GA local standout Stan Seethoff
made a late clubhouse run to fire a final-round 24 and finish in fourth position at 78. A fifth-place tie at 79 included 2004 North Carolina State Champion Gary English
and 2006 GA State Champion Michael Hitt
. The last of the thirteen money spots allocated in the tournament fell at a 54-hole total of 82.
In the amateur division, reigning Southern Putting Tour APA Champion Ben Blake
and Asheboro, NC's Mark Lawson
separated from the rest of the amateur field, matching rounds of 26, 29, and 27 to end regulation play deadlocked at a 54-hole score of 82. A winner would be determined in an 18-hole playoff. Competing in her first weekend of events in 2009, former PPA Women's National Champion Paula Gay
carded a stellar third-round 26 to pole-vault into a tie for third place at 85 with 2002 North Carolina State Champion Ray Guthrie
. Sharing fifth position at 86 were defending champion Chris Alley
and reigning North Carolina APA State Champion Todd Trent
. The final of the thirteen amateur division expense reimbursement spots awarded in the event came at a score of 91.
In the ensuing 18-hole amateur division playoff, Blake took a two-stroke lead at the end of the outward nine holes, leading Lawson by a tally of 14-16. Still trailing Blake by two strokes, Lawson stepped to the 17th tee with honors. After missing his ace, Lawson's challenging deuce attempt failed to find the bottom of the cup. With his ball still in play after four strokes, Lawson conceded the playoff win to Blake, who captured his second title of the 2009 season.
Action will resume on the Southern Putting Tour schedule with another 54-hole tournament to be contested on the Blue Course at the Martinez, GA Putt-Putt Fun Center. Play in that event will commence at 10:00 a.m. on Sunday, June 14, 2009.