14 June 2009 - Martinez, GA - Another hot, sunny morning provided the backdrop for the final of three weekend 54-hole Southern Putting Tour events on the Blue Course at the Martinez, GA Putt-Putt Fun Center. 2001 PPA National Champion Greg Ward
and 2007 PPA Senior National Champion Frank Warren
matched rounds of 27, 25, and 24 to complete regulation play tied with a 54-hole score of 76. The duo would head to an 18-hole playoff to determine a victor. Reigning GA State Champion Jeff Carr
charged into the clubhouse with a final-round 23 to tie for third place at 78 with two-time PPA National Doubles Champion Rick Rybaczek
, who notched his second consecutive third-place finish on tour. PPA Hall of Fame legend Daryl Freeman
continued his stellar weekend performance, opening the event with a tournament-low round of 22 and holding on to share fifth place with 2006 GA State Champion Michael Hitt
at 79. The final of the twelve cash spots distributed to the professional field fell at a score of 83.
Ward and Warren each recorded a score of 14 on the outward nine holes of the 18-hole playoff. Ward took command of the playoff after the turn, however, as Warren deuced the first six holes of the inward nine. Ward recorded four aces in that same stretch and opened up a four-stroke lead with three holes remaining. After each player aced the 16th hole, Ward prudently laid up the treacherous 17th hole for a tap-in deuce to secure the win. Ward ultimately defeated Warren by a playoff tally of 27-30 to earn his second victory of the 2009 PPA season.
In amateur division action, Wilson, NC standout Johnny Brown
and 2006 PPA Women's National Champion Vanette Block
completed two rounds of play deadlocked at a score of 53, three strokes clear of the rest of the amateur field. Despite a final-round 30, Brown was able to cling to a one-stroke victory with a 54-hole total of 83. In the process, Brown earned his second victory of the 2009 season. Block suffered a third-round 31 to drop into a second-place tie with defending champion Ben Blake
at 84. At 85, reigning North Carolina APA State Champion Todd Trent
completed the day in fourth position. 2002 North Carolina State Champion Ray Guthrie
rounded out the top five amateur division finishers, in fifth place at 87. The last of the ten amateur division expense reimbursement spots awarded in the tournament came at a total of 91 for the third consecutive event.
The Southern Putting Tour extends thanks to course owner and host PPA professional Mark Ross
and his staff for welcoming the tour to the picturesque Martinez, GA Putt-Putt Fun Center for a weekend of successful tour events. The tour greatly appreciated the extensive efforts made by Ross and his staff in preparing the course for tournament play. The Southern Putting Tour will resume action with two 54-hole events to be contested on course # 3 at the Gastonia, NC Adventure Landing complex. The first of those two tournaments will begin with patriotic spirit at noon on Saturday, July 4, 2009. Tee off for the second 54-hole event in Gastonia is scheduled for 10:00 a.m. on Sunday, July 5, 2009.