Epic Clubhouse Charge Earns Greg Ward a One-Stroke Victory in White Lake, NC 

25 April 2009 - White Lake, NC - The Southern Putting Tour gathered on a sunny spring morning at the festive setting of the White Lake, NC Putt-Putt facility to contest the first of three weekend tour events. The players unexpectedly were greeted by pristine new carpets which recently had been placed throughout the course. Predictably, the week-old carpets required aggressive play and much adaptation and resulted in minimal separation of the bulk of field scoring.

Greg Ward

In his inaugural 2009 tour appearance, 2001 PPA Hall of Fame inductee Greg Ward took a scenic route to an eventual one-stroke victory. Ward opened his 2009 campaign with a brilliant 23 to assume the first-round lead. A pedestrian middle-round 29, however, dropped Ward into fifth place at 52 after 36 holes, four strokes off of the blistering pace being set by two-time South Carolina State Match Play Champion Darrell Britt. Ward continued his sluggish mid-tournament effort on the outward nine of the final round, posting a lackluster front-nine 15. But with grit and fortitude befitting the sport's all-time victories leader, Ward refocused to ace eight of his final nine holes, including the last six, to record a 54-hole total of 77 and notch a hard-fought one-stroke triumph. Britt and the recently-resurgent Manfred Stewart shared runner-up honors at 78. Beating only six players in the field entering the final round, 2006 GA State Champion Michael Hitt fired an inspired, tournament-low closing-round 22 to pole-vault into a fourth place tie with 2005 PPA National Champion Jay Klapper at 81. The cash line for the seventeen money spots awarded in the tournament fell at 85.

Vanette Block

In the amateur division, 2006 PPA Women's National Champion Vanette Block appeared in command of the tournament after 36 holes. At 55, she enjoyed a three-stroke lead over a quartet of amateurs. With a third-round 32, however, Block gave new life to the amateur field and allowed four other players to join her atop the leaderboard at the end of regulation play. The cast of five former PPA professionals bunched at 87 and destined for an 18-hole playoff included Block, 1998 North Carolina APA State Champion Billy Caudle, two-time Ray Browning Memorial APA Champion Barb Mingo, reigning Southern Putting Tour APA Match Play Champion Chuck Nance, and two-time North Carolina APA State Champion Jimmy Comer. The last of the fourteen amateur division expense reimbursement spots allocated in the event fell at 92.

In the ensuing 18-hole amateur playoff, Nance carded a front-nine 13 to seize a one-stroke lead over all four of his opponents. Disaster struck for Nance at the 10th hole, however, as he recorded a double bogey. Block took advantage of the opportunity, magically acing the enigmatic 10th and 11th holes to move into the lead by one stroke. Comer aced the 12th hole to grab a share of the lead with Block at six-under par. Block rebounded with consecutive aces on holes 13-15 to increase her lead to three strokes over Caudle, Nance, and Comer. Upon deucing the final three holes, Block posted a playoff score of 27 to capture her third amateur title in six events in 2009. Caudle and Nance each carded a playoff score of 28. Comer and Mingo shot 29 and 31, respectively.

The Southern Putting Tour will resume action with another 54-hole event to be held on course # 1 at the White Lake, NC Putt-Putt facility. Play is scheduled to commence at approximately 2:30 p.m. on Saturday, April 25, 2009.

Article provided by Brad Lebo

Professional Division
(White Lake, NC - Course # 1 - 25 April 2009)

Player Name123TotalPointsMoney
1Greg Ward2329257740.00150.00
2Darrell Britt2523307833.50100.00
Manfred Stewart2427277833.50100.00
4Jay Klapper2526308131.5078.00
Michael Hitt3128228131.5078.00
6James White2627298229.5068.00
Dennis Biesma2628288229.5068.00
8Robert Johnson2726308326.5053.00
Brad Lebo3027268326.5053.00
Jeff Carr2427328326.5053.00
Bill Baus2827288326.5053.00
12Rick Baird2528318423.5043.00
Tony Jackson2929268423.5043.00
14Gary Watson2928288519.5027.00
Greg Newport2924328519.5027.00
Daryl Freeman2925318519.5027.00
Tony Varnadore2930268519.5027.00
Randy Orr2829288519.5027.00
Bill Kirby Jr3029268519.5027.00
20Stan Seethoff2826328616.00
21Randal Smith3128288714.50
Ricky Schults3028298714.50
23Frank Warren2831298812.50
Rick Rybaczek2630328812.50
25Vince Batten3126328910.00
Gary English2930308910.00
Chris Bunting3426298910.00
28Randy Carter322830907.50
Randy Reeves302733907.50
30Lewis Burton302833916.00
31Bob Jackson342632925.00
Gary Hester322832925.00
33Michael Cardwell303133945.00
34Steve Toomey3531351015.00

 Amateur Division
(White Lake, NC - Course # 1 - 25 April 2009)

Player Name123TotalPointsMoney
1Vanette Block2926328740.0025.00
2Billy Caudle2932268732.5019.00
Barb Mingo3228278732.5019.00
Chuck Nance2632298732.5019.00
Jimmy Comer3227288732.5019.00
6David Myers3031288929.5015.00
Todd Trent3030298929.5015.00
8Ben Blake3227319027.5015.00
Larry Smith2929329027.5015.00
10Johnny Brown3031309125.5013.00
Lynn Self3130309125.5013.00
12Bonnie White3131309223.0010.00
Jeff Brown3530279223.0010.00
Keith Waters2932319223.0010.00
15Tommy Hutchinson3233289319.00
Mark Lawson2734329319.00
Donald Ralph3432279319.00
Randy Simpson2932329319.00
Steve Helton3226359319.00
20Ray Guthrie3131329416.00
21Frankie Peters3634279714.50
Chris Alley3333319714.50
23Malcolm Shumaker3133349813.00
24Adam Smith3434319911.50
David Gregor3234339911.50
26Amy Smith35323310010.00
27Linwood Moist3332361019.00
28Bill Combs3435361058.00



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