Kevin Lacey Picks Up His First Victory Of the 2010 Season in Columbus, Indiana
30 May 2010 - Columbus, IN - The Indiana Putting Tour returned to an unfamiliar course for the Bill Hammons Memorial. The tour played Course 1 at the immaculately maintained Columbus Indiana facility for a six-round major. The course, traditionally one of the best and most skillful on tour, had not been played in a state event since both courses were recarpeted for the 2007 season. The recarpeting left several holes with tougher shots than they had traditionally, leading to a mentally demanding day for all the tour players on a warm Sunday afternoon. That did not bother veteran Kevin Lacey, who fired a 51-under par 165 to win his first title of the season. He edged Columbus pro Nate Nichols by three shots, as they lapped the field during the day. Jerry Pinotti was third with 177. James Weber and Tom Morrison split the last cash spot at 180.
Before play began, Indianapolis pro Shawn Gilliland spoke to the field about Bill Hammons, a long-time Indianapolis amateur who died five years ago. Gilliland spoke movingly about Hammons sportsmanship, genial nature, and genuine love of competition.
When action began on Course 1, the site of Hammons last career win in 2004, everyone needed to dig deep for their sportsmanship, as no one shot better than 29. By the third round, Lacey and Nichols started to separate from the rest of the pack. Nichols crafted a spectacular 24 in the third round, including 12 on the enigmatic back nine, to lead with an 81. Lacey shot a steady 82 to take second place. Tom Morrison was in third place with 88. That left Lacey and Nichols paired together after the lunch break, and they kept it a two-man race for the title.
In Round 4, Nichols posted a solid 26 to take a three-stroke lead over Lacey with a 28. Weber leaped into third place but was 13 strokes out at 120 and 10 strokes behind Lacey. In the fifth round, Lacey shot a 27 to pick up two strokes on Nichols, entering the final round one back. In the sixth round, Nichols still claimed a one-stroke lead into the turn, until he bogeyed the dangerous 10th hole. Lacey followed with an ace to force a lead change, and effectively clinched the tourney when Nichols threw away his title hopes with a bogey on hole 15. That gave Lacey a three-stroke lead. Pinotti, who won the first two IPT events this year, rallied for third place after a disastrous early stretch where he shot one-under for a 31-hole stretch. He crafted a strong 82 in the second half.
In the amateur division, teenager Brandon Davis completed a sweet Cincinnati sweep of the weekend events, winning the major by 18 shots with a 169. Decked out in full Duke University regalia to honor his 2010 NCAA Basketball champions, an outfit bought in Duke territory while at the PPA Southern Open in nearby Burlington, N.C., Davis fired in shot after shot like his idol J.J. Redick. Davis won his third tournament in four tries on the Indiana Tour. Rick Ossenfort was second with 187 and Barb Mingo third at 188.
The tour offers sincere thanks to Carl and Karen Miller for their hospitality during Memorial Day Weekend. The Millers, friendly and genial, always go beyond the call of duty to provide a full lunch spread for the players and they are a treasure to the Putt-Putt community. The Indiana Tour will next play June 12-13 in a combined weekend with the Great Lakes Tour. A doubles tournament will be part of the weekend.
Article provided by James Weber