Frank Warren Mounts Final-Round Charge to Notch His Second-Career PPA Senior National Championship
15 September 2010 - Lynchburg, VA - A field of 30 AARP-eligible players competed in the 72-hole PPA Senior National Championship, an event limited to PPA professionals 50 years of age and older, on courses # 1 and # 2 at the immaculately-maintained Lynchburg, VA Putt-Putt Fun Center on a sunny and pleasant late summer day. The event was held concurrently with the rounds of the PPA Tournament Players Championship tournament.
The impressive low scoring recorded by many in the field belied their advancing ages. Included among the litany of spectacular rounds was the brilliant final-round 23 on the challenging course # 1 layout fired by 2007 PPA Senior National Champion Frank Warren of Augusta, GA. Trailing third-round leader Jeff Carr by one shot entering the fourth round, Warren's closing-round heroics earned him a dramatic one-shot victory and the second PPA Senior National Championship title of his career. Warren, making his fifth-career start in the event, posted rounds of 26, 27, 23, and 23 for a 72-hole score of 99. Despite a very solid fourth-round 25, Carr settled for runner-up honors at 100. Three-time PPA Senior National Champion and defending champion Robert Johnson fired 104 to complete the event in third place. At 105, 2007 PPA National Champion Rick Baird finished fourth. Senior division rookie Jeffrey Smith rounded out the top five finishers at 106. 2008 PPA Senior National Champion Daryl Freeman and 2006 PPA National Doubles Champion Randy Orr each shot 22 during the event to tie for low round of the tournament. The cutoff for the fifteen money spots distributed in the event fell at a four-round total of 112.
In the amateur division, 51-year-old amateur Goliath Randal Smith of Stoneville, NC continued his season-long domination of the division. Lynchburg, VA resident Wade Driskill applied his extensive local course knowledge and experience, however, to feistily go toe-to-toe with Smith for the length of the tournament before ultimately bowing out by a single stroke. Smith manufactured rounds of 24, 24, 29, and 25 for a 72-hole total of 102. "It is a thrill to win my first National Championship title," remarked Smith. "It couldn't have happened at a better venue for me. Lynchburg has always been one of my favorite courses. A big thank you to Joe Aboid, as he has always been a gracious host." Trailing Smith by one stroke after three rounds, Driskill matched Smith's final-round 25 to finish in second place by a comfortable seven-stroke margin at 103. Appropriately, Smith and Driskill tied at 24 for low amateur division round of the event. Two-time APA Senior National Champion Larry Smith completed the tournament in third position at 110 and captured the event's final amateur division expense reimbursement allotment. At 114, 2008 APA Senior National Champion Bonnie White finished fourth. Lynchburg resident Bill Petrie rounded out the top five finishers with a score of 118.
Play in the 2010 PPA National Championship week continues with the contesting of the PPA National Championship and APA National Championship tournaments on courses # 1 and # 2 at the Lynchburg, VA Putt-Putt Fun Center. Rounds in the three-day, 180-hole PPA National Championship will tee off at 11:00 a.m. on Thursday, September 16 and Friday, September 17 and at 8:00 a.m. on Saturday, September 18. The final two rounds of the tournament on September 18 will be filmed by the Lynchburg, VA ABC-TV affiliate for production of a 30-minute television show. Action in the two-day, 144-hole APA National Championship will commence at 11:00 a.m. on Thursday, September 16 and Friday, September 17.
Article provided by Brad Lebo