Kevin Lacey Coasts to His Second-Career Tournament Players Championship Title
15 September 2010 - Lynchburg, VA - On a sunny and pleasant late summer morning, the PPA National Tour gathered to contest the 72-hole PPA Tournament Players Championship on the cleverly-designed course # 1 and # 2 layouts at the picturesque Lynchburg, VA Putt-Putt Fun Center. The tournament featured closed fields in both the professional and amateur divisions limited to players who had qualified for the event through tournaments held on the 2010 PPA National Tour schedule.
After a plethora of low scoring lit up the leaderboard during the opening rounds, 2008 PPA National Champion Kevin Lacey of Cincinnati, OH posted a tournament-low round of 22 in the event's third round to take permanent command of the contest. With rounds of 26, 23, 22, and 24, Lacey recorded an impressive 72-hole total of 95 and cruised to a four-stroke triumph, the second of his legendary PPA career in the event. Two-time PPA Senior National Champion Frank Warren made a spirited clubhouse charge with stellar finishing rounds of 23 and 23 to leapfrog into second place at 99. Second-round leader Jeff Carr finished in third position at 100. After lurking within a single stroke of Lacey's third-round lead at a 54-hole score of 72, 2006 PPA National Champion Brad Lebo held on to tie 2008 NC State Champion Ricky Schults for fourth place at 101. Schults carded a third-round 22 to tie Lacey as well as PPA Hall of Fame legend Daryl Freeman and 2006 PPA National Doubles Champion Randy Orr for the tournament's low round. The cash line for the thirty money spots awarded in the tournament fell at a four-round score of 112.
In the amateur division, 51-year-old University of North Carolina-Greensboro sophomore Randal Smith of Stoneville, NC was pushed to the limit by Lynchburg, VA local standout Wade Driskill, but escaped with a hard-fought one-stroke win, his sixth of the 2010 national tour season. Rounds of 24, 24, 29, and 25 gave Smith a 72-hole total of 102 and a wire-to-wire triumph. Smith's grand catalog of 2010 national tour amateur division victories includes the Southern, Eastern, and Northern Opens; the ProPutters.Com Classic; the Senior National Championship; and now the Tournament Players Championship. "I played my best in the Tournament Players Championship," noted Smith. "It was a great effort on the part of Wade Driskill. I feel fortunate to get the win over such a great competitor." Driskill crept within a stroke of Smith's lead after three rounds, but a final-round 25 left him a stroke short of a playoff, alone in second position at 103. A two-way, third-place tie at 107 included perennial amateur division contender Joey Graybeal and PPA Western Tour Director Danny Tatum, who continued his strong week of play. 2010 PPA Western Open APA Champion Pat Simpson completed the event in fifth position at 109. The final of the fifteen amateur division expense reimbursement spots distributed in the event came at a 72-hole score of 121.
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