13 March 2010 - Martinez, GA - After heavy rain during the week and again on Friday night, the Southern Putting Tour opened it's season on the Red Course at the immaculately maintained Martinez, GA Putt-Putt Fun Center. Twenty five pros and nineteen amateurs were welcomed by damp carpets and swirling winds, which was the norm for the entire weekend.
The first round was dominated by two stalwarts of the Southern Putting Tour. Reigning PPA National Champion Tony Varnadore
and reigning GA State Champion and 108 hole record holder Greg Newport
set the early pace with a blistering rounds of 22. Jay Klapper
and Tony Jackson
were tied for third place at 24. Varnadore cooled quickly in the second round, only carding a score of 5 under par. Second round leaders were Newport and Greg Ward
, both with a score of 48, followed closely by Jackson and Darrell Britt
at 49. Ward followed up with his best round of the day, 22, to finish in the winners circle at 70. Jackson finished with 73, followed by Newport at 75. The cash line for the event was 80.
In the APA division, Duncan, SC native Terry Hendrix
showed some time away from the game did nothing to diminish his putting talents, as he grabbed the first round lead with 24. Reigning GA State Champion Todd Trent
followed closely at 25, and five players were tied for third place at 27. Hendrix had major troubles in the second round and fell out of contention. Trent led the pack after two rounds with 52, followed by APA veteran Chris Alley
at 55 and tied at 56 were 2006 Ladies National Champion Vanette Block
and local favorite Mike Newman. Newman struggled in the third round, scoring an untimely 33. Block finished with a solid round of 27, which was one stroke off the pace set by Trent and Alley, who both finished 54 holes with scores of 82. In a highly competitive playoff, Alley bested Trent by shooting 23 to Trent's 25.
The players would break for lunch and prepare to regroup for an afternoon event, also on Martinez' Red Course.