Reeves' Stellar Rounds Lead to Title
29 August 2010 - Martinez, GA - The Southern Putting Tour returned to the Blue Course at the Martinez, GA Putt-Putt Fun Center on August 29 for the contesting of the 2010 Georgia State Championship. After a warm up event on Saturday, players were perfecting shots in morning practice as the heat and humidity typical of August days in Augusta set in.
1995 PPA National Champion Bill Kirby, Jr. set the pace in round one, carding a 13 under par 23. Close behind at 24 were 1989 and 1998 PPA National Champion Lewis Burton, 1993 PPA National Champion Andy Coradini and 2005 PPA National Champion Jay Klapper. 2006 PPA National Champion Brad Lebo was one stroke back at 25.
Lebo carded a second round 24, putting him in a tie for the lead after two rounds at 49 with Coradini, who had a round of 11 under par. Tied for third at 50 were 2009 PPA National Champion Tony Varnadore and 2007 PPA Senior National Champion Frank Warren.
Varnadore and Lebo continued their steady morning rounds, with both tied for the lead after three rounds at 75. Warren and 1997 PPA National Champion Randy Reeves were tied for third two strokes back at 77.
After re-pairing and a one hour lunch break players again returned to the course for the final three rounds of the day. Carpets started showing the effects of the sunny, humid conditions and slowed considerably from morning rounds. Many of the season veterans took advantage of their years of experience and made speed adjustments that they used to their advantage.
Reeves showed in round four why he is a favorite in any tournament he enters. Even with the more difficult conditions he scored a fantastic 14 under par round of 22 to take the lead at 99. Also with a fine round was 2005 South Carolina Match Play Champion Darrell Britt, who shot 24 and was three behind Reeves at 102. Warren and 2007 Elton Davis Memorial Champion Tony Jackson trailed closely at 103.
Players continued to attack the course in round five. The course record is 20 on the Blue Course, held for a number of years by 2007 PPA National Champion Rick Baird. He apparently decided once is not enough, and tied his own record with a round of 16 under par, putting him in the hunt for the title at 125. Reeves round of 12 under par kept him in the lead and ahead of Baird by 2 at 123. Jackson carded a round of 11 under par and was in third at 128.
A final round battle ensued between Reeves and Baird for the title. Reeves made four of the first eight holes in the final round, seemingly a steady start. With misses on holes 9 through 12, Baird was able to make up ground. Reeves, however, steadied himself and came though with aces on holes 13 and 14. The key hole down the stretch turned out to be hole 15. Only 6 under par on the tee pad, Reeves hit a clutch ace on hole 15. Baird had the misfortune of bogeying the same hole. Reeves went on to make hole 16, and with the lead in hand wisely laid up the always treacherous hole 17. A par on the final hole was enough for a two stroke victory for Reeves and his second Georgia State Championship. Baird settled for runner up honors at 153. Varnadore and Warren shared third place with a score of 154.
In the amateur field, 2010 APA Southern Open Champion Randal Smith started out with a strong round of 11 under par. One stroke behind Smith were 2008 APA Georgia State Champion Todd Trent and 1993 APA North Carolina State Champion Keith Waters. Five players lurked behind at 9 under par 27.
From round two into round three the event became a three man race. Smith, Trent and three time SPT event winner Johnny Brown jockeyed and battled closely through round three. Smith was ahead at the break at 76, with Brown 4 strokes back at 80 and Trent close behind at 82.
Smith then put a major statement out to his competitors by firing a fourth round 25, giving him a score of 101. Brown and Trent struggled to rounds of 29 each and were 8 strokes behind Smith's torrid pace. Smith continued his strong scoring with a fifth round of 27 and increased his lead on both Brown and Trent. A final round of 31 gave Smith and eight stroke margin of victory at 159. Brown finished in second at 167, with Trent in third at 168.
The Southern Putting Tour wishes to thank Mark Ross and the entire staff at the Martinez Putt-Putt Fun Center for a successful weekend of events. The Tour will visit the High Point Putt-Putt Golf and Games for it's final regular season events on September 4 and 5.
Article provided by the Southern Putting Tour