Bill Kirby, Jr. Dominates Field to Earn Emotional Victory in Richmond, VA
24 July 2010 - Richmond, VA - The Virginia PPA Tour ventured to the immaculately-maintained Richmond, VA Putt-Putt Fun Center to contest the first of two weekend tournaments, a 54-hole event on historic course # 3. The only thing hotter than the day's record-setting oppressive mid-summer heat was the magical putting wand of PPA Hall of Fame member Bill Kirby, Jr., who recorded a long-overdue, wire-to-wire victory in impressive fashion.
After having been one of the sport's winningest and most dominant professionals during the 1980's and 1990's, Kirby drastically reduced his playing schedule throughout much of the past decade. While still highly competitive, Kirby endured a victory drought during that period. After rededicating himself to the game in 2010, Kirby ended that drought in style by firing rounds of 24, 25, and 24 to notch an emphatic three-stroke triumph with a 54-hole total of 73. Kirby dedicated the emotional win to the memory of his mother, Mrs. Marian Kirby, a highly-respected and beloved Fayetteville, NC resident who passed away in December 2009 at the age of 88.
2007 PPA National Champion Rick Baird charged into the clubhouse with a final-round 24 to earn runner-up honors at 76. At 77, three-time USPMGA U.S. Open Champion Matt McCaslin completed the event in third position. A five-way, fourth-place logjam at 78 included reigning VA State Champion Rick Rybaczek, David McCollister, 1991 VA State Champion Ed Grajewski, 2006 PPA National Champion Brad Lebo, and 2009 PPA Eastern Open Champion Greg Newport. Kirby, Baird, Grajewski, and Newport tied at 24 for the tournament's low round in the professional division. The final of the eleven money spots awarded in the event fell at a 54-hole total of 81.
In the amateur division, Richmond local standout Malcolm Shumaker employed his extensive local course knowledge and experience to capture a wire-to-wire, two-stroke victory. Shumaker followed a tournament-low opening round of 23 with rounds of 27 and 29 to post a 54-hole total of 79 and earn his second win of the 2010 season. 2004 JPA National Champion John Petrie finished alone in second place at 81. At 83, James LeBrun, Joey Graybeal, and 2008 APA National Doubles Champion Mike Matthews tied for third position and garnered the final amateur division expense reimbursement spots allocated in the event.
The Virginia Tour will return to action with the contesting of its third major tournament of the season, the 108-hole Virginia Open, on course # 3 at the Richmond, VA Putt-Putt Fun Center. Play in that event will commence at 9:30 a.m. on Sunday, July 25, 2010.
Article provided by Brad Lebo