Rick Baird Captures 2011 PPA ProPutters.Com Classic In Dominant Fashion

Rick Baird

13 September 2011 - Memphis, TN - The PPA National Tour held the second tournament of the 2011 PPA National Championship week, the tenth annual 72-hole PPA ProPutters.Com Classic, on courses # 2 and # 3 at Aubrey Smith's sprawling Memphis, TN Putt-Putt Fun Center. With opening rounds of 24, 25, and 24, 2007 PPA National Champion Rick Baird, 54, an IT manager from Charlotte, NC, entered the closing round tied with playing partner Jeffrey Smith for the 54-hole lead at 73. Baird posted an outward nine score of 12 in the fourth round to move two strokes ahead of Smith and followed with an inward nine 12 to cruise to a four-stroke victory and earn the $400.00 winner's check with a 72-hole total of 97. The victory was the culmination of a stellar 2011 season for Baird, a season in which he also recorded a perfect "18" during a Virginia Tour event on course # 3 in Richmond, VA. "It was awesome to win another National Tournament," noted Baird following his triumph. "Jeff (Smith) and I battled throughout the whole tournament and it was very rewarding to go against such high quality of competition in my group and come out on top against such a strong field of players."

Smith carded a final-round 28 to drop into a tie for second place at 101 with two-time PPA Senior National Champion Bill Baus and 2010 Louisiana Open Champion Joe Lea. Reigning PPA Western Open Champion Frank Warren and teen putting prodigy Olivia Prokopova of the Czech Republic shared fifth position at 102. The last of the 34 money spots distributed in the tournament fell at a 72-hole score of 112. Low round honors for the event went to Smith and Lea, who each shot 22 on course # 3 in the third round.

Danny Tatum

Taking a cue from the professional division, action in the amateur division also featured a dominant four-stroke triumph. 2010 Louisiana Open APA Champion Danny Tatum and two-time Oklahoma APA State Champion Jason Van Buskirk charged out of the starting gates with matching initial-round 22's, the low round of the tournament in the amateur division. Tatum, a 49-year-old General Manager at Beauregard Country Club from DeRidder, LA, continued his strong play in the second round, firing 25 to open up at four-stroke lead over Van Buskirk at 47 at the event's halfway mark. Closing with a pair of 27's, Tatum posted a 72-hole total of 101 to capture his first-career National Tour amateur division title after multiple previous close misses. "I was feeling good about my game leading up to the week of the Nationals in Memphis," commented Tatum. "I still have some work to do, but my success in large part is due to two key factors: my belly length putter and my supportive wife." Van Buskirk notched runner-up honors at 105. At 106, defending champion Randal Smith finished third. Fresh off of his victory in the 2011 APA National Doubles Championship a day earlier, Johnny Brown completed the event in fourth position at 110. 2007 NC APA State Champion Chris Alley rounded out the amateur division's top five finishers at 111. The final of the sixteen amateur division expense reimbursement spots allocated in the event came at a four-round score of 122.

Play in the 2011 PPA National Championship week will resume at 10:00 a.m. on Wednesday, September 14, 2011 on courses # 2 and # 3 at the Memphis, TN Putt-Putt Fun Center. At that time, two tournaments, the 72-hole PPA Tournament Players Championship and the 72-hole PPA Senior National Championship, will be held simultaneously as part of the same tournament.

Article provided by Brad Lebo

Professional Division of the 2011 ProPutters.Com Classic
(Memphis, TN- Course # 3-2-3-2 - 13 September 2011)

Player Name1234TotalEarnedMoney
1Rick Baird242524249780.00 $    400.00
2Bill Baus2425252710176.00 $    298.33
Joe Lea2628222510176.00 $    298.33
Jeffrey Smith2625222810176.00 $    298.33
5Frank Warren2426242810271.00 $    225.00
Olivia Prokopova2725272310271.00 $    225.00
7Greg Newport2524272710367.00 $    195.00
Kevin Lacey2727262310367.00 $    195.00
9Greg Ward2528272410460.00 $    166.00
Tony Varnadore2526282510460.00 $    166.00
Cliff Matthews2426282610460.00 $    166.00
Jay Klapper2725242810460.00 $    166.00
Rick Culverhouse2626252710460.00 $    166.00
14Brice Bergesen2628252610552.00 $    145.00
Rick Rybaczek2528282410552.00 $    145.00
Jeff Carr2926242610552.00 $    145.00
17Brad Lebo2729262410649.00 $    135.00
18Mike Baldoza2527272810747.50 $    127.50
Randy Reeves2425302810747.50 $    127.50
20Dennis Biesma2928262510845.00 $    115.00
Jeff McDonald2527292710845.00 $    115.00
John Bambling2630262610845.00 $    115.00
23Joel Baker2730282410943.00 $    105.00
24Michael Hitt2928292411040.50 $      92.50
Tim Jones2729282611040.50 $      92.50
Ricky Schults2729282611040.50 $      92.50
Daryl Freeman2629262911040.50 $      92.50
28James Weber3127282511135.50 $      81.67
Pat Simpson2727292811135.50 $      81.67
Chance Marett2528292911135.50 $      81.67
Gary Watson2927262911135.50 $      81.67
Ken Hastings2729233211135.50 $      81.67
Andy Coradini2926272911135.50 $      81.67
34Art Diamond2626332711227.50 $        8.00
Robert Johnson2728302711227.50 $        8.00
Thomas Rawles2731262811227.50 $        8.00
Byron Kirby3028292511227.50 $        8.00
Jerry Pinotti2826322611227.50 $        8.00
Jim Cruse2726293011227.50 $        8.00
Mike Chisum2529322611227.50 $        8.00
Charlie Greenwalt2727302811227.50 $        8.00
Danny McCaslin2629322511227.50 $        8.00
Nate Nichols2434302411227.50 $        8.00
44Bob Marcellino2731262911320.50  
Ricard Lockner2629292911320.50  
Lee Messinger2632262911320.50  
Tony Jackson2828312611320.50  
48Ed Grajewski3130292411417.00  
Matt McCaslin3231272411417.00  
Stan Seethoff2931262811417.00  
51John Ventura2731302711514.50  
Rainey Statum2927322711514.50  
53Darrell Britt3126293011611.50  
Gary Hinshaw2934262711611.50  
James White3028283011611.50  
Joe Shirey2732302711611.50  
57Paul Johns302728321179.00  
58David Barnett323126291188.00  
59Harry Sykes303429261196.00  
Jeff Spainhour273329301196.00  
David Jones292834281196.00  
62Dom Perry332932271215.00  
David McCollister293131301215.00  
Randy Orr283231301215.00  
65Greg Roberts323129321245.00  
66John Napoli35WD  WD5.00  

 Amateur Division of the 2011 ProPutters.Com Classic
(Memphis, TN- Course # 2-3-2-3 - 13 September 2011)

Player Name1234TotalEarnedMoney
1Danny Tatum2225272710180.00 $    40.00
2Jason Van Buskirk2229272710578.00 $    40.00
3Randal Smith2727242810676.00 $    40.00
4Johnny Brown2728272811074.00 $    40.00
5Chris Alley2431263011172.00 $    40.00
6Chris Chafin2830262811270.00 $    40.00
7Tomas Feix2829292711367.00 $    40.00
Phil Kosobucki3328282411367.00 $    40.00
9Bonnie White3227292611464.00 $    40.00
10Joey Graybeal3128272911562.00 $    40.00
11Bryan Gentry2829332611660.00 $    40.00
12Larry Smith2729303211857.00 $    40.00
John McCabe2928283311857.00 $    40.00
14Alan Sahmel2533313112054.00 $    30.00
15Lynn Self3229293212249.75 $    30.00
Charles Cox2930283512249.75 $      5.00
Greg Simpson2530353212249.75 $      5.00
Mickey DeLucca2838282812249.75 $      5.00
19Joel Chastain2930303412346.50  
Andrew Radford3328352712346.50  
21Adam Sahmel3032313112444.50  
Rodney Ashley3134312812444.50  
23Terry Sanner2934303212543.00  
24Bill Combs3135313012742.00  
25Dwain Willett3331353313241.00  
26Adam Smith3334333613640.00  
27Jimmy Van Buskirk3435324014139.00  
28James Chastain3537373614538.00  
29Wesley Beck363033WDWD37.00  



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