Coradini Has Hall of Fame Day in Martinez
27 February 2011 - Martinez, GA - After a full day of events on Saturday in which the finals putts were holed well after 8:00 pm, players heeded the early Sunday wake up call and competed in the final weekend tournament to kick off the 2011 Southern Putting Tour season. Sunny skies and temperatures that would reach 80 degrees allowed for the 27 pros and 28 amateurs in attendance to enjoy summer like conditions in late February, a welcome treat during this colder than normal winter in east Georgia.
Players were called in 15 minutes before tee time to hear PPA Commissioner Joe Aboid announce via conference call that 1993 PPA National Champion Andy Coradini has been chosen as the 44th inductee into the PPA Hall of Fame. With his wife Beth in attendance, the normally jovial and loquacious Coradini was at a loss for words when Joe asked him for his comments right after the announcement. The field would shortly find out he chose to let his putting speak for him on this special day in his storied career.
In the first round Coradini opened up with a stellar round of 15 under par 21, including a perfect back nine. One stroke back at 22 were 2003 PPA National Champion Robert Johnson and 2007 Elton Davis Memorial Champion Tony Jackson. A logjam of six players were two shots back at 12 under par 24.
Scoring continued at a blistering pace in round two. Coradini carded his second perfect back nine of the day, shooting a 14 under par round of 22 to put him in the lead at 43. Jackson put together a round of 12 under par 24 to put him three strokes behind the leader at 46. Six players were two strokes back of Jackson at 48.
Several players did their best to put pressure on Coradini in the final round. Johnson put together a round of 14 under par 22 to finish at 70 for the tournament. 2008 Georgia State Champion Jeff Carr fired a closing round of 23 to finish at 71. In the end, the day fittingly belonged to Coradini. His final round 12 under par score of 24, where his consecutive ace string for the day on the inward nine ended at 21, was enough for a three round total of 67 and a three stroke victory. The win was his second of the young 2011 season. The cash line for the tournament fell at 78.
In the amateur division, home course knowledge and some early morning practice helped local resident Mike Newman to a sizzling first round 14 under par score of 22. Burlington, NC resident Chris Chafin and 2009 APA Georgia State Champion Todd Trent lurked at 12 under par 24. One stroke back of them was 2007 APA North Carolina State Champion Chris Alley.
Some of the leaders continued strong play in round two, while others faltered a bit. Chafin stayed steady with an 11 under par round of 25, putting him at 49. Newman slipped to a round of 9 under par 27, also for a two round total of 49. 1998 APA North Carolina State Champion Billy Caudle picked his game up with a 24 in round two, putting him at 50 with one round to play. Trent could only score a round of 8 under par 28, leaving him at 52. Alley fell out of contention with a round of 31.
Consistency was the key to success this day. Chafin carded a solid round of 9 under par 27, putting him at a three round total of 76, good for a three stroke victory, his first of the 2011 season. Finishing in a three-way tie for second at 79 were Caudle, Newman and 2010 APA North Carolina State Champion Ray Guthrie. On the strength of a final round score of 12 under par 24, 2010 APA National Champion Joey Graybeal finished one stroke back at 80.
The Southern Putting Tour wishes to thank Martinez, GA Putt-Putt Fun Center owner and fellow PPA Member Mark Ross and his staff for their hospitality during a very successful opening weekend to the 2011 season. The Tour also extends warmest congratulations to Andy Coradini on his selection to the PPA Hall of Fame. The next stop on the Tour will be at the brand new Putt-Putt Fun Center in Hope Mills, NC on Saturday, March 12, 2011, for a 54 hole event on the Elephant Course.
Article provided by the Southern Putting Tour