Rick Culverhouse Defeats Jay Klapper In Playoff To Capture His Second-Career PPA Northern Open Title

7-8 July 2012 - Columbus, IN - On a sun-drenched and oppressively hot mid-summer weekend, long-time course owners Carl and Karen Miller for the second-consecutive season very warmly welcomed the PPA National Tour to their beautifully-maintained Putt-Putt Fun Center in the bucolic setting of Columbus, IN for the contesting of the tour's third event of the season, the two-day PPA Northern Open, conducted jointly by the PPA Indiana and Great Lakes Tours. In the months preceding the event, globetrotting local stars Nate Nichols, a highly-respected Columbus area educator, and 2008 PPA National Champion Kevin Lacey spent countless hours preparing the course # 1 layout for the abbreviated 108-hole competition, working tirelessly to adjust and perfect the course's hole designs, rails, carpets, and tee mats. As a result of their diligent efforts and despite the fluffing of the course's relatively new carpet fibers due to the record-setting temperatures, a highly-competitive weekend with low field scoring ensued. In a tournament that featured numerous lead changes, two past PPA Northern Open champions, 2007 winner Rick Culverhouse and 2009 and 2010 champion Jay Klapper, emerged atop the final leaderboard with a six-round total of 142. Culverhouse defeated Klapper in a hard-fought 18-hole playoff to capture the second PPA Northern Open title of his illustrious career. "The amount of support that I received during the tournament was overwhelming," commented the 57-year-old Honda Express advisor from Chapin, SC. "I truly appreciated all of the positive thoughts. This by far will go down as my best and most satisfying victory."

Play commenced in the professional division with Lacey storming into the lead with an opening-round 22. 1997 PPA National Champion Randy Reeves and local player Rick Ossenfort shared second place at 23. At 24, Nichols stood alone in fourth position. A large gaggle of players bunched in fifth place at 25 included Klapper, 2007 PPA National Champion Rick Baird, Mark Hasty, 1997 Indiana State Champion Jeff Garrison, PPA Hall of Fame legend Daryl Freeman, and 2010 Great Lakes Tour Champion James Weber.

Lacey continued his solid start to the event in the second round, firing 24 to remain atop the 36-hole standings at 46. Reeves remained in second position at 47. Culverhouse entered the fray with a second-round 22 to move into a third-place tie at 48 with Baird and 2010 PPA National Champion Greg Newport, who also posted a second-round 22.

With a third-round 23, Culverhouse leapfrogged over Lacey into the lead at 71 at the tournament's halfway mark. Lacey shot 26 to lurk in second place at 72. At 73, Nichols and Newport entered the final day of competition tied for third. A fifth-place logjam at 74 included Reeves, defending champion Andy Coradini, Baird, and 2006 PPA National Champion Brad Lebo.

As the second day of action began, Lacey used a brilliant fourth-round 21 to charge back into first place after 72 holes at 93. Culverhouse opened strongly as well, carding 23 to hold on to second position at 94. With matching fourth-round 22's, Nichols and Newport shared third place at 95. Klapper, Reeves, and Lebo were grouped in a fifth-place tie at 98.

The fifth round of play produced yet another shuffle atop the leaderboard. With Lacey struggling to a penultimate-round 28, Culverhouse and Nichols, who fired respective rounds of 24 and 23, pole-vaulted into a tie for the 90-hole lead at 118. Klapper continued his second-day assault on the course, shooting 21 to maneuver into third place at 119. Lacey tumbled into fourth position at 121. Reeves and Newport remained in contention, tied for fifth place at 122.

In the closing round, Klapper completed a spectacular final-day 108-hole total of 67 by posting a final-round 23 to finish tied atop the final leaderboard at 142 with Culverhouse, who manufactured a solid sixth-round 24. A tournament champion would be determined by an 18-hole playoff. Lacey courageously rebounded from his fifth-round tribulations with a final-round 23 to complete the event in third place at 144. Nichols suffered a closing-round 27 to fall into a tie for fourth position with Reeves at 145. 2000 Great Lakes Tour Champion Rick Alessi provided final-round fireworks by carding a dazzling sixth-round course-record 19 to earn low-round honors for the event. The final of the 21 money spots awarded in the professional division in the event fell at a 108-hole score of 155. Culverhouse, Klapper, Reeves, Coradini, and Baird accepted the five spots offered to the top five finishers in the 2012 PPA Northern Open who did not already earn such a spot in the 2012 PPA Western or Southern Opens for a free entry fee into the professional division of the 2012 Tournament Players Championship to be held during the PPA National Championship week.

In the ensuing 18-hole playoff, Culverhouse and Klapper started with a flourish, as the duo matched aces on each of the playoff's first four holes. Klapper took a one-stroke advantage with an ace on the 6th hole. After Klapper was forced to convert a challenging deuce putt on hole 7, Culverhouse answered with an ace to square the match. Culverhouse made a difficult deuce putt of his own on the 8th hole, banking in a stymied deuce putt off of the left rail on the classic three-brick hole. Klapper followed with an ace to regain a one-shot advantage. But with Culverhouse's unanswered birdie on the ninth hole, the contestants completed the outward nine deadlocked at six-under par. Culverhouse opened up a two-stroke lead by acing the 10th and 11th holes. Klapper closed the gap to one stroke with a birdie on the fickle 12th hole. With an ace at 13, Culverhouse once again moved two strokes ahead of Klapper. Culverhouse subsequently missed the anthill 14th hole but made his testy deuce putt for par. Klapper followed with a hole-in-one to again cut the deficit to a single shot. Culverhouse aced the 15th hole to regain a two-stroke lead. Both players birdied the nearly-automatic ring-hole 16th. Culverhouse left his ace effort on the three-tiered 17th hole sitting on the left lip of the cup with part of the ball hanging over the cup. Klapper suffered a similar fate, as his tee shot lipped the hole and sat on the right edge of the cup. With honors, Culverhouse prudently layed up the final hole for a tap-in deuce. In the process, Culverhouse earned his second-career PPA Northern Open title and the $650.00 winner's check by a final playoff tally of 25-27.

In the amateur division, 2011 ProPutters.com Classic APA Champion Danny Tatum, 49, may have drawn inspiration from the recent PGA Tour major victories recorded by players using long anchored putters. The broomstick putter-wielding General Manager of Beauregard Country Club from DeRidder, LA pendulum-stroked his way to an impressive wire-to-wire one-stroke triumph with rounds of 22, 26, 22, 24, 25, and 29 for a 108-hole total of 148. 2003 APA National Champion Bonnie White gave spirited chase, but settled for runner-up honors at 149. Donnie L. Carpenter, a grizzled APA veteran who won numerous National Tour major APA titles in the 1990's and who recently returned to the sport after a lengthy hiatus, brought the gallery to its feet with a sizzling final-round 21, the low round of the tournament in the amateur division. In the process, Carpenter climbed into a third-place tie at 152 with 2010 Great Lakes Tour APA Champion John Kropinak. Defending champion Travis Robinson completed the event in fifth position at 156. The last of the thirteen amateur division expense reimbursement spots allocated in the tournament came at a six-round score of 172.

The PPA National Tour extends thanks and expresses its gratitude to Columbus, IN course owners Carl and Karen Miller for their hospitality in hosting a very succesful weekend of tournament action. The Millers once again truly rolled out the figurative red carpet for the tournament players throughout the week. The tour looks forward to returning to the Columbus, IN facility for the 2012 PPA National Championship week from September 11-15. The next stop on the PPA National Tour will be the Richmond, VA Putt-Putt Fun Center, which will host the two-day, 108-hole PPA Eastern Open on the weekend of August 11-12, 2012 on course # 2. The first three rounds of play will commence at 11 a.m. on Saturday, August 11, with tee off for the event's final three rounds slated for 9:00 a.m. on Sunday, August 12

 

 

Article submitted by Rick Rybaczek

 

Professional Division of The 2012 PPA Northern Open
(Columbus, IN - Course # 1 - 7-8 July)

Round
Prize
Player Name
1
2
3
4
5
6
Total
Money
1
Rick Culverhouse
26
22
23
23
24
24
142
 $    650.00
2
Jay Klapper
25
24
26
23
21
23
142
 $    550.00
3
Kevin Lacey
22
24
26
21
28
23
144
 $    470.00
4
Nate Nichols
24
26
23
22
23
27
145
 $    405.00
Randy Reeves
23
24
27
24
24
23
145
 $    405.00
6
Greg Newport
26
22
25
22
27
24
146
 $    350.00
7
Andy Coradini
26
23
25
25
26
24
149
 $    320.00
8
Frank Warren
27
23
27
24
26
23
150
 $    295.00
9
Rick Baird
25
23
26
28
23
26
151
 $    272.50
Dan Anders
27
26
23
24
26
25
151
 $    272.50
11
Brad Lebo
27
22
25
24
26
28
152
 $    250.00
12
Jeff McDonald
27
23
25
24
29
25
153
 $    215.00
Tony Varnadore
26
25
27
28
22
25
153
 $    215.00
Rick Rybaczek
29
28
23
24
27
22
153
 $    215.00
Danny McCaslin
26
26
28
26
24
23
153
 $    215.00
Rick Alessi
29
27
26
28
24
19
153
 $    215.00
17
Monte Snyder
26
24
25
26
26
27
154
 $    178.75
Mark Hasty
25
25
26
24
25
29
154
 $    178.75
Jeff Garrison
25
27
26
26
26
24
154
 $    178.75
Ken Hastings
31
24
26
24
23
26
154
 $    178.75
21
Greg Ward
29
24
25
25
28
24
155
 $      80.00
Daryl Freeman
25
27
27
28
23
25
155
 $      80.00
23
Jeff Carr
27
26
23
26
28
26
156
  
24
James Weber
25
26
30
25
26
25
157
  
25
Matt McCaslin
30
26
25
26
26
25
158
  
John Ventura
29
27
28
25
25
24
158
  
27
Jerry Pinotti
32
23
27
22
27
28
159
  
28
Ed Grajewski
26
25
30
23
28
28
160
  
29
Bill Baus
28
24
27
29
27
26
161
  
Charlie Greenwalt
27
26
26
25
30
27
161
  
Shawn Gilliland
26
28
29
25
28
25
161
  
Rick Ossenfort
23
29
31
25
25
28
161
  
James White
27
31
30
21
23
29
161
  
34
Tim Jones
27
27
27
24
29
29
163
  
35
Angelo Korogianos
30
29
28
25
25
29
166
  
36
David Jones
28
28
31
27
27
26
167
  
37
Jon Drexler
31
27
29
28
29
24
168
  
38
Paul Johns
28
30
29
28
26
28
169
  
39
Bob Marcellino
30
32
28
26
28
29
173
  
40
David Barnett
30
30
28
30
32
31
181
  
41
Barb Mingo
41
29
30
29
35
31
195
  

 

Amateur Division of The 2012 PPA Northern Open
(Columbus, IN - Course # 1 - 7-8 July)

Round
Expense
Player Name
1
2
3
4
5
6
Total
Money
1
Danny Tatum
22
26
22
24
25
29
148
 $    40.00
2
Bonnie White
24
24
25
23
26
27
149
 $    20.00
3
John Kropinak
25
26
25
23
25
28
152
 $    20.00
Donnie Carpenter
28
25
27
24
27
21
152
 $    20.00
5
Travis Robinson
25
24
28
31
24
24
156
 $    20.00
6
Billy Caudle
27
26
26
26
28
24
157
 $    20.00
7
Kyle Poole
29
24
25
27
27
26
158
 $    20.00
8
Jeff Studer
27
31
26
29
24
25
162
 $    20.00
9
Chris Chafin
27
26
26
28
28
28
163
 $    20.00
10
Joey Graybeal
30
30
29
25
24
27
165
 $    20.00
11
Zach Martin
27
26
26
29
29
29
166
 $    20.00
12
Matt Male
27
29
29
30
27
27
169
 $    20.00
13
Mickey DeLucca
32
27
29
28
26
30
172
 $    20.00
14
Rodney Ashley
30
25
30
30
28
31
174
  
Terry Sanner
30
33
25
26
30
30
174
  
16
John McCabe
33
30
30
28
27
29
177
  
17
Tim Pope
33
27
29
29
26
37
181
  
18
Tom Russell
32
26
34
29
32
29
182
  
Jeff Brown
31
33
32
31
28
27
182
  
20
Don Niznik
34
28
36
30
27
30
185
  
21
Bill Combs
32
33
34
28
31
32
190