The Southwest Putting Tour has always conducted it’s tour championship in a 36 hole single elimination format and this year would be no different. Players were seeded based on their Player of the Year points leading to some interesting matchups. Rusty Taylor who only played in 4 events due to him living in Colorado, was the 13 seed and played Jeffrey Smith. The 4 seed, in round 1. Taylor was able to win a hard fought match and win 1up. Brice Bergesen was the number 2 seed and drew local pro Tom Adair who is always tough on the course his wife owns. Bergesen was also able to hang on for a 1up victory. Geoff Mosk after winning the day before played 14 seed Pat Simpson and the match was tight the entire way. With 2 holes to go and the match even, Pat Simpson made hole 11. Mosk was able to top him to make the match even going into the last hole where Pat pushed his putt just a hair and Mosk was able to sink the ace for a 1up victory.
The finals match saw the teacher vs the student as hall of famer and multi time tour champion Brice Bergesen faced off against Wade Sahmel, who is regarded as one of the better players n the country but hasn’t been able to win a singles title yet. The match started off close but Sahmel built a 3 hole lead heading into the second 18. Bergesen was able to cut the lead to 1 but Shamel virtually put the match away when he made the difficult 13th hole and went on to win 3-2 and claim his 1st pro SWPT Championship.
In the APA there was only 1 first round match where Bryan gentry was able to defeat Doug Austin 3-2. In the second round matches Bryan gentry was able to stun the top seed Chris Conradi 3-2. 3rd seed steven Yancey had a tough draw as he played local Gary Plain and fell 4-3. Defending Champion Mike Huckaby pulled away from Ken Stanfill 7-6 while Saturdays winner Greg Simpson sent Trevor Lewin packing with a 6-5 victory. Huckaby, who was still grinning like a school girl over Arkansas thrashing of UT the night before, was not able to fend off the local Gary Plain as Plain to the victory 3-2 to get to the finals. Gentry continue to shock the world as he won his 3rd consecutive match in defeating Simpson 3-2. The final match between gentry and Plain was tight all the way. The 36th hole of the match was hole 9. Gentry was able to get hid 2 while he held on to a 1 hole lead. This meant Plain would need to ace the hole to go into sudden death. Plain hit his ball true and the ball was heading towards the hole, but took a slight turn to the left and just missed. Bryan Gentry had won 4 matched on his way to claiming the APA SWPT Title.
Thank you everyone for another great year of playing and friendship. We look forward to seeing some of you at the National Championships in Richmond next week and to everyone next year. The schedule for 2022 will be released in January after the national schedule is finalized. If you have any questions please reach out to the tour director Geoff Mosk or the asst tour director Mason Spradlin.
The final regular tournament of the 2021 season got off to an early start of 9am at the Tyler Texas Putt Putt on September 11th.The tournament started with Geoffrey Mosk shooting a perfect 9 on the front. No one could remember this ever happening before at Tyler. Shooting a perfect 9 anywhere is an accomplishment, but hole 9 is a hole you hope to make maybe 1 out of every 20 attempts, so doing it after making the first 8 was special. Mosk ended up shooting a 23 in the first round and held a 6 stroke lead over Mason Spradlin, who was disappointed after shooting a 12 on the front nine to find himself already 3 strokes back.
Lee Messinger, the eventual Player of the Year in the pro division was only 4 strokes back 27. Mosk came back to earth a little bit in round 2 with a score of 28. This was good enough to hang on to a 2 stroke lead over Spradlin. No other player was within 4 strokes of the lead. Neither Mosk nor Spradlin could get very much going n the last round as both players limped in with scores of 32 but it was good enough for them to hold on to 1st and 2nd place with scores of 83 and 85. Messinger and Jody Kimble tied for 3rd at 86.
In the APA Mike Huckaby and Steven Yancey took the first round lead after shooting fine scores of 6 under par 30. Huckaby improved to a 29 in his second round to take a 2 stroke lead over Greg Simpson and 3 strokes over Yancey and eventual APA Player of the Year Chris Conradi. In the last round Simpson had his best round of the tournament with a 28 and was able to surpass Huckaby to win the last regular season tournament of the year win an 89. Huckaby and Yancey tied for 2nd at 91.
Earlier this year we all lost a dear friend in Mickey DeLucca when he passed away shortly after the “AL’ was played in Lake Charles. The Louisiana State Championship wias reamed the Mickey Delucca Louisiana State Championship in his honor.
Conditions for practice for the Mickey Delucca Louisiana State Championship were ideal. It was dry with little wind as Hurricane IDA was still a ways offshore and was looking like it was going to hit east of Lake Charles. Then 5 minutes before the tournament was to start, the sky opened up and a good soaking rain came down. After using a squeegee and blower to get standing water off the course we were off. The wet carpet, with no time to practice any wet shots, severely hampered the scores. Normally a score of 30 or above will have you at or near the bottom of the pack. In the wet conditions no player was able to break 30. Both Lee Messinger and Terry Simpson took a first round lead when they fired a first round score of 6 under par. The course dried out a little and scores n round 2 were a little bit better. Simpson continued to lead after shoot a fine round of 26. Wade Sahmel made adjustments and had the low round of the day with a 25 that brought him to within 2 strokes of the leader. Messinger and Olivia Prokopova were in third just 3 strokes back. The rain came down again as players were finishing up their 3rd round causing another delay. After more course maintenance the scores went back up a little for some and a lot for others. 5 rounds were played on Saturday and we started an hour early on Sunday so that players, especially those going east, could get ahead of the hurricane and home safely. After 5 rounds Simpson held a 1 stroke lead on Sahmel. 2014 National Champion Jeffrey Smith was in third just 4 strokes back.
There was some rain overnight but the course had dried out nicely and was in outstanding shape for the final 3 rounds. Sahmel started out with his low round of the event of 24, This gave him a commanding lead with just 2 rounds to go. Brice Bergesen started his day with rounds of 26 and 25 to easily move into 2nd place with 1 round to go. Geoffrey Mosk, who started the day in last place, had rounds of 25-22 to be the day 2 leader, but he was still no where close to the cash line. The last round was a walk in the park for Sahmel. He finished strong with a 26 and an 8 stroke lead over Bergesen. Thie brother of Adam Sahmel, Mickey's longtime doubles partner, took honors in the inaugural MDLSC! Lee Messinger had rounds of 28-27-27 to move up to third place. Simpson and Smith rounded out the top 5 to take the last 2 money spots.
In the APA, Todd Trent traveled all the way from Georgia to play in the event named after his good friend Mickey Delucca. Todd is an excellent APA player but Lake Charles has some pretty strong local players who are very tough to beat on their home course. One of those players, and the course owner, Greg Simpson was a co first round leader with Adam Sahmel after both players opened up with a 30. As the course began to dry up a little in round two, so did the aces with Sahmels score of 33 being the low score in the APA and gave Sahmel a 2 stroke lead. Scores remained higher than normal for the rest of the day with the course being wet from the rain. It was hard to get the speed down on the wet carpet and the scores reflected that. After 5 rounds and day 1, Simpson had a 1 stroke lead over Trent. Sahmel was 4 strokes back and Charles Sharkey Cox was only 5 down on a course that he has gone very low on multiple times.
Trent started off strong with rounds of 28-28 to start day 2 which allowed him to take a 4 stroke lead over Simpson. Mike Huckaby started the event slowly with a 38 and had fought his way all the way back to fourth place just 2 strokes behind Sahmel. The last round looked like it could be a shoot out. Simpson has had a perfect 9 on the front 9 of the course in this event before and if he could get hot he could put some pressure on Trent. But alas it was not to be as Trent was the one that got hot and he coasted in with a 23 his last round and a 14 stroke victory. Simpson was able to hold on to second place while Huckaby continued his fine play to move all the way up to third place. Sahmel and Cox were able to hold on to fourth and fifth respectively to claim the last to reimbursement spots.
There is only 1 weekend left on the 2021 Tour schedule. The tour championship will be played in Tyler TX the weekend of 9/11. 1 final 3 round event will be held on 9/11 along with the Team Championship. After that event a pro/am event will be played and it is always a favorite for the players. Saturday night we do the pairings for the next days tour championship as well as hand out trophy’s for this years Texas Open and MDLASC. It is always a fun weekend to end the year and we can’t wait to see everyone as we wrap up the 2021 season as some get ready to head out to nationals.
August 8, 2021
The Arlington Parks course is always one of the most beautiful courses on the SWPT each year. This year the course recarpeted 7 holes just a few weeks before the tournaments. It fixed some issues on the holes, mainly air bubbles around the hills, but as players know, creates new issues with speed control until the carpet gets worn in a little bit. The weather was also hot, in the low 90’s, but there was a wind from the north that kept the humidity down and playing conditions were actually quite comfortable. Defending Champion Geoff Mosk had no issues with speed control the first round as he made the first 5 holes on his way to a weekend low score of a 26. Local pro and always a favorite on this course Lee Messinger was just 2 strokes back at 28 and Mason Spradlin was the only other player able to break 30 the first round at 29. The speed control issues caught up to Mosk and Messinger in round 2 as they slumped to scores of 35 and 34. Mason was able to take the lead with steady play that led him to a 30, the low score of the round. Spradlin essentially put the tournament away with a 13 on the front nine his last round and coasted in with a 17 on the back to win with a score of 89. Greg Everly shot a 29 his last round to pass Mosk and almost caught Messinger. Messinger finished with a 29 his last round to come in at 91 while Everly finished at 92.
In the APA division the speed control issues took a bigger toll. Steven Yancey shot an even par 36 his first round and that was good enough to take the lead by 1 stroke over Chris Conradi and 2 strokes over Ron Byers. In round two Trevor Lewin made a bid to take the lead with a 31. It got Lewin to within one stroke of Conradi, but Yancey had a 31 of his own in round two and now had a 5 stroke lead. Yancey had trouble making aces all day and in round 3 he was able to manage another even par round of 36. It was enough to hold off the rest of the field for the win. Lewin and Byers had good last rounds of 33 and 32 to tie for second place at 106.
August 8, 2021
The temps were supposed to reach 97 in Arlington on Sunday but with a 10am tee time, the players again avoided the worst of the Texas heat. For the second day in a row, Geoff Mosk jumped out to an early lead with a 28 this time while no other player was able to break 30. For the second day in a row Mosk slumped in round 2, although not as bad this time, with a 32 that left him in a tie for first with Lee Messinger. Olivia Prokopova was just 2 strokes back going into the last round. As it was around noon, the weather had heated up and the conditions of the course made scoring difficult. Mosk and Messinger each shot 2 under on the front while Prokopova was at even par making it a 2 person battle with 9 holes to go. Messinger made only his second bogey of the weekend on hole 12, where he made his other bogey the day before, missing an 18 inch putt when his ball hit something making it jump off line. Mosk saw his opportunity and promptly had hole 12 to go 2 up. Then Mosk got a nasty lip on 13 and he bogeyed after Messinger made his ace, and we were again tied. Each player made 1 more ace down the stretch and came to hole 18 tied. Messinger made his deuce and Mosk needed an ace to win. With the carpets fluffing a little. Mosk put a little more speed on his ball trying to get the win. Instead he hit the left pipe and went down the hill leaving a 3 ft putt up a side hill to send the tournament to a playoff. Mosk missed the putt giving Messinger his 8th win of the year.
In the APA the scores for day 2 were a little better than day 1. After 2 rounds Trevor Lewin and Chris Conradi were tied at 67 with Steven Yancey just 1 stroke back at 68. The match remained close all thru the last round. Conradi found himself up by 2 heading into hole 13. He caught a similar lip to what Mosk had and ended up taking a 3 on the hole. Both Lewin and Yancey aced the hole making all 3 tied with 5 holes to go. On hole 15 Yancey’s putt was only about 9 inches from the hole but was resting right up against the back hill making for a difficult putt. He caught a lip and took a 3 to fall one stroke back. On hole 16, Conradi hit his ace putt a little to firm and went part way down the hill behind the hole. The putt from back there is a tricky left to right breaker. Conradi’s putt caught the left lip and now Lewin had a 1 stroke lead with 2 to play. Knowing that an ace would almost put away the victory for him, Lewin took his time and hit his ball down the left side off the fairway. The ball broke to the right just as it should and at the last moment took an additional right turn hitting the right lip, where the ball then lipped all the way around the hole before falling into the cup for an ace. After Yancey and Conradi make their deuces, Lewin needed only a 2 on 18 to secure the win. He played a lay up shot to the left of the pipes and has a relatively easy deuce to secure the win at 100. Conradi and Yancey also made their deuces to tie for second place at 102.
The season is quickly coming to an end. We have the Mickey Delucca Louisiana State Championship in 2 weeks in Lake Charles and then the tour Championship in Tyler the weekend of 9/11. We hope to see good turnouts at both events as we wrap up the 2021 SWPT season.
Southwest Putting Tour
Dallas Texas, 18 July 2021
Course 1, 10am tee off
Light rain showers in the morning were messing up the speed on the carpets during practice but the showers stopped before the tournament started, resulting in changing conditions throughout the event.
Lee Messinger and Wade Sahmel were battling it out again with fine 27’s in the some holes soaked, some holes dry first round. James Taylor and Brice Bergesen were only one stroke back at 28. In the second round Lee goes crazy, missing only hole 4 on the front nine for a 10 then shoots a 14 on the back for a 24, in at 51, and five big strokes ahead of Wade and Brice. Brice aced the first seven holes and then hit, in his words “three really bad putts” and made a momentum stopping four on hole eight. Most courses Lee would be a lock with a five shot lead, but Coit Road can be real stubborn, like I said, on giving up three consecutive strong rounds. Brice and Wade were fighting it out for second putting a couple of groups ahead of Lee, and not doing much of anything. Then Wade got hot again on the back nine and made holes 11-15 to go three up on Brice for second. We then found out Lee was only three under through 15 holes. Wade bogeys 16, Brice aces 16 and 17, and Lee deuces them, and we have a three way tie with one hole to play. Brice gets a 90° lip out on 18, Wade drills it dead center for the go ahead ace, and Lee goes right over the right edge of the cup but does not drop, so Wade sweeps the weekend with a wild finish on Sunday.
In the APA, what would Mr 79, Chuck Palm, shoot on wet Sunday? He actually played quite well, shooting 93 for second place, but Chris Conradi was not to be denied on this day, after starting with a 29 good for a one shot lead over Chuck, Chris went unconscious on the difficult and unforgiving to some back nine, shooting a 10, missing only hole 12 or 13 I think. His 27 put him at 56 and a 7-shot lead. But can he shoot three good rounds in a row at Coit? No. Chris shoots 34 his last round but no one challenged him and his 90 was good for a three shot victory over Chuck. A enjoyable weekend of competing on a really good course!
Southwest Putting Tour
Dallas Texas, 17 July 2021
Course 1, noon tee off.
The players always love coming to play on the Coit Road course in Dallas or Plano. The course has several large shade trees and a southerly breeze helps keep the players comfortable. The weather was excellent on Saturday and we had a doozy of a tournament. The thing about the Coit Road course that drives players mad is it very hard to shoot three consecutive good rounds, there is always the one round where nothing seems to go. That rule was not only broken on Saturday, it was destroyed by a APA player.
But first we need to get the PPA event out of the way. The first round leader was James Taylor with a 28. James was so very close to winning in Abilene only to have the win slip away on the final two holes. Tied for second at 29 were Mr and Mrs Wade Sahmel, but in golf she goes by Olivia Prokopova, along with Tyler’s Tom Adair. Tom was cruising near the lead in the second round until he made a 8 on hole 17 and he was never heard from again. James continued his excellent play with a 27 for a 55 total and a 3-shot lead over Wade and leading player-of-the-year Lee Messinger. Playing three strong rounds in a row proved difficult again as James shot a 33 and Lee shot a final round 34. Wade was not doing anything after hole 11, two under, then he aces out for a 27 and a 85 and a 3-shot win over James. Brice Bergesen rallied for a 27 and third place at 89.
The story was in the APA. This guy Chuck Palm shows up, none of us had ever seen him before, he said he was from Orlando and here to visit his son. Sure, we were happy to take his donation. I won’t list them, but Orlando has given the PPA some of the greatest players over the years. Chuck used to play way back when and is just now getting back into it. He had a nice opening round of 28, only to find himself four down to the leading APA player this season, Chris Conradi, who smoked everyone with a 24. Then Chuck shoots a 25 for a 53, but only has a two shot lead over Steven Yancey at 55. Chuck then shoots another super round, this time a 26 for a 79!! Chris and Steven tie 8 shots back at 87. Quite a introduction from Chuck Palm, who, besides being a great player is a super nice guy
This year the 8 round Mike Baldoza Texas open was contested at the Longview Putt Putt, which was once considered the best playing course in Texas by far. It 14 of the 18 holes can be played with no rails and errant putts can very easily turn into bogeys or worse.
On day 1 our defending Champions, Rainey Statum and Chris Conradi lead us off the tee pad at noon on a warm but not blistering hot day. Lee Messinger who has 6 wins on tour this year after not collecting one last year, started off with a 9 under par round of 27 to take the lead after one round. No other pro player was able to shoot better than 31. Messinger fell back to the pack the next two rounds with scores of 32 and 32 while Statum was shooting rounds of 30 and 26 to take the lead at 88. 2 time TX open winner Geoff Mosk was in third place just 3 strokes back at 92 and Jody Kimble was in fourth just one more stroke back. In the fourth round Statum, Messinger, and Kimble separated themselves from the pack with scores of 25, 27, and 28. They would be playing in the final group the next day to determine who would take home the Baldoza trophy this year.
In the APA Ken Stanfill came out on fire matching the hot shooting of Messinger in the APA with a 27. This was good for a 3 stroke lead over Gary Plain and Mike Huckaby. Stanfill fell on rough times in round two and Plain was able to take advantage and move into the lead by 2 strokes over Huckaby with Chris Conradi just 3 strokes back and Steven yancey just 4 back. Plain had another great round his third round with a 29 that extended his lead to 6 strokes over Conradi and Huckaby. When the dust had settled on day one, Plain had built up a 9 stroke lead and was not going to be easy to catch.
In the Pro Division on day two, round one saw the 3 leaders separate themselves from the rest of the players right off the bat when Statum and Messinger shot 12’s on the front, only to have Kimble best them with a 11. Kimble was 10 under after 12 holes when he somehow hit the left block on 13 but still had a shot to make his deuce. He appeared to try to play it backdoor and came back down the hill, missed his bogey putt and took a 4. Kimble still ended up having a great round of 26 but only picked up one stroke on Statum and Messinger as they both shot 27s. Mason Spradlin also started day two on fire with a 26 of his own to pull him into a tie for the last cash spot. In round two the leaders cooled off a little with Messinger shooting a 28 to get to within 3 strokes of leader Statum. Kimble again had a 4 and ended his round at 31 and still 8 strokes ahead of fourth place which was now held by Rusty Taylor who, playing this course for the first time on Saturday, had his best round so far with a 26, including a 12 on the tougher back 9. Taylor continued his great shooting with a 27 in round 7 as some rain began to fall. Mosk was able to catch Taylor for the last cash spot with a 26 of his own with just one round to go. The rain apparently had more of an impact on the leaders as Statum no just had a one stroke lead after shooting a 34 over Messinger who shot a 32. Kimble, while taking yet another 4 (his third of the day) was still able to shoot a 30 and be only 4 strokes back with one round to go. Messinger put the pedal to the metal and blew past Statum with an 11 on the front side. Statum was no 2 strokes down with 9 holes to go. He was able to cut the lead to a single stroke but Messinger held on for a 1 stroke victory. Mosk and Taylor were locked in a battle for the final cash spot and Mosk had a 1 stroke lead going not the final 9 holes. As Taylor stood on hole 18, he was up by one on Mosk with Mosk having holes 17 and 18 yet to play. An Ace would shut Mosk out. Taylor knowing this hit a perfect putt on 18 for another 26 and a four round total on day 2 of 108, the best of any player. He went from worst score on Saturday to the best score on Sunday. Unknowingly he also chased down Kimble to tie for 3rd!
In the APA Gary Plain continued his solid play all day. He didn’t go as low as he had on day one, but with a big lead he had the luxury of playing a little safer on day two. Mike Huckaby and Steven Yancey were not going to go down without a fight. After 2 rounds Huckaby had closed the gap from 11 strokes back to just 4. Yancey started the day 9 strokes back and after two rounds was just 6 back. Round 3 saw another steady round of 32 and neither Yancey nor Huckaby was able to gain much ground on him with scores of 31 and 32 of their own. Plain finished with another solid round of 31 to take home a comfortable 4 stroke win and his 1st Mike Baldoza APA Texas Open championship
The SWPT only has 4 weekends left in the 2021 season. 7/17 and 7/18 the tour visits the Adventure Landing course on Coit Rd in Dallas. 8/7 and 8/8 Arlington Parks will host the SWPT. On 8/28 and 8/29 the Mickey DeLucca Louisiana State Championship will be played in Lake Charles. And the weekend of 9/11 and 9/12 the Tour Championship will be contested in Tyer Texas. We hope to see you at as many of the remaining events as you can make.
Even though there was rain throughout the eastern part of Texas, Tyler was blessed with a day of mostly sunshine and the carpets had dried out, so the need to adjust was gone, just needed to lock in on the dry shots.
Brice Bergesen got off to a hot start, six under after eight holes and he managed to get to nine under for a first round leading 27 and a two shot lead over Jody Kimble and the tour leading Lee Messinger. Bergesen had the opposite start the second round, a disastrous one over through six holes and he was not to be heard from again. Terry Simpson from Lake Charles took the 36 hole lead with a fine 26 in the second round and a 56 total, two shots ahead of steady Messinger’s back to back 29’s. Three players were still in shooting distance at 59. Jeffrey Smith had the low last round, a 27, and he and Lee tied at 86, one ahead of steady Jody Kimble and Simpson. The playoff was dominated by Messinger as he aced 7 of the first 8 holes and was never less than four strokes ahead. This is his fifth win of the season, one ahead of Bergesen who had just caught him the day before.
In the APA it was close again as three players tied for the first round lead at 31, Stephen Yancey, Greg Simpson and Mike Huckaby. Huck took over the 36-hole lead at 63, just one shot ahead of Yancey and three ahead of Trevor Lewis. Yancey came back in the final round with a 30, good for a 94 and a two shot win over his first round coleaders. Lewin held onto fourth at 97.
Tyler, Tx - May 23, 2021 - Noon Tee
In the APA, Gary Pain rebounded from a bad tournament in the morning to shoot a 31 and share the lead with Jay Saylor. Jay fashioned a fine 29 the second round and was leading at 60, three ahead of Greg Simpson, Gary and Ken Stanfill. The final round saw an amazing comeback as Mike Huckaby, who was in solo 7th place after two rounds, shot the low APA score of the weekend, a 27, to leap past everyone and win with a 93, cutting Greg and Gary by two shots. Stephen Yancey shot a final round 29 to tie faltering Salyer at 96 for fourth place.
The Tour was fortunate that the rain showers missed the beautiful Tyler course, but moisture was still in the air and the carpets were wet, changing conditions for each round.
In the PPA there was a three way tie after the first round at 29. Tyler is a hard course to go below 27 and also hard to shoot over 32, a mixture of very easy holes with very hard holes to ace. At 29 were Brice Bergesen, Jeffrey Smith and making his first SWPT start in two years, Jody Kimble, known for being a excellent player and wearing colorful outfits to the course. After two rounds Brice and Jeffrey were tied at 57, matching each other’s scores on each of the four 9-hole totals. Brice built a four shot lead the final round after nine holes as he shot 13 and Jeffrey had problems and shot 17. Brice added to the lead early in the back nine and then went dry, making twos on the last five holes while Jeffrey was making four aces in a row, but Brice held on with a 86, a winner by two over Jeffrey and Jody.
In the APA Jay Sadler was the first round leader with a 29, one ahead of the Tyler course manager Gary Plain, who is always the player to bead at Tyler events. Jay slipped to a second round 32 and Gary emerged the leader after two rounds, at 60, two ahead of Jay and Trevor Lewis, and three strokes ahead of the APA’s leading player for 2021, Chris Conradi. Gary’s steady play the final round won him the tournament at 92, two strokes ahead of Chris, Trevor, Jay and charting Stephen Yancey, who charged with a final round 28.