Orlando Golfer Grabs National Title that Eluded Him a Year Ago
Posted: 12/12/2007 10:26:58 PM
HILTON HEAD, S.C. (Oct. 28) -- Nothing, not even a missed one-inch putt, could keep Chad Frank from winning the egolf Amateur Tour's 2007 National Championship.
Frank, last year's runner-up, posted his second straight 73 Sunday for a 146 total and a one-stroke victory in the Championship Flight. The 40-year-old from Orlando experienced an up-and-down final round. On the front nine he made two birdies to rally past the first-round leader. But on the back nine his lead evaporated and turned into a one-shot deficit when Frank barely glanced a tap-in putt on the 13th while trying to avoid stepping in his competitor's line.
"If I had lost, I would have really felt bad about that putt. It was unbelievable," said Frank, winner of nine of his 11 tourneys on the egolf AGT's Orlando Tour this year. "I said, 'I'm not going to let this cost me.' I got a little fired up."
After the putting mishap, Frank drained an 18-footer for birdie at No. 14, then made par the rest of the way to edge Andrew Smith of the Triad (NC) Tour.
"I hit every green coming in and played solid," Frank said. "It feels good to come back and win it and not finish second again. You work all year for this."
Smith shot 73-74--147 to finish second, while defending champ Joe Jaspers of Charlotte placed third at 75-73--148.
Top honors in the A Flight went to Bob Potter of the Charleston (SC) Tour. Potter fired a final-round 77 to finish at 155. Second place in A Flight went to Cincinnati's Joe Mergler (77-79--156), while Steve Schultz of Nashville was third at 78-79--157.
The B Flight champ was Kirk Kleiser of the Louisiana Tour. Kleiser shot 82-80--162 for a one-shot victory over Ron Hensley (80-83--163) of the Tri-Cities (TN) Tour.
The Louisiana Tour also produced the C Flight champion as William Duncan vaulted into the top spot with an 84 for a 175 total. Second place went to John R. Holland (Asheville NC) at 88-89--177.
In the D Flight, Doug Turnau (Charleston SC) shot a 178 total and posted a one-stroke victory over Frank Daniels (Upstate SC).
This marked the second straight year the egolf AGT has hosted its national championship on Hilton Head Island. This year's field of 550 golfers was the largest ever for a golf tournament on the island. Competition took place on six courses: three at Palmetto Dunes Resort, two at Port Royal Plantation and one at Oyster Reef Golf Club.
Mike Nasekos of Charlotte recorded a hole-in-one Sunday on the Robert Trent Jones layout at Palmetto Dunes. Nasekos, playing in the B Flight, aced the 162-yard eighth hole with a 4-iron. It was his first ace and won him a free golf vacation, courtesy of Perks and Pats Vacations.
In team competition, the Louisiana Tour took the cup away from defending champion Orlando. Louisiana's team total was 1,292, followed by Orlando (1,306), Charlotte (1,318) and Tidewater VA (1,335).