Rockville, MD

July 5-6, 1969

Vance Randall Wins PPA National Championship

Mike Baldoza Beats Pro Field On His Way To Winning Amateur Title

Vance Randall of Chattanooga, Tennessee, and Mike Baldoza of Fort Worth, Texas, each took home top honors in the $10,000 National Championship competition held in Rockville, Maryland, on July 5-6.

Randall, a school teacher, won the professional division of the tournament by shooting a final score of 231, 57 strokes under par for the 144 holes of competition. He had held a two stroke lead over Gary Understein of Bethesda, Maryland, at the end of 72 holes. But this lead was cut by Larry Mason of Rockville, Maryland, who shot a score of 113 on his final 72 holes to draw within one stroke of Randall.

Early in the competition, Randall shot a score of 24 on course #2 to break the course record. This new record remained for one hour, until amateur Mike Baldoza shot a 13-under-par score of 23 on the same course.

At the end of competition on Saturday, July 5, the 14-year-old Baldoza, held a score of 107 for 72 holes, five strokes ahead of pro Vance Randall. Randall managed to shave four strokes off of Baldoza's lead during the second day of the tournament. Baldoza's final score of 230 placed him ahead of the entire field of 187 pros and amateurs.

Among the amateurs, Baldoza was seven strokes ahead of second place amateur Roger Hart of Kettering, Ohio, and nine strokes in front of third place Gary English of Orlando, Florida. Tommy Godfrey of Greenville, South Carolina placed fourth with a score of 241 and Birmingham, Alabama's George Pihakis took fifth place by scoring 243.

In the pro division, following Randall and Mason, was defending National Champion Bob Marcellino of Washington, DC. Marcellino held third place by shooting a 55-under-par score of 233. Southern Open winner Rick Smith of Indianapolis, Indiana, pulled into a tie with Tom Belcher of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, by scoring 234 for the 144 holes.

Randall, by winning this year's PPA Natinal Championship, became the first player in the history of professional putting to win the National Championship twice. Randall reigned as the 1967 National Champion.

Amateur winner Mike Baldoza, in the process of overcoming the entire field of putters gained a reputation as being the "Lee Trevino of Putt-Putt" as a result of his cool and calm attitude toward his putting game.

In the $2,500 Pro-Am tournament held Friday, July 4, the team composed of pro Daryl Freeman of Bristol, Tennessee, and his amateur partner, Steve Ladd of Bristol, Virginia, defeated Bob Lipscomb and Mike Baldoza to capture top money among the 80 teams competing in the match play event.

Four men qualified, during the three days of competition, to compete in the $110,000 World Putting Championship to be held in Fayetteville, North Carolina, September 3-6. They includ Cliff Moose of Gastonia, North Carolina; Gary Understein of Bethesda, Maryland; Daryl Freeman of Bristol, Tennessee; and Mike Forish of Baltimore, Maryland.

Place Player City 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Total Cash
1Vance RandallChattanooga, TN3024292930273131231$ 2,000.00
2Larry MasonRockville, MD3130302829282630232$ 1,300.00
3Bob MarcellinoWashington, DC3030302827313027233$ 1,000.00
4Tom BelcherBaton Rouge, LA3126303231312726234$ 850.00
Rick SmithIndianapolis, IN3130313228242632234$ 850.00
6John ConnorGreenville, SC3226292933282732236$ 637.50
Gary UndersteinBethesda, MD2926312830293231236$ 637.50
8Gil CaitoIndianapolis, IN3129313029263229237$ 450.00
9Roger MooreAtlanta, GA2931313032292829239$ 325.00
Cliff MooseGastonia, NC2929333130262833239$ 325.00
11Mack BiggsOxon Hill, MD3529272929292933240$ 262.50
Bob LipscombFt. Worth, TX2733323227322928240$ 262.50
13John RoessnerIndianapolis, IN3329312830322929241$ 225.00
14Charlie Connor JrAsheville, NC3231322532283230242$ 150.00
Bob HuebschmanBaltimore, MD2830283430303230242$ 150.00
Bob PoltisCleveland, OH3026323426323131242$ 150.00
John SpottsIndianapolis, IN3035292634283129242$ 150.00
Herman StricklandMacon, GA3128313232302929242$ 150.00
19Charlie HayesWinston-Salem, NC2932322829283233243$ 31.25
Willie KruezburgGreenbelt, MD2931343131292731243$ 31.25
Gene McDonaldRockingham, NC2930312730293334243$ 31.25
Don PoseyGreenville, SC3033313131282930243$ 31.25
Place Player City 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Total Cash
1Mike BaldozaFt. Worth, TX3123262729313132230
2Roger HartKettering, OH3129332728322829237
3Gary EnglishOrlando, FL2732313130263230239
4Tommy GodfreyGreenville, SC3130293030322831241
5George PihakisBirmingham, AL2831322831303132243

Article, scores and photos taken from Putt-Putt World Magazine, Volume 11, Number 5 (August 1969)