$10,000 National Invitational

Chattanooga, TN

June 6-7, 1970

Lipscomb and Baldoza Win National Invitational

A Fort Worth pro and a Forth Worth amateur both captured top honors in their respective divisions of the $10,000 National Invitational Tournament held June 6 and 7 in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Big Bob Lipscomb shot a 66-under-par score of 222 for the 144-hole event to force a playoff with Gary Love from Kent, Ohio. Lipscomb ultimately won the playoff and amateur Mike Baldoza won the amateur division with a score of 228. Baldoza adds this victory to a list which includes the 1969 Northern Open and the 1969 National Championship.

In the pro division, Lipscomb was tied with Atlanta's Roger Moore at the end of the first day of competition. Each held a score of 108 for the first 72 holes. During the second day, Lipscomb, a 22-year-old Business Management major at the University of Texas in Arlington, pulled ahead of Moore when the colorful Atlanta pro fell off the pace by shooting a pair of 31's. But, hard-charging Gary Love closed the gap from his position at the end of the first day two stroke behind the leader and finished the 144-holes of regulation in a tie with Lipscomb.

Lipscomb and Love had been paired together throughout the final day of competition so each was keenly aware of the other's playing style. When it became obvious that Lipscomb and Love were to be forced into a playoff, it seemed only natural that the contest would be close down to the wire. On the seventeenth hole of the playoff, Lipscomb took a three and allowed Love to even the match. Love's ace on the eighteenth hole seemed to conclude the match but Lipscomb made a perfect putt and the match was forced into a sudden death playoff.

Love allowed a two on the first hole of the playoff and the burly Texan charged back with an ace which gave him the $2,000 first place purse. Lipscomb seemed amazed that he had held up so well throughout the tournament, "I have been having trouble with my hand. Three weeks ago, I had an operation to remove a pinched nerve and the doctor told me not to come to this tournament. Then, I get here and decide to play a game of basketball with some of the guys. I banged up my head, twisted my ankle, and cut my eye. I'm amazed that I'm still alive."

In the amateur division, Mike Baldoza was tied with Wayne Benack from Syracuse, New York, at the end of the first day. In the first rounds of the second day, both Baldoza and Benack took 35's. Baldoza remarked, "Somebody told me to charge every hole, but I missed a lot of ace shots. So, for the second round, I really had to charge. The competition here was strong, I mean really strong." And Baldoza did charge back with scores of 30, 28, 26 to finish with a 228.

In the $1,000 Pro-Am event which preceded the tournament, Rick Smith from Indianapolis, Indiana, and his amateur partner, Jeff Hy from Buffalo, New York, led the field by toppling Indianapolis pro Daryl Hayden and Huntsville amateur Billye Brazelton. On the road to victory, Smith also defeated Vance Randall of Chattanooga and his amateur, Robert Smith of Dallas. Hayden's team defeated Lake Charles' pro Jon Nagem and amateur David Gies of Fayetteville.

PROFESSIONAL DIVISION
Place Player City Total Cash
1Bob LipscombFort Worth, TX222$ 2,000.00
2Gary LoveKent, OH222$ 1,300.00
3Daryl HaydenIndianapolis, IN227$ 950.00
Roger MooreAtlanta, GA227$ 950.00
5Charlie Connor JrAsheville, NC229$ 691.66
Dick FlorinAtlanta, GA229$ 691.66
David MatthewsShreveport, LA229$ 691.66
8Charlie McIntoshAtlanta, GA230$ 400.00
Lee WeldyAtlanta, GA230$ 400.00
10Rick SmithIndianapolis, IN231$ 300.00
11Neil ConnorGreenville, SC232$ 275.00
12Brice BergesenHouston, TX233$ 200.00
Jimmy HarritosAtlanta, GA233$ 200.00
Pat McMastersGreenville, SC233$ 200.00
George PihakisBirmingham, AL233$ 200.00
Buddy TaylorBaltimore, MD233$ 200.00
17Jeff BellAtlanta, GA234$ 125.00
18Dale FuhrOrlando, FL235$ 45.00
Richmond HobsonShreveport, LA235$ 45.00
Bob MarcellinoRockville, MD235$ 45.00
Carl StricklandAtlanta, GA235$ 45.00
AMATEUR DIVISION
Place Player City Total Cash
1Mike BaldozaFort Worth, TX228
2Andy YoungBirmingham, AL231
3Wayne BenackSyracuse, NY235
4Elton DavisBurlington, NC236
Steve HollandsworthBaton Rouge, LA236
6Tim JonesDurham, NC237
7Tommy GodfreyAtlanta, GA240

Article, scores and photos taken from Putt-Putt World Magazine, Volume 12, Number 4 (July 1970)