Foliage allows Schuller to foil Estes for Tournament of Champions title

September 27, 2011|By TIM KOELBLE |
  • Rick Schuller smiles after missing a 40-foot birdie putt on No. 17 during the final round of the Middle Atlantic PGA Tournament of Champions.
By Joe Crocetta/Staff Photographer

HAGERSTOWN — Rick Schuller has been a familiar name atop leaderboard in Middle Atlantic PGA Tournament of Champions events.

Little did he figure he would sit alone in first place after Tuesday’s final round — especially in the manner he got there.

Schuller trailed Jim Estes and Jamie Gyland by two strokes after a first-round 70 on Monday.

A four-birdie barrage in seven holes helped Schuller surpass the leaders to a one-shot lead before a bogey on No. 18 put him in the clubhouse in a tie with Estes, who was on the 18th tee.

Estes poked his drive wide right but recovered to the left fringe of the green. While Estes’ ball rested in a bare spot, it was covered by a falling leaf. Before requesting a ruling, Estes attempted to remove the leaf, which caused the ball to move, which by rule incurs a one-shot penalty.

“It was the only bare spot around but I shouldn’t have attempted to move without a ruling,” said Estes, who finished his round at even-par 72 for a 140.

Schuller, the director of instruction at Swaders Sports Park in Prince George, Va., finished with a 3-under 69 and a two-day total of 139.

“I played solid Monday but had 34 putts,” said Schuller. “(Tuesday) I was hitting good at the pins but didn’t get anything to fall with the putter.”

After eight pars to open, Schuller birdied the par-5 No. 9 to get the ball rolling.

Following a birdie on the par-5 15th, Schuller thought he had a chance.

“I figured I was close to the lead after 16,” he said. “It’s just an unfortunate thing that happened to Jim.”

Estes, from Olney Park, stayed at the top midway through his round with an eagle-3 on No. 9 and a birdie on the par-5 No. 11.

“I had some momentum there but I made some stupid mistakes after that,” said Estes.

Gylan, after sharing the lead, couldn’t get totally untracked, needing a chip-in birdie on 18 to salvage a 73 that left him alone in third place at 141.

John O’Leary and Billy Hoffman shared fourth at 142.

Beaver Creek pro Dirk Schultz came back with the best round of the tournament firing a bogey-free, 5-under 67, after a 4-over 76 on Monday, to jump into a tie for sixth place at 1-under 143.

“I had an awful practice session, then went down to the range and hit three balls after a break,” said Schultz. “I found my left knee was wild on me and that makes me tilt. It was a smooth round today.”

Bud Lintelman shot a 71-138 for the 50-plus title and Larry Ringer, of Musket Ridge Golf Club from Shepherdstown, W.Va., had a 75-147 for the 60-plus division crown.

MAPGA Tournament of Champions
At Beaver Creek Country Club
Yards: 6,912 Par 72
Rick Schuller    70-69-139
Jim Estes    68-72-140
Jamie Gylan    68-73-141
John O'Leary    74-68-142
Billy Hoffman    71-71-142
Dirk Schultz    76-67-143
Jimmy Flippen    73-70-143
Phil Bowers    71-72-143
Chip Sullivan    74-70-144
Chad Moseley    72-72-144
Jody Rokisky    70-75-145
David Hutsell    76-70-146
Brendon Post    74-72-146
Gary Mankulish    75-72-147
Patrick Hawkins    70-77-147
John Miller    76-72-148
Mark Evenson    73-75-148
Jay Lindell    74-75-149
Geoff Montross    77-73-150
Justin Heimer    75-76-150
Adam Farry    73-77-150
Brendan McGrath    76-75-151
Chris Oelson    74-77-151
David Newsom    75-78-153
Jason Toryk    75-78-153
Randi Miller    79-75-154
Mike Wheeler    75-79-154
Richard Runyon    75-79-154
Rick Serrano    77-78-155
Brett Robertson    77-78-155
Tom Michaels    77-80-157
Justin Keith    82-77-159
Geoff Redgrave    82-77-159
Peter Labourdette    79-80-159
Tim Reeves    77-86-163
Arthur Shih    83-82-165
Steve WenPetren    83-84-167
Nick Zaloga    84-83-167

50+ Division
Bud Lintelman    67-71-138
John Francisco    70-70-140
Bob Dolan    72-71-143
Tim White    71-72-143
Fran Rhoads    72-73-145
Tim Lewis    73-73-146
Dave Eaton    75-76-151
Marty Johnson    76-80-156
Mike Farewell    77-79-156
Marty O'Rear    73-85-158
George Lodge    88-85-173

60+ Division
Larry Ringer    72-75-147
Bob Bilbo    78-78-156
Jimmy Williams    78-79-157
Roger Hatcher    79-78-157
Frank Blind    80-79-159

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