NT at Maple Hill provides fun and challenge for top pros

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Sarah Stanhope remembers the 2009 Vibram Open as her first NT win and a big step on her quest for bigger wins. This year, fresh off her World Championship victory, Sarah held off Valarie Jenkins and Des Reading to repeat her victory and gain her first NT win of 2010. Val, Sarah, and Des backed up their 1-2-3 World Rankings by sweeping the top positions in a loaded women’s field.

On the men’s side, the hot rounds provided a lot of excitement all weekend. Matt Orum came in with a hot 54 early Friday that would only be bested by Michael Johansen’s 53. Matt shot another 54 to lead with Nikko Locastro going into the final round by one over Steve Brinster and two strokes ahead of Dave Feldberg. Dave capitalized on mistakes by Nikko and Matt early in the round to gain a two stroke lead, but relinquished it on the challenging ninth hole with an uncharacteristic double bogey. Only a stroke out of the lead, Dave never could catch up.

Matt Orum was never out of arms length of the lead all weekend. With 5 holes left, he and Nikko held a single stroke lead over Dave Feldberg. The battle for first saw matching scores on 14, 15, 16, and 17. With the final signature hole left, Matty O unleashed an unbelievable drive, possibly the farthest of the tournament, to set up a clean shot at the island green surrounded by a rock wall and several trees. Matt’s layup to force a playoff came out a little wide or maybe a little hard as it smacked the guardian tree, his chance at the win was dashed, second place was his alone. Dave Feldberg would finish in third, Garrett Gurthie gets his best NT finish at fifth, Joe Mela gets eighth, and Paul Ullibari ties for ninth.

Jim Myers won Grandmasters quite handily with an 8-stroke margin over second place.

Garrett Gurthie crushed the competition in distance mashing a 734 foot drive to the mouth of the green on the 805′ opening hole. Jay Reading defended his putting title at the event in typical Yeti style.