The 2022 National Major season for the Amateur Players Tour kicked off this week by celebrating last season’s champions at “The Happiest Place on Turf”.  Walt Disney World’s renowned Magnolia and Lake Buena Vista courses hosted the inaugural APT Tournament of Champions with two days of beautiful weather and outstanding course conditions which created a magical experience for the competitors.

            Disney’s Magnolia played host for the first round as APT members were treated with an opportunity to compete on the course where Tiger Woods earned his second PGA Tour victory.  The first-round leaderboard in Division 1 was tight early with Carolina Triad member, Will Morgan, jumping out to an early lead with a 1-under, 35 on his opening nine.  Indianapolis member, Brock Anderson, and Maryland’s Chris Lamb did their best to keep pace with 2-over, 38s, on their outward nines.  Morgan remained steady throughout the day and closed the round with a 1-over, 73, which was good enough for a four shot lead over Anderson at the end of round one.

            The second and final round was played at the beautiful Lake Buena Vista course.  Division 1 leader Morgan, closed his outward nine with five straight bogeys and he would fall out of contention as the day progressed.  Anderson remained steady and never lost touch with the top of the leaderboard.  However, the day belonged to Tennessee East member, Tim Saunders.  Tim’s opening 1-under, 35, vaulted him to the top of the leaderboard.  While Anderson kept the pressure on, Saunders rose to the occasion going 1-under in his last five holes to seal the two-shot victory.

            In Division 2 a playoff was required to determine a winner.  Philly Metro Chapter’s Rocky Dare grabbed the early lead with a birdie on his first hole, and he didn’t look back all day.  Dare’s opening 78 would be good enough for a two-shot lead over Nashville’s Cary Anderson and a pair of St. Louis members, Billy Davis and Mike Petty.  Dare hit a pair of speed bumps on the last two holes of his outward nine in round two that opened the door for the chase pack to close the gap.  Billy Davis would post his 8-over, 80, first for a two-day total of +16 to set the bar for the field to chase.  Atlanta Chapter member, Sean Pierce, would post the round of the day to tie Davis for the lead.  Pierce’s 40-foot birdie putt on the 18th hit the hole but did not go down.  Pierce would need just one playoff hole to secure the win.

            Kansas City Chapter’s Cliff Austin’s winter work on his game was evident in the first round in Division 3.  Austin’s solid 9-over, 81, was good enough for a three-shot lead over Indianapolis member Rex Meyer.  Carolina Triad members, TJ Eaves and Max Morris, found themselves just four shots back going into round two.  St. Louis member, Michael Konuch, fired a 11-over, 83, at the LBV course in round two to leap up the leaderboard.  He would finish in a tie for second with Carolina Coast’s Tony Koechli.  Austin would stumble out of the gate in round 2 and fall out of contention as the second round progressed.  Meanwhile, Rex Meyer converted two birdies in his last four holes to secure his three-shot victory.

            The Division 4 leaderboard saw all kinds of volatility as different names climbed and fell throughout the two rounds.  St. Louis member Rick Johnson posted a strong 13-over, 85, at Disney’s Magnolia to grab the first round lead.  DFW’s Mike Burgin came in just one shot back.  Houston Chapter’s, Pat Ryan, posted the round of the day at the LBV course to climb all the way up to a 3rd place finish.  Metro NY’s Jeff Marshall adjusted to the Bermuda turf with three straight pars to close out his 2nd round 84.  It would prove to be just short of Indianapolis Chapter member, Mark Wright.  Wright made up for a dreadful finish to his first round by matching Ryan’s 10-over, 82, in round two to sneak away with the one-shot victory.

            Division 5 would produce the only wire-to-wire winner for the event as Kansas City’s Paul Orovets followed up his first round 94 with a 93 for a two-day total of 43-over par and a three shot win over Carolina Coast member, Ricky Compton.  Birmingham Chapter member, Don Hamblett, and Upstate South Carolina’s Bruce Barker, walked away with 3rd and 4th, respectively.

            Congratulations to Andrew Gibson for his magical hole-in-one on the par 3 number 12 hole at Disney’s Magnolia!


TOC Winners

Division 1 Champion

Tim Saunders

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Division 2 Champion

Sean Pierce

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Division 3 Champion

Rex Meyer

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Division 4 Champion

Mark Wright

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Division 5 Champion

Paul Orovets

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