Jul 3, 2022

Turtleson Independence Day Open Results


Players from all around the country descended on the #1 Public course in America (Golf Digest, 2022) for the Turtleson Independence Day Open at Big Cedar Lodge on July 4th weekend.  The weather was hot, courses were firm and fast, and 5 new Major Champions would be crowned at Tiger Woods’ Payne’s Valley on Sunday July 3rd.  One unique feature of the Independence Day Open was the 19th hole at Payne’s Valley, a stunning finish to a great event.  The 19th hole sits in a valley with an island green where players participated in a Closest to the Pin Contest to raise money for Folds of HonorBetween the Closest to the Pin contest and the 50/50 drawing on Saturday, players were able to raise $3,540 for Folds of HonorFolds of Honor is a nonprofit organization that helps provide the families of fallen and disabled service members educational scholarships. 

Saturday’s round was at Buffalo Ridge Golf Course, which had been rated #1 in Missouri for several.  Players would enjoy spectacular views of the country side below, with buffalo roaming nearby many holes.  Many holes featured covered bridges, water features and endless views of the rolling hills of Southern Missouri.  Sunday’s round would be at the hottest new golf course in the world, Payne’s Valley.  Payne’s Valley is the first public-access course designed by Tiger Woods and sits in the valley.  Tiger’s course features wide fairways, large undulating greens that created a challenging and enjoyable round.  Players also got the bonus of the 19th hole, a par-3 island green with a mile-long cart ride up the cliff that went in and out of the caves overlooking the 19th hole.  It is truly a one-of-a-kind experience. 

In Division 1, Nate McCutcheon (St. Louis) picked up where he left off from his APT Public Links Championship win last month at Annbriar, with an opening round of -1 under par 70.  He would be chased by Tim Saunders (East Tennessee) and Larry Langley (Kansas City).  Nate’s length off the tee would prove to be a formidable challenge, as a 2-under par 70 at Payne’s Valley would put the tournament out of reach and give Nate his 3rd major championship of the 2022 season.  Tim Saunders would finish in 2nd at +5, while Randy Merrill (Las Vegas) and Larry Langley (Kansas City) would tie for 3rd at +7.  Jordan Jones (Memphis) finished in 5th place at +8 

Prize Payouts 
Nate McCutcheon (70-70-140) - $700 
Tim Saunders (74-74-148) - $250 

In Division 2, a stacked field entered the weekend, with several players looking to earn their second major championship of the 2022 season.  Kevin Stief (Kansas City) jumped out to the early lead, with a one-over par 72 in round 1 at the tricky Buffalo Ridge Golf Course.  He was closely chased by Metro New York members Alex Cesaria (73) and Vick Tandon (75).  St. Louis’ Billy Davis was also in the mix after an opening round 76.  Tim Miller (Memphis) made the biggest move on Sunday, firing the low round of the day with a 1-over par 73 to climb 9 places into 4th place.  Kevin Stief backed up his opening round 72 with a 2-over 74 at Payne’s Valley to earn a 4 shot victory.  2nd place honors went to the Metro New York duo of Vick Tandon and Alex Cesaria who finished 4-shots off the pace with a 2-day total of 150.  Billy Davis held on to 5th position with a final round 78 and Las Vegas’ Ben May finished in 6th to round out the money. 

Prize Payouts 
Kevin Stief (72-74-146) - $1,000 
Vick Tandon (75-75-150) - $505 
Alex Cesaria (73-77-150) - $505 
Tim Miller (80-73-153) - $250 
Billy Davis (76-78-154) - $160 
Ben May (77-78-155) - $100 

In Division 3, round one would leave little decided with a 6-way tie atop the leaderboard and 17 players within 4 shots of the lead.  Phil Lambert (Birmingham), Pat Ryan (Houston), Jason Tatum (Kansas City), Mani Kottaichamy (Rocky Mountain), Matt Thorman (Kansas City), and Roy Thavaraj (Kansas City) were all tied for the lead heading into Sunday’s play at Payne’s Valley.  Phil Lambert bested the field with a low-round of 76 on Sunday, separating himself from the field for a 7-shot victory.  Simay Souvannarath (St. Louis) jumped 9 shots into a tie for 2nd, firing an 80 at Tiger’s course.  David Watson (St. Louis) and Pat Ryan (Houston) used steady play both days to tie Souvannarath for second place.  5th place went to Mark Gonzales (Houston) who jumped up 15 spots with a 79 and Jason Tatum (Kansas City), who finished 8 shots off the pace with 2-day totals of 166.  7th place went to Rocky Mountain’s Mani Kottaichamy, who finished with a 2-day total of 167. 

Prize Payouts 
Phil Lambert (82-76-158) - $1,000 
Simay Souvannarath (85-80-165) - $417 
Pat Ryan (82-83-165) - $417 
David Watson (83-82-165) - $417 
Mark Gonzales (87-79-166) - $130 
Jason Tatum (82-84-166) - $130 
Mani Kottaichamy (82-85-167) - $70 

In Division 4, the early lead belonged to Justin Keaton (West Virginia), who jumped out to a one-shot lead over John Lambert (Virginia Capital).  Sunday would prove to be John Lambert’s day, firing a 79 to earn a one shot victory over Metro Philadelphia’s Larry BarberJustin Keaton would fall from 1st to 3rd with another 82 to finish 2-shots back with a 2-day total of 164.  Wayne-O Bishop (Carolina Triad) shot an 83 on Sunday to hold on the 4th place position, while Iowa Tri-State’s Paul Brown finished in 5th place to round out the money with a 2-day total of 169.  The win would be the first major for John Lambert, who came close at Omni Bedford Springs but fell just short to Daniel Henris. 

Prize Payouts 
John Lambert (83-79-162) - $920 
Larry Barber (84-79-163) - $410 
Justin Keaton (82-82-164) - $325 
Wayne-O Bishop (85-83-168) - $245 
Paul Brown (87-82-169) - $140 

In Division 5, Mike Eames (Rocky Mountain) would lead from wire-to-wire for his first National Major victory.  His round of 91 on Saturday at Buffalo Ridge would give him a 3-shot lead heading into Payne’s Valley in which he would never look back.  Eames tied for the lowest round of the day with an 86 to earn a 5-shot victory over Kansas City’s Alan Parker.  Memphis’ Arthur Miller Jr.  matched Eames’ 86 on Sunday to move up 4 spots into 3rd place.  Kansas City’s Rocky Metcalfe finished in 4th place with a 2-day total of 191, while St. Louis’ Selena Droce finished in 5th with a 2-day total of 193. 

Prize Payouts 
Mike Eames (91-86-187) - $700 
Alan Parker (94-88-182) - $235 


Net Fourball Results 

*Please Note – Players who are at the USGA Max Payout of $1,000 are not eligible to receive any other prizes.  Prizes will go down to the next eligible player. 

Projekt APT/Folds of Honor Puddle Jumper - $270 value each 

  1. Arthur Miller Jr./Kevin Stief (USGA Max) - -24
  2. Brian Downe/Kevin Stief (USGA Max) -22
    T3. Jason Tatum/Wayne-O Bishop -20
    T3. Rick Johson/Kevin Stief (USGA Max) -20
    T3. Mike Eames/Michael Lingenfelter -20  

Nelson Hill Yardage Book Cover - $100 value each 

  1. David North/Kevin Stief (USGA Max) - -19

2UNDR Folds of Honor Long Sleeve T-Shirt - $75 value each 

T7 Ben May/Rocky Metcalfe - -18 
T7. Paul Brown/Jordan Jones - -18 
T7. Mike Scalera/Ben May - -18 

$40 APT Pro Shop Credit – amateurplayersshop.com 

T10. Vick Tandon/ Alex Cesaria - -17 
T10. Tim Miller/Vick Tandon - -17 
T10. Shawn Larsen/Mike Eames - -17 
T10. John Kelsey/Alan Parker - -17 


Big Cedar Winners

Division 1 Champion

Nate McCutcheon


Division 2 Champion

Kevin Stief


Division 3 Champion

Phil Lambert


Division 4 Champion

John Lambert


Division 5 Champion

Mike Eames