Atlanta Match Play: Noll is tops

JOHNS CREEK, Ga. (Oct. 5, 2008) -- David Noll Jr. of Dalton took an early lead, then held off a late charge from Josh Gregory of Augusta to win his second Atlanta Amateur Match Play Championship by a 2-up margin at Rivermont Golf and Country Club. Gregory conceded the match to Noll on 18 after his long par putt slid past the hole and Noll had just two feet for his par.

Noll came out strong, building a 3-up lead through four holes. He got it back to 3 holes two more times – after No. 7 and No. 12 – both with birdies. He owned a 3-up lead with five holes to play, but Gregory made two key birdie putts over the next four holes, and despite an unlucky break on 16, kept the match close heading into 18.

Gregory’s final charge began on the 151-yard, par-3 14th, where he connected on a six-foot birdie putt and Noll missed an eight-footer. Gregory then won the 15th hole with par after he was on the green in two and Noll’s approach landed in thick rough on the edge of a greenside bunker.

After winning two straight holes and reducing Noll’s lead to just 1-up (the closest it had been the entire match), Gregory certainly had some momentum heading into the 422-yard 16th. But after Noll stuck his approach to two feet, Gregory’s second shot hit the wicker basket atop the flagstick and ricocheted clear across the green to the fringe on the far side, essentially securing the hole for Noll.

With Noll dormie two, Gregory continued to keep things interesting. On the 200-yard 17th, he was away, 25 feet from the hole, and sank the birdie putt. Noll’s 20-footer was slightly off the mark, and he went to 18 with just a 1-up advantage.

Gregory’s tee shot on 18 hit a tree, then his second shot came to rest just right of the green. His chip rolled across to the green’s left edge. Noll was on the front of the green in two and putted to two feet. Gregory’s long par attempt was close, but trailed past the hole to give Noll the victory.

Noll, who also won this event in 2005, joins a long list of champions with multiple titles in this event, but is the first since Rocky Costa of Alpharetta captured the second of his two titles in 2000.

Entries were open to male amateur golfers who are members of a GSGA Member Club. A total of 32 players competed in the match play bracket after 18 holes of stroke play qualifying.

Founded in 1916, the Georgia State Golf Association (GSGA) received its official charter on June 24, 1924. Since that date, the GSGA has grown to one of the largest state amateur golf associations in the country, with over 365 member clubs and 85,000 individual members. With a mission to promote and preserve amateur golf in the state of Georgia, GSGA offers a computerized handicapping service, course rating and measuring, and annually conducts a full schedule of statewide competitions for men and women of all age groups. Other services include a summer-long junior sectional program, award-winning Golf Georgia magazine, membership recognition and rewards programs and a charitable foundation administering two college scholarship programs.

**** Match Play Results *****

Friday, October 3 Round of 32 1 Greg Bradford, Talking Rock def. 32 Jack Hall, Sea Island (76), 20 holes 17 Bill Leonard, Kennesaw (74) def. 16 Greg Nichols, Alpharetta (74), 1 up 25 Josh Gregory, Augusta (75) def. 8 Anders Albertson, Woodstock (71), 1 up 24 Chad Griffith, LaGrange (75) def. 9 Graham Redfearn, Cumming (72), 4 & 3 4 Chris Hall, Kennesaw (70) def. 29 Dan Barkley, Roswell (76), 3 & 2 20 Dave Sexton, Suwanee (75) def. 13 Jeff Knox, Augusta (73), 2 up 5 William Mitchell, Roswell (71) def. 28 Lee Denis, Comer (76), 3 & 2 21 Ryan Wilson, Pooler (75) def. 12 Jim Pratl, Dacula (73), 4 & 3 2 Brandon Nelson, Roswell (68) def. 31 Jacob Keen, Lilburn (76), 8 & 7 15 David Noll Jr., Dalton (73) def. 18 Hector Cora, Atlanta (74), 4 & 2 26 Deron Hornbach, Atlanta (76) def. 7 Jorge Cora, Atlanta (71), 2 & 1 10 Erik Daniels, Marietta (72) def. 23 Rick Leslie, Cumming (75), 1 up 30 Chris Chuck, Roswell (76) def. 3 Greg Kennedy, Duluth (70), 20 holes 14 Erik Martin, Alpharetta (73) def. 19 Nate Balanis, Valdosta (74), 3 & 1 27 Winston Morris, Marietta (76) def. 6 Keith Hadelman, Atlanta (71), 3 & 2 22 Doug Stiles, Athens (75) def. 11 John Belicka, Atlanta (73), 20 holes

Number preceding name is seed; number in parentheses is qualifying score Round of 16 Bradford def. Leonard, 1 up Gregory def. Griffith, 3 & 2 Hall def. Sexton, 4 & 3 Mitchell def. Wilson, 2 & 1 Noll def. Nelson, 20 holes Hornbach def. Daniels, 6 & 4 Chuck def. Martin, 3 & 1 Morris def. Stiles, 19 holes

Saturday, October 4 Quarterfinals Gregory def. Bradford, 1 up Hall def. Mitchell, 5 & 4 Noll def. Hornbach, 2 up Morris def. Chuck, 4 & 3 Semifinal Gregory def. Hall, 2 & 1 Noll def. Morris, 3 & 2

Sunday, October 5 Final Noll def. Gregory, 2 up

ABOUT THE Atlanta Amateur Match Play

Entries: Open to male amateur golfers

Field: 120 players with the lowest USGA Handicap Indexes

Format: Match play preceded by 18-hole stroke play qualifying. Low 31 and defending champion advance to match play.

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