A familiar name sat at the top of the leaderboard Wednesday in the 14th annual Ditto-Sapp Memorial Pro-Am, sponsored by the Joplin Golf Foundation and held at Twin Hills Golf and Country Club.
Robert Russell, a dominant amateur player in this area and now the head golf professional at Nicklaus Golf Course at Lionsgate in Overland Park ,Kansas, tied for medalist honors among the professionals and helped his partners win the team title in the event, which raises money for Joplin Area Junior Golf.
Russell, who is a member of the Joplin Golf Foundation Hall of Fame, and Chris Thompson, a player on professional mini-tours, matched 3-under-par 69s to lead the professionals.
Taylor Griffith of Carthage was third with 70, followed by John Richman of Martin City Golf Center with 71, Jack Mann of Silo Ridge Golf Club with 72 and Griffen Locke, former Ozark Amateur winner and now a mini-tours player, with 73.
A tie for seventh at 74 involved Bradley Jumper of Shangri-La, Jeff Sedorcek of Fred Arbanas Golf Course and Kevin Kring of mini-tours.
Russell and partners Brock Sapp, Brent Finley, Kyle Long and Greg Crawford teamed up for a 119 score in the shamble format to capture team honors.
Richman along with Matt McConnell, Danny Langerot, Marshall Abbott and Todd Stout took second with 123. Kring, who prepped at Springfield Central, teamed up with Scott Miller, Trey Butler, Chris Newby and Chris Couch to finish third at 125.