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PRIMM, NEVADA

After knocking on the door in the past few playings of the United States Golf Teaches Cup, Christopher Richards of Trinidad & Tobago finally opened it himself, winning the 2010 title at Primm Valley Golf Club in Primm, Nevada, in convincing fashion. Previously a two-time runner-up in 2006 and 2009, Richards left nothing to chance this time by cruising to a 4-shot victory on scores of 70-70 - 140 at the Lakes and Desert courses.

Jerry Moore from Florida, playing out of the Super Senior division, finished second with 72-72 - 144. Due to Richards’ steady play, Moore was unable to mount a consistent challenge. Martin Mills from the Senior division finished third with 75-71 - 146, and Cole Golden from Kansas finished in third at 147, tied with Matt Smith from Ohio who fi red 75-72.

Three former champions were in the field: Dave Belling from Canada, Mark Harman from South Carolina, and Moore. Although each of the three had won the tournament in the past, Richards was considered the pre-tournament favorite due to his performances in recent years. In addition to being a two-time runnerup in this event, Richards won the 2007 individual championship at the World Golf Teachers Cup in Boulder City, Nevada, and was also instrumental in leading Caribbean (representing Trinidad & Tobago) to the team title that year.

After opening with a 70, Richards found himself with a 2-stroke advantage over Moore and Golden. Luis Menezes from Brazil was another shot back at 73, as was Ted Williams from Canada, playing from the Senior division. Belling was within striking distance at 74.

Day two saw Belling struggle all day as he finished with a 79, as did Menezes with an 80. After a lackluster 80, Harman flashed the form he had in previous years by shooting 70, which tied for the lowest score of the tournament. Richards played steady golf as others were unable to put a dent into his lead.

Ingrid Narken captured the Ladies title in her first try with 83-72 - 155, with Melody Robinson from Canada finishing second at 80-79 - 159. California’s Mills won the Senior division championship with 75-71 - 146. Moore did manage to win the Super Senior title, his sixth division victory in the past seven years. A new division, the Legends, was contested for the first time for players 70 and older. Bert Boyce from Ohio captured that title, outlasting John Linton from Texas by shooting 86-79 - 155. Golden and Smith finished second behind Richards in the Open division.

During the closing banquet and awards ceremony, the inaugural USGTF Hall of Fame induction ceremony took place. Six previous USGTF members were inducted in 2004, but no formal ceremony was held. Present this year were Thomas Wartelle, Mike Perez, Jim Perez, Anthony Benny, and Ricky Campbell. Also inaugurated, but not present for the ceremony, were Herbert “Turk” Walker, Robert “Rock” Robinson, Richard Eaton (posthumous), Babe Bellagamba (posthumous), and Julius Richardson (posthumous). Mike Stevens was to be inducted but could not be present, and his induction will be postponed until 2011.

Each inductee present spoke poignantly about their lives and their careers, and all gathered agreed it was a ceremony not to be missed in future years.

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