PINEHURST - Stringing out magnificent tee shots with a new "old man's driver," Billy Joe Patton fired a brilliant closing 69 to win the Southern Amateur Golf championship by one stroke.
Victim of Patton's charge, which included four birdies, was third-round leader Downing Gray of Pensacola, Fla. Gray started the day at 215, one under par and four shots ahead of the Morganton lumber executive.
Patton's 34-35 ranks in the class of the amazing because Old No. 2 played much longer than its fullest 7,000 yards following a violent rainstorm that held up play for 90 minutes.
It was one of the finest rounds ever posted by Patton anywhere, and particularly on No. 2 where he previously had won three North-South championships, the last in 1963. That, incidentally, was his last major sectional triumph.
Patton, after recording three birdies and a bogey on the front, all accomplished after the gully- washing rain, caught Gray on No. 11 when he holed an 18-foot birdie putt. That pulled him even with par for the distance.
Then, the 43-year-old Patton, who won the 1961 Southern Amateur when it was competed at match play, took the lead when the 24-year-old Gray bogeyed the 12th. Gray played one threesome behind Patton's.
The final 69, in which only one of Patton's drives went out of the fairway and that by only three feet on No. 7, gave the Tar Heel a 72-hole tally of 288, even with par and several strokes below the consensus guess at a wining score.
By winning, Patton keeps the handsome George W. Adair Memorial Trophy in North Carolina. Dale Morey of High Point brought it here last year. However, Morey had to withdraw after 36 holes this year because of illness.
Dave Smith of Gastonia rallied with a 35-35-70 that included three birdies for a 293 and third place. Jack Lewis, the 17-year-old from Florence, S.C., also registered a closing 70 and placed fourth at 294.
Smith's brother Charlie, who had opened the final round tied for second at 216, even par, soared to a 40-39-79, which included a triple-bogey-7 on No. 5 and a double-bogey-5 on No,. 6.
The man who shared the 216 slot, David Boyd of Atlanta, also ran into considerable difficulty, much of it stemming from bad breaks, and struggled to a 40-40-80.
Patton explained that the new driver has an old man's shaft. "I'd been using a young man's shaft in my driver," he said. But until Saturday, the new weapon, which he acquired four-five weeks ago, had not been doing its stuff.
Patton started his charge with consecutive birdies right after play resumed following the rain. He holed an eight-footer on No. 3 and an 18-incher on No. 4. A missed green bogey on No. 5 slowed him until he rolled in a five footer for a deuce on No. 9.
That put him one over par for the 63 holes played, and he pulled even with par and with Gray on the 11th. From there Patton parred in, one-putting on Nos. 14, 15 and 18 to avoid bogeys.
On the 14th, Patton chipped to within three feet, then on the 206-yard 15th a 3-iron shot rolled short but he almost chipped in with a 7-iron.
The clincher came on the final hole, only moments after Gray's six-foot birdie putt on No. 17 hit a spike mark and jumped away from the cup. Patton missed the 18th, and miss-hit a chip with a wedge, but the ball hit the cup and stopped inches away for a sure par-4.
It was a frustrating day for Gray, although he had some magnificent scrambling to thank for keeping the lead as long as he held it.
Gray, who finished second in the 1962 National Amateur to Labron Harris Jr. in his only other tournament start here, one-putted three of the first six greens, to save pars, holing one from 12 feet on No. 6. On his fourth missed green of the day, the 5-9 Pensacolan missed a 10-foot par try.
But the real story of Gray's round lies in his inability to make birdies when he had the chance.
He missed from six feet on Nos. 9 and 17, saw a short one roll over the edge of the hole on No. 16, and then ended his day with another miss, this one from 15 feet on the last hole which would have sent him and Patton into an 18-hole playoff Sunday.
The crusher for Gray was the 433-yard 12th, where he had about a 185-yard second shot. When he swung his 4-iron, the ball appeared headed for birdie range on the green.
Instead, it hit on the back of the green and bounced off. He chipped strongly, setting up an uphill putt if he missed. The ball went six feet past, and Gray missed coming back for a bogey.
To show how well Gray was chipping and putting
under tremendous pressure, he one-putted successfully five times,
yet none was for a birdie. Patton one-putted seven times, and
netted four birdies.
|Billy Joe Patton||Morganton, N. C||71-75-73-69||288|
|Downing Gray||Pensacola, Fla||73-72-70-74||289|
|Dave Smith, Jr||Gastonia, S.C||74-76-73-70||293|
|Jack Lewis, Jr||Florence, S.C||75-74-75-70||294|
|Charles Smith||Gastonia, S.C||71-73-72-79||295|
|Ward Wettlaufer||Atlanta, Ga .||73-77-71-74||295|
|David Boyd||Atlanta, Ga||71-71-74-80||296|
|Robert Greenwood||Cookeville, Tenn||76-72-75-73||296|
|Jackie Cummings||Tuscaloosa, Ala||71-70-79-77||297|
|Alfred Johns||Punta Gorda, Fla||77-72-73-75||297|
|John Dement||Meridian, Miss||75-72-71-80||298|
|Dr. Bob Watson||Charlotte, N.C||74-70-77-77||298|
|Jerry Greenbaum||Atlanta, Ga||69-75-81-74||299|
|Jerry Potter||Miami, Fla||71-79-77-72||299|
|E. 0. Edgerton, Jr||Raleigh, N.C||74-74-74-78||300|
|James Gabrielsen||Atlanta, Ga||77-71-76-76||300|
|Bill Harvey||Greensboro, N.C||78-72-74-76||300|
|Howard Everitt||Boynton Beach, Fla||70-75-81-75||301|
|Ross Shawaker||Columbia, S.C||72-77-76-76||301|
|Dick Bailey||Halifax, Va||75-73-76-78||302|
|Robert Lowry, Jr||Huntsville, Ala||71-74-78-79||302|
|John Bird, Jr||Shreveport, La||75-74-72-82||303|
|John Leach||Houston, Texas||71-76-77-79||303|
|Dr. Frank Holt, II||Birmingham, Ala||73-73-79-79||303|
|A. D. Dorsett, Jr||Salisbury, N.C||76-71-75-83||305|
|Buddy Whitten||Pensacola, Fla||70-78-74-83||305|
|Marshall Trammell||Nashville, Tenn||75-73-76-83||307|
|Pat Foy Brady||Reidsville, N.C||73-74-83-WD|
|Lew Oehmig||Chattanooga, Tenn||73-77-80-WD|
|James K. Ward||Jamestown, N.C||71-74-74-WD|
|Dale Morey||High Point, N.C||76-72 (Illness) WD|
|Truman Connell||No. Palm Beach, Fla||78-71-WD|
|John D. McKey, Jr||Orlando, Fla||79-72-73-72||296|
|Don Frug'e||Meridian, Miss||75-77-77-79||308|
|Richard Waters||Atlanta, Ga||71-80-78-79||308|
|r. John Dixon||Charlotte, N.C||79-75-79-76||309|
|Dr. Al Hill||Hickory, N.C||81-72-75-81||309|
|Marilyn Stroud||Greenville, S.C||71-82-76-80||309|
|R. L. Isenhour||Norwood, N.C||77-77-80-78||312|
|Jay Harris||Carrboro, N.C||75-78-82-78||313|
|George Mountcastle||Winston-Salem, N.C||75-79-80-85||319|
|Phillip Leckey||Tampa, Fla||75-79-83-84||321|
|Hamp Greene, III||Montgomery, Ala||75-78-82-88||323|
|Robert Lee Bryant||Charlotte, N.C||74-77-76-WD|
|Bill Dixon, Ill||Winston-Salem, N.C||75-78-81-WD|
|Craig Goldate||Memphis, Tenn||77-75-78-WD|
|Dick Hackett||Rome, Ga||76-78-83-WD|
|Dr. John Jordan||Charlctte, N.C||77-76-82-WD|
|Lester Kelley||Greensboro, N.C||76-76-79-WD|
|Richard Leckey||Riviera Beach, Fla||77-77-79-WD|
|Stokes McConnell||Baton Rouge, La||78-76-79-WD|
|Mike Mitchell||Texarkana, Texas||80-72-78-WD|
|Thomas Nicol||Tuscaloosa, Ala||77-76-81-WD|
|Joel Richardson||Signal Mountain, Tenn||78-76-78-WD|
|Robert Rodgers||Lafayette, La||78-76-81-WD|
|Key Scales, Jr||Weirsdale, Fla||77-76-81-WD|
|Reid Towler||Raleigh, N.C||76-78-80-WD|
|David Williams||Greensboro, N.C||80-74-81-WD|
|Bill Ferguson||New Orleans, La||78-76-WD|
|William Goodale||Camden, S.C.||77-77-WD|
|Clyde Mangrum, Jr||Pinehurst, N.C.||74-78-WD|
|Raleigh Powell||Wilmington, N.C||76-78-WD|
|Mike Spann||Burlington, N.C||80-73-WD|
|James Cleveland||Atlanta, Ga||77-78-78-75||308|
|Clinton Toms, III||Durham, N.C||74-82-78-74||308|
|Chuck Rea||Meridian, Miss||77-78-77-78||310|
|Dillard Traynham||Greenville, S.C||77-79-76-78||310|
|David Sale||Asheville, N.C||79-76-76-80||311|
|Richard Anthony||Andalusia, Ala||77-78-78-79||312|
|Willard Gourley, Jr||Greensboro, N.C||75-82-80-75||312|
|Dick Pride||Tuscaloosa, Ala||74-81-73-84||312|
|Jeff Thompson||Greenville, N.C||75-80-81-76||312|
|George Williams||Clinton, N.C||80-75-80-78||313|
|A. G. Jonas, Jr||Lenoir, N.C||76-79-75-85||315|
|Llewellyn Boyd||Chattanooga, Tenn||76-79-82-81||318|
|Charles Snipes, Jr||Greensboro, N.C||78-78-82-80||318|
|Richard Stephens||St. Petersburg, Fla||77-80-80-82||319|
|George Toms||Durham, N.C||76-79-84-80||319|
|Roy Ocker||Dallas, Texas||78-77-83-83||321|
|Larry Edwards||Fayetteville, N.C||78-78-84-83||323|
|Arley Griffith||Greensboro, N.C||76-80-79-88||323|
|Wayne Davis||Montgomery, Ala||78-77-81-WD|
|David Lee||Pensacola, Fla||74-81-85-WD|
|John Hawkins||Lexington, Ky||77-78-WD|
|Jack Kersten||Ft.Lauderdale, Fla||74-83-WD|
|Tom Raney||Little Rock, Ark||74-83-WD|
|John Wall||High Point, N.C||81-74-WD|
|James Cheney||Dalton, Ga||75-83-75-76||309|
|John White||Spartanburg, S.C||79-81-76-79||315|
|Donald Brewer||Charlotte, N.C||78-80-83-75||316|
|Allyn Thames||Montgomery, Ala||79-81-81-76||317|
|David Davis||St. Petersburg, Fla||85-75-78-80||318|
|Bill Wilson, Jr||Southern Eines, N.C||79-79-76-84||318|
|Nick Prine||St. Petersburg, Fla||78-80-83-78||319|
|W. E. Ragland, III||Chattanooga, Tenn||8O-79-80-81||320|
|Buzz Sawyer||Guilford College, N.C||78-80-83-79||320|
|Dan Hill, III||Durham, N.C||84-76-78-83||321|
|Elbert S. Jemison, Jr||Birmin,,ham, Ala||77-83-80-82||322|
|John B. Atkins||Shreveport, La||85-76-78-84||323|
|Bill Bryan||St. Slilions Island, Ga||80-81-77-85||323|
|John Pendleton, Jr||Knoxvilie, Tenn||76-83-75-89||323|
|George Fisher||Kannapolis, N.C||78-81-82-85||326|
|Dr. John D. McKey-.||Orlando, Fla||78-82-83-84||327|
|Jack Gibson||Charlotte, N.C||81-80-85-83||329|
|Peter V. Tufts||Pinehurst, N.C||77-81-84-91||333|
|Fred Sexton||Whispering Pines, N.C||78-83-81-WD|
|Woody Wever||St. Petersburg, Fla||77-83-83-WD|
|John S. Battle, Jr||Richmond, Va||79-80-WD|
|John Holmes||Metairie, La||78-81-WD|
|Joe Jarrell||High Point, N.C||80-79-WD|
|Stuart Kennedy||Thomasville, N.C||76-82-WD|
|Homer Lewis||Norfolk, Va||77-82-WD|
|Allen Powers||Orangeburg, S.C||81-79-WD|
|Otis Wright||Georgetown, Ky||82-79-WD|