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.

Final Results:

Championship Flight
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
First Flight
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
Second Flight
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
Third Flight
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