BIRMINGHAM , Ala. - Youth climbed back into the saddle in the 60th running of the Southern Golf Assn.'s Amateur championship at the Country Club of Birmingham when slender and befreckled Hubert Green, a 19-year-old Florida State University Junior, shot one-under-par 283 over the West course for 72 holes.
Green grew up on the Country Club's two golf courses-East and West-and thus had the rare pleasure of achieving a prized title over his home course.
This was the third SGA championship held at stroke. The first and second ones had been won by two forty-ish North Carolinians, Virgil Morey of High Point and Billy Joe Patton of Morganton.
The last two Southerns at match play had been won by teenagers, Mike Malarkey at 17 in 1962 and Walter (Bunky) Henry at 18 in 1963.
Twenty-seven-year-old Downing Gray, Pensacola life insurance agent, was runner-up by one shot for the second straight year. He had finished at 284, even par, when Green, playing in the last group, put his second shot on the 18th hole 16 or 18 feet from the cup, and, needing only par four to win, made one of the classic 'lags' of golf.
Green deftly stroked his first putt two or three inches short of the cup, tapped it in and grinned broadly as a huge gallery heavily loaded in his favor clapped their happiness.
Green's daily performance was a gem of consistency; he had rounds of 71, 69, 72 and 71 over a course that was set up at a moderate 6600 yards or so the first two days and upwards of 6800 yards and approaching its backbreaking maximum of 7000 the last two days.
Further emphasizing the charge of the youth brigade is the fact that the top five finishers included three collegians-winner Green, Mike Mitchell, Texarkanan who plays for Houston University and Tommy Barnes, Jr. University of Georgia golfer from Avondale Estates, Ga. Barnes is the son of two-time SGA champion Tommy Barnes Sr.
Besides Gray, 27, the only 'oldster' in the top five was Bill Harvey, 36-year-old insurance broker from Greensboro, N.C. who holds many major titles in North Carolina and South Carolina.
Harvey tied with Mitchell for third at 286, lost the position in a one-hole playoff. Barnes-was fifth at 289.
Patton, defending champion, started beautifully with a 69 but tapered off to 74 the second day, then had 78 and 77 for 298 and a tie for 13th place.
Morey found the West's length, trees and rough even more difficult than did Patton and many others who made up the fastest Southern field yet. He started with 78, improved modestly to 74 the second day and at 152 missed by four blows the championship division cutoff.
The low 30 and ties that made up the championship proper after 36 holes was composed of 36 players, 11 of whom had tied at 148.
Morey proved the best prophet of the lot-even though he missed the cut. He had estimated that it would take 'about 283' to win. That's what Green shot. Patton and such possessors of local knowledge as host club stars Elbert Jemison Jr. and Walter Wood and host pro Jon Gustin had predicted 285 or 286 would be good enough and as high as 288 or 289 would do the job if the weather turned bad.
Jim Head Jr., host club veteran, shot 68 the first day to lead by one stroke. Gray and Barnes blazed a 66 trail the second day to equal the competitive record for the course from the 6600-yard markers. Head and three others had shot 66 in the past, and another of the three, Bob
Lowry Jr., was in this year's field. The big Huntsvillian was runner-up to Hugh Royer in the last previous Southern held at the Country Club (1958).
Lester Kelly of Atlanta, a 32-year-old insurance man, had the best round the last two days when the course was monster-man. He shot 68 the third round, and that tied the competitive record for the 6800 to 7000 distance. Four such rounds had been shot, one of them by Walter Wood of this year's field.
Collegian Mitchell handled the monster best, shooting subpar 70 each of the last two days. Kelly took 80 strokes after his fine 68. Green was 72-71 the last two days.
Medalist honors were taken by Gray in the third round after he and Barnes had tied at 138. Gray shot 73 to Barnes' 74 in the decisive trip.
Three of the many collegians in the field had only lately competed in the National Intercollegiate championship. They were Mitchell, B. R. (Mac) McLendon Jr. of Montgomery and Mike Taylor of Meridian, Miss. McLendon is a LUS Senior, Taylor a Brigham Young University Senior. McLendon and Taylor tied for eighth here at 291. McLendon had tied for eighth at 290 in the National Intercollegiate, Taylor and Mitchell had tied for 10th at 292.
The team trophy went to Georgia by two strokes over Alabama, which had a hefty margin over Alabama after the first round.
Georgia totaled 565: Barnes, 138; Ward Wettlaufer, 141; Kelly 142 and Jimmy Cleveland, 144.
Alabama totaled 567 with Green's 140, McLendon's 141, Lowry's 142 and Head's 144.
A fitting climax to the fastest Southern ever was the trophy presentation ceremony and it struck everybody as especially appropriate that Mrs. Ormond Somerville, wife of a prominent attorney, was asked to hand the Sam Perry Medal (for low qualifier) to Downing Gray.
The medal is a memorial to Mrs. Somerville's former husband, who lost his life in World War II. Perry won three Southern amateurs, the last of which came at the Country Club of Birmingham, his home course, in 1941, before he went away to war, never to come back.
Birmingham now has hosted seven Southerns,
but this was the first over the extensively and expensively remodeled
West course. The course was in superb condition and many of those
who have competed in national championships left wondering when
the United States Golf Assn. was going to make an effort to use
the Country Club's magnificent facilities for one of its major
|Hubert Green||Birmingham Ala.||71-69-72-71||283|
|Downing Gray||Pensacola, Fla.||72-66-73-73||284|
|Bill Harvey||Greensboro, N.C.||69-71-73-73||286|
|Mike Mitchell||Texarkana, Tex.||71-75-70-70||286|
|Tommy Barnes, Jr.||Avondale Estates, Ga.||72-66-74-77||289|
|Ward Wettlaufer||Atlanta, Ga.||71-70-76-73||290|
|Lester Kelley||Atlanta, Ga.||72-70-68-80||290|
|Benson McLendon||Montgomery, Ala.||69-72-71-79||291|
|Mike Taylor||Meridian, Miss.||74-74-71-72||291|
|Robert Lowry, Jr.||Huntsville, Ala.||70-72-73-77||292|
|Dixon Brooke||Birmingham, Ala.||72-75-74-74||295|
|Joseph Inman||Greensboro, N.C.||73-73-72-78||296|
|William J. Patton||Morganton, N.C.||69-74-78-77||298|
|Jim Head, Jr.||Birmingham, Ala.||68-76-75-79||298|
|Ed Pascoe||Birmingham, Ala.||70-75-73-81||299|
|Jerry Greenbaum||Atlanta, Ga.||76-72-74-79||301|
|Charlie Harrison||Decatur, Ga.||72-76-78-75||301|
|Bunky Henry||Valdosta, Ga.||73-75-74-79||301|
|Buddy Whitten||Pensacola, Fla.||72-76-76-77||301|
|Gilbert Wesley||Red Bay, Ala.||75-72-76-78||301|
|James Cleveland||Atlanta, Ga.||77-67-78-80||302|
|Curtis Person, Sr.||Memphis, Tenn.||72-76-79-75||302|
|Walter Wood||Birmingham, Ala.||73-75-79-75||302|
|Bucky Ayers||Athens, Ca.||73-74-77-79||303|
|Bobby Foster||Columbia, S.C.||71-74-80-78||303|
|James Wittenberg, Jr.||Memphis, Tenn.||72-73-79-80||304|
|Linton Selman||Mountain Brook, Ala.||75-70-81-79||305|
|Jerry Porter||Miami, Fla.||73-74-79-80||306|
|David Boyd||Atlanta, Ga.||72-76-85-77||310|
|Bob Wilson||vMemphis, Tenn.||72-75-81-83||311|
|William Kellam||Virginia Beach, Va.||71-77-75-75||298|
|Lew Oehmig||Chattanooga, Tenn.||73-75-76||WD|
|Ray Terry||Jacksonville, Fla.||76-71-79||WD|
|Dave Smith||Gastonia, N.C.||75-72||WD|
|Joe Frank Terrill||Greenville, Ala.||72-74-72||WD|
|Craig Metz||Richardson, Tex.||74-76-72-74||296|
|Ralph Smallman, III||Birmingham, Ala.||76-74-75-75||300|
|Ron Ga.iser, Jr.||Birmingham, Ala.||73-77-76-76||302|
|Chuck Rea||Meridian, Miss.||72-80-75-79||306|
|Alec Grant||Jasper, Ala.||77-74-77-78||306|
|Tom Raney||Little Rock, Ark.||76-76-82-76||310|
|Dr. Frank Holt, II||Birmingham, Ala.||75-76-84-76||311|
|Charles Snipes||Greensboro, N.C.||71-82-76-84||313|
|Jimmy Wittenberg||Memphis, Tenn.||75-77-83-77||313|
|John Bird, Jr.||Shreveport, La.||76-77-83-78||314|
|Al Jones||Decatur, Ala.||78-74-81-88||321|
|William Hamilton||Anniston, Ala.||76-73-79||WD|
|Chris Banister||Anniston, Ala.||72-79-78||WD|
|Key Scales, Jr.||Weirsdale, Fla.||78-74-79||WD|
|Dale Morey||High Point, N.C.||78-74-80||WD|
|Howard Everitt||Boynton Beach, Fla.||75-78-77||WD|
|William Dixson||Winston-Salem, N.C.||74-79-79||WD|
|Dick Pride||Tuscaloosa, Ala.||78-71||WD|
|Johnny Thornton||San Antonio, Tex.||72-77||WD|
|Robert Bryant||Charlotte, N.C||77-72||WD|
|Walton Smith, Jr.||Clarksville, Tenn.||77-73||WD|
|Truman Connell||Boynton Beach, Fla.||78-74||WD|
|Kevin Butler||Palm Beach, Fla.||77-77-81-70||305|
|Heyward Sullivan||Greenville, S.C.||77-79-74-76||306|
|Howard Derrick||Huntsville, Ala.||80-76-78-74||308|
|Cobby Ware||Fayetteville, Ga.||78-78-77-77||310|
|Norman Clay||Birmingham, Ala.||79-77-77-79||312|
|Walter Dowell||Walnut Ridge, Ark.||79-77-76-81||313|
|Jack Colter||Warrington, Fla.||74-80-80-80||314|
|James Cheney||Dalton, Ga.||79-75-83-78||315|
|Charles Wilcox||Birmingham, Ala.||76-79-83-77||315|
|Wally Rose||Lexington, Ky.||77-79-80-81||317|
|John Nickey||Memphis, Tenn.||73-83-82-80||318|
|Lamar Smith||Montgomery, Ala.||77-78-93-80||318|
|Layne Wollack||Montgomery, Ala.||82-72-82-82||318|
|Jim Norton||Mountain Brook, Ala.||76-80-80-84||320|
|William McDonald||Birmingham, Ala.||77-77-83-85||322|
|Nick Walker||Cuthbert, Ga.||77-78-87-87||329|
|Carl Farlow||Birmingham, Ala.||77-77-82||WD|
|Jay Harris||Mebane, N.C.||79-76-76||WD|
|Leland Fisher||Gulfport, Miss.||78-78-82||WD|
|Richard Stephens||St. Petersburg, Fla.||77-77||WD|
|W. E. Lovett||Toccoa, Ga.||77-77||WD|
|Tim Yancey||Atlanta, Ga.||78-77||WD|
|Bryan Bergeron, Jr||Huntsville, Ala.||79-76||WD|
|D. Y. Smith||Shreveport, La.||82-73||WD|
|Dr. Walker Reynolds||Anniston, Ala.||82-74||WD|
|John Holmes||Metairie, La.||74-82||WD|
|Sam Farlow||Birmingham, Ala.||77-80-80-77||314|
|E. B. Gee, Jr||Blytheville, Ark.||80-79-84-73||316|
|Thomas Nicol||Tuscaloosa, Ala.||81-77-81-78||317|
|Joe Thornton, III||Biloxi, Miss.||81-76-80-80||317|
|Chuck Jones||Birmingham, Ala.||75-84-86-72||317|
|Stokes McConnell||Baton Rouge, La.||84-74-80-79||317|
|Donald Blanton||Selma, Ala.||76-81-86-75||318|
|Del Wood||Birmingham, Ala.||79-79-79-81||318|
|L. J. Griffis||Birmingham, Ala.||79-78-81-81||319|
|Warren Belser||Birmingham, Ala.||74-83-79-85||321|
|Lee Harper||Fairfield, Ala.||77-81-80-83||321|
|Billy Williamson, Jr||Montgomery, Ala.||84-74-79-83||321|
|William Ragland, III||Chattanooga., Tenn.||78-81-82-81||322|
|Mason Dillard, Jr||Birmingham, Ala.||77-82-79-87||325|
|Bob Thompson||Greenville, S.C||78-79-82-86||325|
|James Wesley||Winter Park, Fla.||78-81-82-86||327|
|Dixon Brooke,Jr||Birmingham, Ala.||83-76-82-89||330|
|Dr. Sam Powell||Birmingham, Ala.||79-80-82-89||330|
|William Ramsey||Shreveport, La.||79-79-83-89||330|
|Ross Shawaker||Columbia, S.C||82-76-77||WD|
|Bob Ladd||Memphis, Tenn.||80-79-81||WD|
|Milton Wigley||Oxford, Ala.||81-78-82||WD|
|Sam Dixon||Birmingham, Ala.||78-81-78||WD|
|Eugene Eleazar||Abbeville, La.||82-77||WD|
|John Battle, Jr.||Richmond, Va.||79-80||WD|
|Jeff Thompson||Greenville, S.C.||73-85||WD|
|Dr. Preston Jones||Vestavia Hills, Ala.||78-80||WD|