Columbus, Georgia-Lanky Bill Rogers fought off a brilliant closing nine holes by Guy Cullins to take the Southern Golf Association championship with a final 68 and a 276 total.
Rogers, of Texarkana, Tex., made the Southern his first major amateur victory on rounds of 70-65-73-68, one in front of Cullins who carded rounds of 69-73-69-66.
With Rogers threatening to make the championship run a breeze, Cullins, of Denton, Tex., started his move with a string of sub-par golf that will be remembered a long time around the host Green Island Country Club.
Cullins went birdie-birdie-birdie-par-eagle-birdie-par-birdie to tie Rogers going to the 18th hole. But, the new champion got a comfortable par on the tough finishing hole and Cullins three putted from 60 feet to let the chance at a playoff slip by.
"I didn't think it would take a final round 68 to win it," said Rogers as he accepted the George W. Adair trophy.
The 276 total was just one shot over the Southern record held by Dale Morey, set in Shreveport, La. in 1964. The Texan had set a medalist record when he shot 70-65, seven under par, in the opening two rounds.
Rogers had taken the tournament lead with that second round 65, and held a one shot lead on the field as the final round began. Bill shot a front side 33 and appeared to be in control only to see Cullins get hot.
Gil Morgan, Wewoka, Okla., was the only non-Texan to finish in the top five. Morgan tied Ben Crenshaw, the defending champion and pre-tournament favorite, and Arthur Russell, Freeport, Tex., for third at 281, five behind Rogers and three under for the route.
Danny Edwards, Edmond, Okla., was sixth at 283, followed bv Rusty Whigham, 284, Tommy Evans, Bill Harvey and Terry O'Toole, 285.
Texans dominated the tournament taking six of the top ten spots, and blitzing the four-ball event as Rogers (135), Whigham (136), Cullins (142) and Russell (142) combined for a team total of 555, a new record of 13 under par, plus Rogers' medalist record and ultimate victory.
For the fifth straight year the field of 220 was filled a month before the tournament started.
The Green Island host club committee, headed by Billy Key, did a fine job of seeing that the huge field got around without delay.
|Bill Rogers, Texarkana, TX||70-65-73-68-276|
|Guy Cullins, Denton, TX||69-73-69-66-277|
|Gil Morgan, Wewoka, OK||69-67-73-72-281|
|Ben Crenshaw, Austin, TX||69-67-73-72-281|
|Arthur Russell, Freeport, TX||70-72-70-69-281|
|Danny Edwards, Edmond, OK||72-69-74-68-283|
|Rusty Whigham, San Antonio, TX||66-70-76-72-284|
|Tommy Evans, Dallas, TX||69-70-71-75-285|
|Bill Harvey, Jamestown, NC||73-69-73-70-285|
|Terry O'Toole, Oklahoma City, OK||72-73-70-70-285|
|Vinny Giles, Richmond, VA||74-68-68-76-286|
|Jimmy Gabrielsen, Atlanta, GA||75-69-70-72-286|
|Mickey McDonald, Baton Rouge, LA||70-71-73-72-286|
|Tony Pfaff, Austin, TX||68-72-72-75-287|
|Lyn Lott, Douglas, GA||71-72-71-73-287|
|Chris Pigott, Marlow Heights, MD||73-72-69-73-287|
|Elvis Larkin, Huntsville, AL||71-75-71-70-287|
|Larry Griffin, New Orleans, LA||73-72-70-72-287|
|Gary Koch, Temple Terrace, FL||71-72-76-68-287|
|Jimmy Wittenberg, Memphis, TN||72-69-74-74-289|
|Tom Jones, Jr., Birmingham, AL||72-73-73-71-289|
|Shelby Houston, Shreveport, LA||74-71-74-71-290|
|Bill Argabrite, Kingsport, TN||72-74-71-73-290|
|Bobby Edgerton, Raleigh, NC||70-73-76-71-290|
|Stan Stopa, New Orleans, LA||72-68-76-75-291|
|Mike Nelms, Chattanooga, TN||73-72-73-73-291|
|Mike Killian, Largo, FL||71-74-69-78-292|
|Mike Smith, Selma, AL||67-74-77-74-292|
|Murphy Trahan, New Orleans, LA||73-73-76-70-292|
|Bobby Wadkins, Richmond, VA||75-69-70-79-293|
|Charles Major, Birmingham, AL||74-74-72-73-293|
|Steve Morgan, Orlando, FL||71-75-76-71-293|
|Ed Selser, New Orleans, LA||71-72-77-75-295|
|Ben Duncan, Quincy, FL||73-74-74-74-295|
|Rennie Law, Greensboro, NC||72-76-74-74-296|
|Bill Zimmerman, Columbus, GA||70-79-76-71-296|
|Buddy Alexander, St. Petersburg, FL||72-76-72-76-296|
|David Ojala, Houston, TX||72-73-75-77-297|
|Downing Gray, Pensacola, FL||76-69-76-76-297|
|Jack Clement, Marrero, LA||72-76-73-76-297|
|Julian Arnold, Miami, FL||70-79-76-72-297|
|Phillip Hancock, Greenville, AL||70-75-73-80-298|
|Robert Mathews, Richmond, VA||71-71-78-78-298|
|Bobby Brent, Columbus, GA||74-75-76-73-298|
|Bo Trotter, Columbus, GA||75-74-76-73-298|
|John Vanderbloeman, Linville, SC||70-75-77-77-299|
|Danny Yates, Atlanta, GA||72-74-77-76-299|
|George Swift, Columbus, GA||74-73-74-79-300|
|John Godwin, Columbus, GA||76-73-73-78-300|
|Lew Oehmig, Chattanooga, TN||74-73-76-77-300|
|Wade Mayo, Atlanta, GA||71-73-77-74-300|
|Kipp Minter, Orlando, FL||73-74-80-73-300|
|Greg Goldsmith, San Antonio, TX||74-75-76-76-301|
|Elliott Kirven, Columbus, GA||77-72-79-74-392|
|David Eger, Charlotte, NC||74-75-80-73-302|
|King Oehmig, Chattanooga, TN||74-75-79-78-306|
|Dole Morey, High Point, NC||73-70-70-withdrew|
|Bob Bryant, Charlotte, NC||75-70-73-withdrew|