SGA Executive Secretary
Pinehurst, North Carolina-Experience was the keynote as the veteran Vinny Giles came from behind in the final round to overtake a host of talented collegians and win the 69th annual Southern Golf Association championship.
Giles, winner of the British Amateur earlier in the year and a former National Amateur champion, is a superb competitor as his final round 70 would indicate.
The 70 he shot those last 18 holes might not sound too hot, but when you consider it was the second-best round of the entire tournament it added up to victory.
Vinny started the final round trailing Alabama's Alan Pate, who was unheralded but played the famed No. 2 course in great fashion until a final round 79 ruined his hopes of finishing in the top ten.
Pate had started with rounds of 74-72-71 and his 217 at the three-quarter mark had sole possession of the lead. Florida's Phillip Hancock and Mark Witt of Oklahoma, were right behind at 218 and Giles was in there at 219, along with four others.
Curtis Strange, one of the pre-tournament favorites, was tied with Giles heading to the last roundup but he couldn't get a thing going and a final 78 put him well down the list.
Big Stan Lee of LSU, who was tied with Giles going to round No. 4, moved into the tournament lead after the first eight holes of the front side. But, then he bogied the ninth and two more bogies on the back left him tied for second with Hancock and Mississippi's Mike Taylor.
Giles showed rounds of 74-72-73-70 for the championship and continually in the final round he was able to get out of grave situations to save pars. He made the turn even when he made an almost impossible par from a bunker at the ninth. Then the redhead made birdies at No. 13 and No. 16 while Hancock took bogie at the short 15.
It was a head-to-head match for Giles and Hancock going to the last two holes. Vinny had taken a one shot lead with his birdie at No. 16. Both missed birdie putts inside 10 feet at No. 17 and then on the 18th the Florida ace drove into trouble as a starter and couldn't get out.
Vinny chipped from high grass to save par again at the Home Hole and Hancock's final bogey made the two shot victory look a little easier than it was.
"My competitive frame of mind might not be what it use to be," said Giles afterwards. "But, when I get in a situation like today I seem to be able to guts it out because I hate to lose."
It was Giles' second Southern Golf Championship. He had won over his home course in Richmond in 1967.
North Carolina took the Bob Jones team championship with Tim Saylor, East Bend (145); Bill Hamilton, Raleigh (148); David Thore, Reidsville (149) and Dr. William Boles, Wilson (148), combining for the title.
For the first time since any SGA official could remember a round was washed out when a torrent hit the course most of the morning of the third round.
The first and second rounds had been played in steady drizzles as it had rained for almost three weeks at Pinehurst. But, over two inches of rain the morning of the third round knocked it out. Then, the sun came out and the final 36 were played in perfect weather.
Due to the wet course conditions, and tough pin placements, more players than usual made the cut as 80 players shot 155 or better and got to play the final 36.
|Vinny Giles, Richmond, Virginia||74-72-73-70-289|
|Phil Hancock, Greenville, Alabama||72-73-73-73-291|
|Stan Lee, Heber Springs, Arkansas||73-75-71-72-291|
|Mike Taylor, Meridian, Mississippi||75-75-72-72-291|
|Mark Witt, Norman, Oklahoma||73-73-72-74-292|
|Ken Sott, Marietta, Georgia||78-73-69-72-292|
|Gus Sylvan, Columbia, South Carolina||76-71-72-74-293|
|David Thore, Reidsville, North Carolina||74-75-73-72-294|
|Tim Saylor, East Bend, North Carolina||71-74-76-73-294|
|Roger Simpkins, Chestertown, Maryland||74-75-72-74-295|
|Larry Rinker, Stuart, Florida||72-77-74-72-295|
|Bill Hamilton, Raleigh, North Carolina||72-76-73-74-295|
|Alan Pate, Mobile, Alabama||74-72-71-79-296|
|Skeeter Heath, Hampton, Virginia||77-72-73-75-297|
|Curtis Strange, Virginia Beach, Virginia||71-77-71-78-297|
|Buddy Gardner, Montgomery, Alabama||75-76-74-72-297|
|Tim Wilson, Austin, Texas||79-74-71-73-297|
|Ronald Kilby, Houston, Texas||74-76-71-77-298|
|Vance Heafner, Cary, North Carolina||75-74-74-76-299|
|Thomas Mikell, Temple Terrace, Florida||71-74-82-72-299|
|John Bunn, Raleigh, North Carolina||78-71-76-74-299|
|Danny Yates, Atlanta, Georgia||77-76-73-73-299|
|Joe Hager, Dallas, Texas||72-75-76-77-300|
|Andy Bean, Lakeland, Florida||75-75-71-79-300|
|Ray Montgomery, Louisville, Kentucky||73-74-78-76-301|
|Julian Arnold, Miami, Florida||74-76-74-77-301|
|Max Tullos, Jackson, Mississippi||77-76-75-73-301|
|Steve Olsen, Marietta, Georgia||79-73-76-73-301|
|Dick Horne, Athens, Georgia||77-74-74-77-302|
|David Abell, Ft. Pierce, Florida||77-76-74-75-302|
|Todd Smith, Charlotte, North Carolina||75-75-75-78-303|
|Sam Trahon, New Orleans, Louisiana||75-75-77-76-303|
|Tim Simpson, Atlanta, Georgia||81-74-75-73-303|
|Travis Hudson, Jasper, Alabama||75-77-74-78-304|
|Gary Bennett, Florence, South Carolina||79-75-73-77-304|
|Billy Joe Patton, Morganton, N. Carolina||76-78-75-76-305|
|Dr. William Boles, Wilson, North Carolina||73-75-77-81-306|
|Bill Sibbick, Martinsville, Virginia||71-80-78-77-306|
|Wiliam Varn, Jacksonville, Florida||79-75-77-75-306|
|Bill Harvey, Jamestown, North Carolina||77-76-78-75-306|
|Wylie Ramsey, Marion, North Carolina||81-72-76-77-306|
|Mickey Van Gerbig, Palm Beach, Florida||72-78-79-78-307|
|Charles Lynch, Winston-Salem, N. Carolina||71-82-75-79-307|
|Vance Whicker, Greensboro, North Carolina||77-78-77-75-307|
|Lee Keesler, Charlotte, North Carolina||76-77-79-75-307|
|Harry Welch, Salisbury, North Carolina||79-75-73-80-307|
|Frank Gusmus, Germantown, Tennessee||75-76-76-81-308|
|Charles Randall, Fayette, North Carolina||77-75-74-82-308|
|Bob Bymon, Raleigh, North Carolina||77-78-76-78-309|
|Mike Maynard, Louisville, Kentucky||75-80-75-79-309|
|Kelley Kirkpatrick, Ft. Smith, Arkansas||76-78-77-78-309|
|Jim Haney, Winston-Salem, North Carolina||77-76-78-78-309|
|Eddie Lyons. Baton Rouge, Louisiana||78-72-81-79-310|
|Paul Haire, Memphis, Tennessee||76-79-78-77-310|
|Johnny Lang, Meridian, Mississippi||79-74-92-75-310|
|Billy Wood, Birmingham, Alabama||79-76-77-78-310|
|John Pratt, Winter Park, Florida||79-75-76-80-310|
|Mike Barkley, Sanford, North Carolina||76-75-85-75-311|
|Lindsey Spiller, Baton Rouge, Louisiana||73-82-76-80-311|
|Jim Adams, Fayetteville, North Carolina||78-77-78-79-312|
|Pike Hall, Shreveport, Louisiana||76-77-82-77-312|