By Grantland Rice, II
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