Ooltewah, Tennessee-Rob McNamara of Frankfort, Kentucky was the winner of the 80th Annual Southern Amateur Championship. Play was conducted over The Honors Course in Ooltewah, Tennessee. This great course was designed by Pete Dye and the 1986 SGA Championship was the first major championship played on the course, but it is only a forerunner of many major championships to come including the US Amateur Championship scheduled for the Honors Course in 1990.
McNamara returned scores of 74-71-72-76-293, to gain the winner's spot by one stroke over Ed Pfister of Marilla, New York and a member of the Oklahoma State University golf team. Pfister's rounds were 73-76-74-71-294.
Third place was shared by two players, Peter Persons of Macon, Georgia and Bill McDonald of Dalton, Georgia at 295. Persons had rounds of 74-75-68-78 and McDonald's rounds were 72-73-76-74.
Fifth place was a tie among three players, Jim Vernon of Frankfort, Kentucky, Tom Musselman of Knoxville, Tennessee and Billie Andrade of Bristol, Rhode Island and Wake Forest University, with scores of 296. Alone in eighth place at 297 was Len Mattiace of Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida who was the winner of the 1985 Southern Amateur Championship. Tied for ninth place were Doug Farr of Monroe, Louisiana and Michael Bradley of Vairico, Florida at 298.
During the first round of play, 9 players shot par or better, led by Tad Rhyan, University of Tennessee senior from Sarasota, Florida with a fine 3 under par 69. After completion of 36 holes, Rhyan at 143, 1 under par, maintained a 2 stroke lead and also won the Sam Perry Medalist Trophy. At this point 3 other collegians were bunched at 145, 1 over par. They were Georgia Tech's Bill McDonald, LSU senior Rob McNamara and Len Mattiace, who had just completed his freshman year as a member of Wake Forest University's NCAA Championship Team.
After the third round our new leader, by one stroke, was Billie Andrade, the nation's hottest amateur with wins in the North & South and the Sunnehanna and Captain of the Wake Forest University golf team. Close in the chase were McNamara and Persons only 1 behind, and Brian Watts, winner of the Trans-Miss Amateur the previous week, was just 2 shots behind.
The fourth and final round of the competition produced the winner McNamara, but not before a series of events that left the players and spectators alike in a near state of frenzy.
Andrade lost his 1 shot lead over McNamara in a three-hole nightmarish stretch from 5 through 7 with a bogey-bogey-triple bogey and never seriously contended again.
Peter Persons, two times All American from Georgia and runner-in the 1986 US Amateur had played the front side in 1 under par to take a 2 shot advantage over McNamara going to the back side. However, during the last seven holes, Persons' concentration failed and over that stretch he was 7 over par, taking himself out of contention.
Oklahoma State golfer Ed Pfister was playing ahead of the leaders, and he finished with a 1 under par 71, one of only 4 subpar rounds on the final day of play, and 1 of only 14 for the tournament. Pfister waited patiently in the wings for the others to finish and he ended up in sole possession of second place.
McNamara didn't handle the stretch holes with distinction, himself. However, he was able to maintain the lead he attained with his brilliant play over holes 10, 11 and 12 with three consecutive birdies, and he emerged as the 1986 Champion by 1 stroke.
McNamara's composure and ability to concentrate, while the ball appeared to be "bouncing the wrong way", won out. The consensus of all players was that although McNamara won the tournament, the ultimate winner was the golf course.
The Bob Jones Trophy is awarded annually to the low team of four players from the same state, based on the first 36 holes of play. Georgia and Florida were tied after the first 36 holes, and the winner was decided by a playoff in the 3rd round which was won by Georgia. Their team score for 36 holes was 591 based on the performance of Bill McDonald, Dalton (145); Jonathan Nichols, Savannah (148); Peter Persons, Macon (149) and Seth Knight, Atlanta (149).
The Honors Course is truly a magnificent layout and a great test of golf. Although there is no question that it is a very difficult course, the excellent playing conditions presented a delightful and interesting challenge to an unusually talented field of golfers. This Championship will long be remembered as the first major event, and over a period of time the Honors Course will receive the recognition it rightly deserves.
The cooperation and assistance received from Club Manager Doris Fulghum and her staff; Golf Professional Mike Fiddelke and his staff and Golf Course Superintendent David Stone and his staff were outstanding and contributed immeasurably to the resounding success of the 1986 Southern Golf Association Championship.
|Rob McNamara, Frankfort, KY||74-71-72-76-293|
|Ed Pfister, Marilia, NY||73-76-74-71-294|
|Peter Persons, Macon, GA||74-75-68-78-295|
|Bill McDonald, Dalton, GA||72-73-76-74-295|
|Jim Vernon, Frankfort, KY||75-72-77-72-296|
|Tom Musselman, Knoxville, TN||72-74-74-76-296|
|Billie Andrade, Bristol, RI||72-74-70-80-296|
|Len Mattiace, Ponte Vedra Beach, FL||73-72-76-76-297|
|Doug Farr, Monroe, LA||79-78-70-71-297|
|Michael Bradley, Vairico, FL||80-76-72-70-298|
|Tim Straub, Orchard Park, NY||75-74-77-73-298|
|John Trivison, Hilton Head, SC||78-72-72-77-299|
|Robert McCardle, Columbia, SC||75-74-77-73-299|
|Brian Watts, Carrollton, TX||71-75-72-81-299|
|Ross Johnson, Rome, GA||74-78-74-74-300|
|Denny Gallagher, Cincinnati, OH||73-73-78-76-300|
|Mac Logue, Birmingham, AL||77-77-74-73-301|
|Charles Rymer, Fort Mills, SC||73-77-73-78-301|
|Eddie Carmichael, Knoxville, TN||72-76-81-73-302|
|Dudley Hart, Miami Beach, FL||72-80-75-75-302|
|Chip Drury, Brunswick, GA||75-76-73-78-302|
|Greg Jones, Mobile, AL||75-80-77-71-303|
|Michael R. Bradley, Durham, NC||74-79-75-76-304|
|Steven Serotte, Amherst, NY||76-76-75-77-304|
|Seth Knight, Atlanta, GA||77-72-73-82-304|
|Peter Dyson, Pensacola, FL||76-80-75-74-305|
|Tad Rhyan, Sarasota, FL||69-74-81-81-305|
|Jim Hoitgrieve, St. Louis, MO||74-79-76-76-305|
|John O'Neill, Arcadia, CA||82-70-77-76-305|
|Jeffrey Bogan, Marco Island, FL||72-79-77-77-305|
|Jeff Quammen, Lexington, KY||77-77-74-77-305|
|Tom Knapp, N Palm Beach, FL||81-75-71-78-305|
|Terry Ezell, Hermitage, TN||77-69-78-81-305|
|John McKay, Palm City, FL||77-80-72-77-306|
|William Gabbert, Sulphur, LA||79-77-75-76-307|
|Andrew DeBusk, Houston, TX||73-83-74-77-307|
|Chris Dalrymple, Pinehurst, NC||78-74-72-83-307|
|Joe Durant, Montgomery, AL||77-76-71-83-307|
|Gibby Gilbert, Chattanooga, TN||79-73-79-77-308|
|Jonathan Nichols, Savannah, GA||74-74-76-84-308|
|Jim Grainger, Charlotte, NC||74-78-75-82-309|
|Scott Tway, Marietta, GA||72-86-75-77-310|
|Jeff Sherrill, Chattanooga, TN||78-76-79-77-310|
|Scott Gump, Merrit Island, FL||73-85-73-79-310|
|Bo Beard, Conroe, TX||80-76-75-79-310|
|Bob Rawlins, Dallas, TX||75-78-78-79-310|
|Robby Cole, Kennesaw, GA||74-82-74-80-310|
|Steve Smyers, Mulberry, FL||74-84-77-76-311|
|Tom Lape, Lebanon, PA||78-75-77-81-311|
|Jeff Belinap, Collierville, TN||77-76-77-81-311|
|Larry Clark, Kennesaw, GA||76-81-72-82-311|
|Larry White, Chattanooga, TN||75-79-75-82-311|
|Phillip Blythe, Louisville, KY||74-79-74-84-311|
|Petey King, N Little Rock, AR||75-79-81-77-312|
|Chris Gustin, Birmingham, AL||74-79-80-79-312|
|Jim Scott, Cleveland, TN||80-75-76-81-312|
|Jack Nicklaus II, N. Palm Beach, FL||79-79-78-77-313|
|Matt Peterson, Morganton, NC||77-75-79-82-313|
|Will Pritchard, Jackson, MS||81-73-74-85-313|
|Mike Quammen, Lexington, KY||76-77-75-85-313|
|Jarrett Sharp, LaFollette, TN||81-77-79-77-314|
|Bill Argabrite, Kingsport, TN||82-76-79-78-315|
|Michael Clark II, Dalton, GA||77-81-82-76-316|
|Jay Pierson, Shreveport, LA||83-73-77-83-316|
|Chris Toulson, Knoxville, TN||80-78-81-78-317|
|Robert Willis, Madison, MS||77-78-80-82-317|
|Wayne Woolfall, Chattanooga, TN||73-80-79-85-317|
|Greg Watts, Knoxville, TN||75-80-83-81-319|
|Jack Veghte, Clearwater, FL||75-81-80-83-319|
|Luis Pavon, Tuscaloosa, AL||79-75-82-83-319|
|George Creagh, Nashville, TN||80-78-86-76-320|
|Bob Twaddell, Houston, TX||74-82-83-81-320|
|Downing Gray, Pensacola, FL||80-76-79-85-320|
|John Jeay, Kingsport, TN||79-80-82-82-322|
|Nell Spitalny, Chattanooga, TN||79-79-79-85-322|
|Chuck Cordell, Pinehurst, NC||78-80-82-83-323|
|John Veghte, Jr., Tallahassee, FL||79-79-80-89-327|
|Richie Balthrop, Chattanoogo, TN||81-76-87-85-329|
|Chuck Liner, Athens, TN||81-77-77-94-329|
|Bob McDonnell, Ormond Beach, FL||78-79-83-WD|
|Todd McCorkle, Matthews, NC||73-76-NC|
|The George W. Adair Memorial Trophy was permanently enshrined in the Bob Jones Trophy Room at the Atlanta Athletic Club in 1978, and an agreement was reached with Waterford Crystal, Limited in Ireland, to design a trophy which would be presented annually to the SGA Champion.|