Look for a defending champion in 1996 at the 90th Southern Amateur at the Country Club of North Carolina in Pinehurst. That's something that hasn't happened much in recent years as most of the winners turn pro before defending.

Such wasn't the case with Justin Leonard of Dallas, who won back-to-back titles in 1992 & 1993 before turning pro shortly after graduation from the University of Texas in the spring of 1994.

And such isn't the case with Lee Eagleton, a special invitee from Melbourne, Australia. After earning an impressive come-from-behind victory at Holston Hills Country Club in Knoxville, Tennessee, Eagleton said he would not turn pro until 1997 in hopes of earning a chance to represent Australia in the 1996 World Amateur Team Championship. Therefore, his plans are to return in '96 to defend.

Eagleton, 22, was among seven Australians who were in the U.S. to play the summer amateur circuit. Four received special invitations to the Southern Amateur and the other three were in the field by virtue of having played as collegians in the Southern area. Of the seven, three finished in the top 30.

Eagleton was the second non-American to win the Southern Amateur title, preceded by Mexican Rafael Alarcon, who was a student at Oklahoma State University when he won in 1979 at the Country Club of North Carolina.

At Holston Hills Country Club, Eagleton edged Paul Simson of Raleigh, North Carolina by two strokes, 274 to 276. Never far off Simson's lead, Eagleton had a final round of six under par 66 on the venerable 6,910 Donald Ross course, marking the fourth time the Southern has taken its championship to this wonderful site.

Simson, 44, led Eagleton by three, five and two strokes the first three days as he attempted to duplicate his victory earlier in the summer at the North & South Amateur at Pinehurst, another of the prestigious summer amateur events.

But in the final round, Eagleton made three consecutive birdies on the front nine to take the lead, then added four more on the back to nearly equal Simson's opening 65, the low score of the week.

P. J. Smith of nearby Morristown, Tennessee, was third at 277. U.S. Mid-Amateur champion Tim Jackson of Memphis, who won the Tennessee State Amateur at Holston Hills in 1994, was among three players tied for fourth at 279.

"It's a great thrill to win th is tournament," Eagleton said. Perhaps speaking for the entire Australian contingent, he added, "We came here this summer to play in six or seven tournaments, to see how our games measure up against the Americans." Though small in numbers, at Holston Hills the Aussies measured up quite well.

Lee Eagleton, Melbourne, Australia 68-71-69-66--274
Paul Simson, Raleigh, NC 65-69-72-70--276
P. J. Smith, Morristown, TN 67-69-74-67--277
Trip Kuehne, McKinney, TX 74-66-73-66--279
Michael Henderson, Raleigh, NC 70-71-70-68--279
Tim Jackson, Memphis, TN 68-72-68-71--279
Robby Skinner, Dallas, TX 74-70-71-65--280
Jimmy Flippen, Danville, VA 70-70-73-67--280
Hank Kim, Jonesboro, GA 69-73-71-68--281
Garrett Willis, Maryville, TN 70-72-70-70--282
Brett Crosby, Banksia Park, Australia 71-69-71-71--282
Scott Kammann, White Pine, TN 72-70-69-71--282
Christian Chernock, Orange, CT 74-73-70-67--284
Landry Mahan, Richardson, TX 70-71-76-68--285
Kevin Blanton, Moultrie, GA 73-71-73-69--286
Gary Shankland, Ormond Beach, FL 71-72-72-71--286
David Seawell, Aiken, SC 72-69-73-72--286
Billy Varn, Jacksonville, FL 70-72-72-72--286
Charles Warren, Columbia, SC 73-73-71-70--287
Justin Roof, Conway, SC 69-71-76-71--287
Adam Thomas, Baxley, GA 73-67-75-72--287
Don Phillips, Duluth, GA 73-70-72-72--287
Larry Barber, Sherman, TX 74-70-71-72--287
Will Sowles, Memphis, TN 73-72-72-71--288
Steve Golliher, Knoxville, TN 75-67-73-73--288
Chuck Jabaley, Cleveland, TN 72-71-75-71--289
Jason Opal, Longwood, TX 75-73-69-72--289
Will Moore, Dallas, TX 75-69-72-73--289
Reid Edstrom, Norcross, GA 71-75-74-69--289
Philip Chapman, Mt. Barker, Australia 71-73-69-76--289
Buddy Hamilton, Broken Arrow, OK 74-72-72-72--290
Todd Ormsby, Peachtree City, GA 72-74-72-72--290
Daniel Stone, St. Petersburg, FL 70-76-71-73--290
Brent Wolf, Ft. Worth, TX 71-76-70-73--290
Douglas Labell, II, Mt. Pleasant, MI 70-73-74-73--290
Victor Schwamkrug, Sugarland, TX 76-69-74-71--290
Marvin Morris, Nashville, TN 70-68-80-72--290
Jason Echols, Niceville, FL 72-71-73-75--291
Will Huntly, Wadesboro, NC 77-68-69-77--291
Jimmy Bell, Orlando, FL 67-77-75-72--291
Josh Gregory, Memphis, TN 76-69-73-73--291
Nathan Anderson, Knoxville, TN 75-73-73-71--292
Mayson Petty, Tuscaloosa, AL 72-74-73-73--292
Brad Sharp, Waco, TX 73-75-71-73--292
Doug Farr, Monroe, LA 74-73-72-73--292
Justin Chambers, Maryville, TN 73-73-72-75--293
Derek Jackson, Dunwoody, GA 75-72-76-70--293
Thad Hudgens, Knoxville, TN 70-73-71-79--293
Ryan Gioffre, Greensboro, NC 73-73-73-74--293
David Apperson, Memphis, TN 75-69-74-76--294
Christian Raynor, Winter Park, FL 75-73-74-72--294
Chip McDonald, Lafayette, LA 74-74-74-72--294
Tripp Reynolds, Columbus, GA 72-72-77-73--294
Jeff Chambers, Knoxville, TN 74-73-73-74--294
Patrick Vadden, Louisville, KY 71-73-75-75--294
Michael Boyd, Tulsa, OK 74-72-74-75--295
Brett Boner, Birmingham, AL 73-75-72-75--295
Tim O'Neal, Savannah, GA 71-73-69-82--295
Carter Smith, Cartersville, GA 71-74-74-76--295
Jamie Webb, Paris, TN 72-75-75-74--296
Matt Lewis, Sedona, AZ 73-73-75-75--296
Cory Rochelle, Lawrenceburg, TN 71-74-71-80--296
Richard Keene, Chattanooga, TN 75-72-74-75--296
D. J. Nelson, Hixson, TN 72-74-74-76--296
Mauricio Muniz, Mayaguez, Puerto Rico 76-71-71-79--297
Erin McDonald, Memphis, TN 74-74-76-73--297
Ryan Landowski, Athens, GA 74-74-74-75--297
Dale Thorley, Amherst, OH 71-70-81-75--297
Jeff Golliher, Knoxville, TN 74-72-77-75--298
Matthew Russell, Atlanta, GA 74-71-78-75--298
Jeff Cranford, Morristown, TN 75-70-77-76--298
Robert Dean, Raleigh, NC 70-78-75-77--300
Tom Smith, Knoxville, TN 66-78-79-77--300
Jeff Brown, Edmond, OK 72-76-74-78--300
Will White, Jackson, MS 71-77-74-79--301
Scott Sills, West Monroe, LA 72-76-79-75--302
D. J. Brigman, Bedford, TX 76-72-78-76--302
Jason Walters, Atlanta, GA 71-75-82-75--303
Steven Ressler, London, KY 75-70-80-80--305
David Head, Hendersonville, TN 70-77-80-81--308
Jordan Byrd, Columbia, SC 75-73-75-DQ

A traditional part of the Southern Amateur, and of great import to the players, is the Team Championship, in which the four best 36 hole scores from each state represent that state as a team. The team with the lowest cumulative score earns the Bob Jones Team Trophy for each player. In the 1995 Championship, Tennessee was the State Team Champion, represented by the following players:
P. J. Smith, Morristown


Marvin Morris, Nashville 138
Tim Jackson, Memphis


Steve Golliher, Knoxville 142