By Larry Bush, Freelance Sportswriter
West Palm Beach, Florida

Sea Island, GA - It was quite a week for the Loar family of Rockwall, Texas.

On Saturday, July 17, Edward Loar, 21, a rising senior at Oklahoma State University, won the 93rd annual Southern Amateur Championship at Ocean Forest Golf Club, a title that had slipped away from him the previous two years.

A day earlier, brother Nicholas, two years older, had advanced to the semifinals of the U.S. Amateur Public Links Championship at Spencer T. Olin Golf Club in Alton, Ilinois.

Edward Loar birdied the final hole on the 7,017 yard course at Ocean Forest to edge Matthew Saglio of Clearwater, Fla., by a stroke, 281 - 282.

Loar had begun the final round three strokes ahead of Saglio and Chris Morris of Tyler, Texas. Loar led Saglio by four after eight holes, trailed by two after 13, then pulled even on the 17th.

At the par 4 18th, Loar hit driver and 7 iron to the green and sank a 27 foot putt from right of the hole for the victory that ended two years of disappointment. Saglio had chipped his third shot from short of the green to within tap-in range for par but could only watch as Loar won the title.

"That putt was awesome," Loar acknowledged later. "I know I was choking like a dog on the back nine but inside I felt comfortable. I didn't get upset after all those bogies. I just tried to keep playing."

Still up by four after turning in 35, Loar started the back nine with a double bogey and three bogies to card 39-74 coming in. Saglio had 36-36--72 with four birdies, two bogies and a double bogey at the par 3 17th.

"I played well except for one bad swing," when he blocked a 5 wood tee shot into a greenside bunker at 17, Saglio said.

Loar won the Sunnehanna Amateur in June. Saglio was the medalist as Florida Southern College earned the NCAA Division II title in May.

Loar tied for the halfway lead in the Southern Amateur two years ago at Mira Vista in Fort Worth, Texas, before finishing fifth. Last year at the Country Club of Birmingham in Alabama, he led after two and three rounds but shot 73 the last day then lost on the second hole of a playoff.

Johathan Byrd of Columbia, S.C., was third with a 69-283 while Justin Bolli of Roswell, GA., shot a competitive course record with 66 the final round and tied for fifth at 286.

Defending champion Kris Maffet of Elizabethtown, Ky., was among four first round co-leaders, but faded to 295, 231 among 168 starters. Also at 68 were Loar, Brad Golden of Oklahoma City, Okla., and Michael Morrison of Signal Mountain, Tenn. Loar was the solo leader after 36 and 54 holes.

The 36 hole cut fell at seven over par 151. The top 40 and ties, or scores through 301, will be exempt from qualifying for the 94th Southern Amateur July 19-22, 2000, at the Atlanta Athletic Club in Duluth, Ga.

Play was suspended by rain and lightning on three of the four days for a total of more than seven hours.

On the eve of the Southern Amateur, Tim Jackson of Germantown, Tenn., was inducted into the Southern Golf Association Hall of Fame. He was the 1994 U.S. Mid-Amateur champion, and in 1998 won the North and South Amateur and Bob Jones Invitational and was a member of the USGA State Team Championship squad from Tennessee. Jackson played on the Walker Cup and Simon Bolivar Cup teams in 1995. He has won six Memphis City and two Tennessee State Amateur Titles.

Because of the venue, the field included seven former and current Walker Cup players, including special invitees John Harris of Minneapolis, Minn., and Buddy Marucci of Berwyn, Pa. The others, were Duke Delcher, Bluffton, S.C.; David Eger, Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla.; Tom McKnight, Galax, Va.; Steve Scott, Coral Springs, Fla.; and Jackson. Ocean Forest will host the Walker Cup in 2001.

Edward Loar, Rockwall, TX 68-69-70-74--281
Matthew Saglio, Clearwater, FL 71-69-70-72--282
Jonathan Byrd, Columbia, SC 70-71-73-69--283
Edward Stedman, Australia 69-70-75-71--285
Justin Bolli, Roswell, GA 73-74-73-66--286
John Engler, Augusta, GA 74-68-71-73--286
Christopher Wisler, Dover, DE 70-71-74-71--286
Steve Scott, Coral Springs, FL 69-71-77-71--288
John Pitt, Wilmington, NC 71-70-74-74--289
David Eger, Ponte Vedra Beach, FL 76-71-71-71--289
Chris Morris, Tyler, TX 70-68-72-79--289
Michael Morrison, Signal Mtn, TN 68-73-80-69--290
Paul Sheehan, Australia 69-74-71-76--290
Jack Croyle, Moultrie, GA 73-73-77-68--291
George Cestia, Lafayette, LA 75-73-73-70--291
Tim Jackson, Germantown, TN 70-71-75-75--291
Carlton Forrester, Gainesville, GA 73-74-74-71--292
Paul Simson, Raleigh, NC 76-72-75-70--293
Steve Jones, Oak Ridge, NC 71-74-75-74--294
David Miller, Daphne, AL 72-76-72-74--294
John Harris, Minneapolis, MN 74-72-72-76--294
Brad Golden, Oklahoma City, OK 68-72-80-74--294
Kris Maffett, Elizabethtown, KY 68-78-76-73--295
Brad Schwartz, New Smyrna Beach, FL 77-72-76-71--296
Paul Daniel, Chapel Hill, NC 72-76-76-72--296
Jay Childs, Kennesaw, GA 75-71-76-74--296
Jeff Knox, Augusta, GA 72-75-74-76--297
Adam Seale, Calera, AL 74-75-73-75--297
Matt Borchert, Orlando, FL 75-74-72-76--297
Matt Weibring, Plano, TX 70-75-76-76--297
Bryce Molder, Conway, AR 73-74-75-76--298
Jeff Klauk, Ponte Vedra Beach, FL 75-75-74-74--298
Pete Abernathy, Athens, GA 73-78-71-76--298
Brett Alexander, Richland, MO 74-72-76-77--299
Andy Brimer, Morristown, TN 73-74-75-78--300
Don Hill, Mt. Olive, NC 77-73-74-76--300
Scott Weatherly, Fort Payne, AL 71-80-75-74--300
Robert Gerwin, Cincinnati, OH 73-76-77-75--301
Tom McKnight, Galax, VA 71-76-79-75--301
David Apperson, Memphis, TN 75-75-77-74--301
Bill Anderson, Covington, LA 78-73-74-76--301

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 1999 championship, Texas, for the third year in a row, was the State Team Champion, represented by the following players:

Edward Loar, Rockwall 137 
Chris Morris, Tyler  138
Matt Weibring, Plano 145
Roland Thatcher, The Woodlands 150