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Georgia Amateur: Brown Fires 68, Wins by 2

ROME, GA (July 16, 2006) -- Bill Brown of Dublin employed accurate ball-striking and consistent play to post a final-round, 2-under-par 68 and capture a two-shot victory over 54-hole leader Jeff Knox of Augusta at the 85th Annual Georgia Amateur Championship, taking place at Coosa Country Club, July 13-16. Brown finished the 72-hole championship at 6-under-par 274 (66-68-72-68), while Knox carded 276 for the event with a final-round 73.

Ringgold's Thomas Hagler IV and West Streib of Atlanta tied for third at 3-under-par 277. Ryan Zebeau of Cedartown, the 36-hole leader, finished fifth at 278. Albany's Brent Dorner and 2003 Georgia Amateur Champion David Noll Jr. of Dalton tied for sixth at even par 280. Jay Moseley of Bainbridge, an Auburn University golfer, placed eighth at 281, his second-consecutive top-10 finish at the Georgia Amateur after finishing third a year ago. Reigning Georgia Public Links champion Dave Womack of McDonough posted the low round of the day (67) and tied for ninth with Chris Hall of Marietta at 282. Like Moseley, Hall also finished among the top 10 for the second straight year.

Brown, 37, captures his first Georgia Amateur Championship after falling to Jonathan Shiflet of Hartwell in a playoff at Albany's Doublegate Country Club in 2002. He tied for 22nd last year at The Savannah Golf Club and was tied for 10th in 2004 at Athens Country Club.

Brown, along with Moseley, Streib and Zebeau, trailed Knox by three shots entering the round. Hagler began the day one stroke back. Knox got off to a rough start with bogeys on holes 1, 4 and 5. Zebeau, who set a course record with a 61 in the opening round, shared the lead with Brown halfway through as both turned at 1-under. Knox and Streib were just one stroke back. Hagler and Moseley had fallen to 3- and 1-under, respectively, each with three bogeys on their front nine.

Brown gained a stroke on Zebeau with a birdie on 11. He had to share the lead briefly with Streib, who birdied 11 and 12 but followed those up with bogeys on 13 and 14. Zebeau also fell back with bogeys of his own on 13, 14 and 16. Brown then solidified sole possession of first place with a 6-foot birdie putt on the 16th - a hole where he posted triple-bogey in the third round - to move to 7-under for the Championship.

"It (No. 16) owed me," Brown said with a smile.

It wasn't quite over yet, however. On his approach on 18, Brown flew over the green from left of the fairway and wasn't able to convert the seven-foot par putt. After settling for bogey and finishing the Championship at 6-under, he had to wait for Knox, one group back. Knox had birdied 16 to move to 5-under, but missed a 7-footer for birdie on 17. A birdie on 18 would result in a playoff.

Knox's tee shot went right under some trees, and his approach was well short of the green. After chipping to eight feet, he missed the putt and carded bogey on the hole, giving Brown the two-shot victory.

Brown, who works for Pfizer Pharmaceutical, missed just two greens and three fairways during the round. "I had a good rhythm; I was trusting my swing," he said. "I just picked out a target and was aggressive with my swing."

A former University of Georgia golfer, Brown played professionally from 1992-96 before regaining his amateur status in 1999. "I'm definitely satisfied where I am now," he said. "Winning the Georgia Amateur Championship fulfills a goal of mine."

For Knox, it was his second runner-up finish in the Georgia Amateur - he lost a playoff to Bill Roberts of Pine Mountain in 1998 - and his seventh runner-up showing in GSGA championships, including the 2001 Georgia Match Play and 2001, 2003, 2004 and 2005 Georgia Mid-Amateurs -- the last of which was also at Coosa Country Club.

Coosa Country Club, which hosted the Georgia Amateur for a record-tying seventh time, played to 6,774 yards and a par 70.

The Georgia Amateur Championship is conducted by the Georgia State Golf Association and brings together 156 of the state's best male amateur golfers for the prestigious state title first won by Bobby Jones in 1916.

For complete results, click on the tournament link above.

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