BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (April 1, 2008)--Unbowed by an elite field including the top 12 players in current college rankings, Oklahoma State longshot Trent Leon birdied five of his last eleven holes to win the prestigious U.S. Collegiate Championship at the Golf Club of Georgia in Alpharetta by a single stroke. The gritty performance, upstaging the likes of heralded teammate Rickie Fowler and Southern Cal stars Rory Hie and Jamie Lovemark, earned Leon the Southern Golf Association’s National Amateur of the Month award for March.
The U.S. Collegiate became the first individual college title for Leon, a junior from Dallas . His 54-hole total was 8-under-par 208. He followed that performance with a third-place showing in the Azalea Invitational a week later in Charleston, S.C.
Honorable mentions for March went to reigning Southern Am champ Webb Simpson, of Raleigh, NC, and N.C. State freshman Matt Hill. During March, Simpson became the first amateur in nearly a decade to make the cut in the PGA Tour Arnold Palmer Invitational and finished second in the Azalea. Hill won the Hootie at Bull’s Bay tournament by two strokes over an elite college field that included 7 of the country’s top 25 teams.
The monthly SGA award, now in its sixth year, is selected from among amateur performances throughout the U.S. in all age groups by a national blue-ribbon panel of 15 golf officials, coaches and journalists. The 106-year-old Southern Golf Association promotes amateur golf in a variety of ways, including the staging of the prestigious Southern Amateur Championship, which will be contested in July at the Lake Nona Club in Orlando, FL.