MYRTLE BEACH, SC (July 16, 2005) -- Webb Simpson of Raleigh NC raced out to a 5-shot lead in the final round of the 99th Southern Amateur at The Dunes Club on Saturday, but had to fend off charging Garrett Osborn of Shoal Creek AL to win the prestigious title by one shot on the dramatic final hole. The winner finished at 3-under 277, a shot ahead of Osborn and third-round leader Matthew Swan of Montgomery AL.
As the Southern Am champ, Simpson earns an invitation to play in the Arnold Palmer's PGA Tour Bay Hill Invitational next spring and likely a spot on the U.S. Walker Cup team. Ironically, Simpson attends Wake on the Arnold Palmer Scholarship.
Behind by a shot at the start of the round, Simpson, Wake Forest's ACC Freshman Golfer of the Year this season, burned the front nine in 33 and ran up his 5-shot lead early on the back side. However, Osborn birdied three out of four holes starting at the 13th and was just two back as the final threesome went to the 17th tee.
Both parred the 17th, then ran into trouble on the tough, 470-yard closing hole. Simpson pushed his tee shot to the right rough and tried to layup short of the pond protecting the green. However, the shot ran too long into the water, he wedged on and two-putted for a double-bogey six. Osborn, meanwhile, pushed his 175-yard approach into an awkward lie in a greenside bunker and made bogey.
"I guess I was trying to please the crowd," Simpson said of the closing drama. "I couldn't image my layup would run into the pond. But this is a wonderful victory in a very important tournament and Iâ€™m grateful."
A highlights show of the tournament will be aired by Fox Sports Net South five times in August.
99th Southern Am, Final leaders, Dunes Club, Myrtle Beach SC, Par 70, 7090 yards.
Webb Simpson, Raleigh NC 68-70-69-70--277
Matthew Swan, Montgomery, AL 70-68-68-72--278
Garrett Osborn, Shoal Crk, AL 70-68-71-69--278
Justin Elliott, Hattiesburg MS 70-69-70-70--279
Matt Harmon, Grand Rapids MI 71-70-70-69--279
Jonathan Mount, Kingston TN 74-69-72-66--281
John-Scott Rattan, Mont. Village MD 69-70-71-71--281
Kyle Reifers, Columbus OH 69-69-72-71--281
Tim Jackson, Germantown TN 73-69-70-69--281
Robert Gwin, Houston TX 69-68-76-70--283
Hudson Swafford, Tallahassee FL 71-75-67-70--283