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Southern Amateur: Simpson holds on to win by 1

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 I’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

ABOUT THE Southern Amateur

The Southern Amateur, which dates back to 1902, is one of two competitions held by the Southern Golf Association. (The other is the Southern Junior.) Its champions roster is like a who’s who’s of competitive golf. (And the same could be said of the standing of its host clubs.) Leading this group is Robert T. (Bobby) Jones, Jr., who was the Southern Amateur Champion in 1917, 1920, and 1922. Others who have won or finished in a challenging position and gone on to national and/or international prominence include Tommy Barnes, Dale Morey, Don January, Gay Brewer, Doug Sanders, Billy Joe Patton, Lew Oehmig, Hubert Green, Downing Gray, Marvin (Vinny) Giles, Lanny Wadkins, Steve Melnyk, Tom Kite, John Mahaffey, Ben Crenshaw, Gary Koch, Bill Rogers, Gil Morgan, Danny Edwards, Andy Bean, Vance Haefner, Jerry Pate, Chip Beck, David Edwards, Jay Sigel, Bob Tway, Mark Brooks, Gene Sauers, Davis Love, Justin Leonard and more recently PGA Tour standouts Webb Simpson and Kyle Stanley, who won twice each between 2005 and 2008 in alternate years.

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