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Georgia Mid-Am: Knox Defends Title

ALPHARETTA, GA (May 17, 2009)--Jeff Knox of Augusta posted rounds of 67, 67 and 73 en route to successfully defending his title at the 28th annual Georgia Mid-Amateur Championship, conducted May 15-17 at White Columns Country Club. Knox, who began the final round with a five-stroke advantage, bogeyed three of his last four holes but the field could not make up enough ground to close. Mark Strickland of Woodstock and Adam Cooper of Columbus each posted one-under 71 in the final round to finish tied for second at 210 (-6).

Knox began his day with pars on each of his first four holes. Cooper, who recently had his amateur status restored and was playing in the final group with Knox, made birdies on his first and fourth holes to close to within three shots. Both players would make the turn at two-under though, as Knox would answer with birdies of his own at holes five and seven.

Strickland, who posted a one-under 35 on the outward nine, began his charge on the back side, making birdies at holes 10 and 13. He would close his round, however, with bogeys on his final two holes to finish three shots behind the leader. Cooper, who had fallen to five-under after a costly double-bogey on the par-3 17th, sank a 30-foot birdie putt on 18 to move into a tie with Strickland for runner-up honors.

Jeff Belk of Marietta posted the low round of the final day, a four-under 68, to climb into a tie for fourth position at 212 with Macon’s John Walker, Roswell’s William Mitchell and Dan McManus of Newnan. Two past Georgia Mid-Am Champions, David Noll Jr. of Dalton and Doug Hanzel of Savannah, were among the five players to finish tied for eighth. The other players tied at three-under 213 were Chris Hall of Kennesaw, Danny Whigham Jr. of Atlanta and Duluth’s Dave Poteet.

Knox is just the third player in Georgia Mid-Amateur Championship history to collect consecutive victories. Rick Cloninger tallied back-to-back wins in 2001 and 2002 while Champions Tour player Allen Doyle won four straight from 1986-89. Atlanta’s Danny Yates, who won titles in 1983, 1985 and 1994, is the only other player who can boast multiple Mid-Amateur victories for his career.

“It means a great deal to me to win this event in back-to-back years,” Knox said after lifting the Georgia Mid-Amateur trophy. “It feels really good to see my name on this trophy with all those great names in golf.”

The field of 144 was cut to the low 70 and ties for Sunday’s final round, with the cut line falling at 6-over 150 and 71 players advancing.

Entries were open to male amateur golfers who are GSGA members and age 25 or older as of the start of the championship. Non-exempt players had to qualify into the championship through one of seven 18-hole qualifiers held across the state.

Founded in 1916, the Georgia State Golf Association (GSGA) received its official charter on June 24, 1924. Since that date, the GSGA has grown to one of the largest state amateur golf associations in the country, with over 355 member clubs and 85,000 individual members. With a mission to promote and preserve amateur golf in the state of Georgia, GSGA offers a computerized handicapping service, course rating and measuring, and annually conducts a full schedule of statewide competitions for men and women of all age groups. Other services include a summer-long junior sectional program, award-winning Golf Georgia magazine, membership recognition and rewards programs and a charitable foundation administering two college scholarship programs.

Final Results

1 Jeff Knox, Augusta 67 67 73 207
T2 Adam Cooper, Columbus 69 70 71 210
T2 Mark Strickland, Woodstock 69 70 71 210
T4 Dan McManus, Newnan 73 68 71 212
T4 Jeff Belk, Marietta 69 75 68 212
T4 John Walker, Macon 73 70 69 212
T4 William Mitchell, Roswell 70 73 69 212
T8 Chris Hall, Kennesaw 73 70 70 213
T8 Danny Whigham Jr., Atlanta 75 68 70 213
T8 Dave Poteet, Duluth 72 67 74 213
T8 David Noll Jr., Dalton 69 73 71 213
T8 Doug Hanzel, Savannah 68 74 71 213
T13 Greg Kennedy, Duluth 71 70 73 214
T13 Kris Mikkelsen, Atlanta 69 74 71 214
15 Joseph McMichael, Eatonton 72 73 71 216
T16 Chase Jones, Cartersville 74 73 70 217
T16 Michael Standard, McDonough 73 72 72 217
T16 Winston Morris, Marietta 67 72 78 217
T19 Bill Leonard, Kennesaw 70 75 73 218
T19 Don Marsh, Alpharetta 73 72 73 218
T19 Doug Green, Cumming 69 72 77 218
T19 Randy Donahoo, Kennesaw 77 70 71 218
T19 Ryan Parnell, Atlanta 72 72 74 218
T24 Bubba Gwyn, Duluth 72 73 74 219
T24 Dave Womack, McDonough 73 74 72 219
T24 Matt Robbins, Cumming 71 74 74 219
T24 Matt Rountree, Eatonton 69 72 78 219
T28 Brian Ferris, Atlanta 68 75 77 220
T28 Clint Harris, Atlanta 75 72 73 220
T28 Lee Gerdes, Macon 71 74 75 220
T31 Brad Jones, Augusta 73 72 76 221
T31 John Cochran, Duluth 76 71 74 221
T31 Mike Torrence, Atlanta 72 76 73 221
T31 Wes Latimer, Canton 74 73 74 221
T35 Danny Nelson, Savannah 73 75 74 222
T35 Donny Phillips, Suwanee 74 69 79 222
T35 Doug Weiss, Alpharetta 71 72 79 222
T35 Greg Bradford, Talking Rock 73 73 76 222
T35 Jack Hall, Sea Island 70 74 78 222
T35 Joey Tinsley, Williamson 74 75 73 222
T35 Michael Bugden, Newnan 75 68 79 222
T35 Robert Sheats, Atlanta 69 76 77 222
T35 Scott Davenport, Marietta 75 74 73 222
T35 Steve Davis, Rome 76 69 77 222
T45 Chad Griffith, LaGrange 72 74 77 223
T45 Mark Nickerson, Roswell 75 74 74 223
T45 Rocky Costa, Alpharetta 72 77 74 223
T45 Trey Houston, Senoia 74 73 76 223
T49 Brandon Nelson, Roswell 75 72 77 224
T49 Garrick Stiles, Statham 70 80 74 224
T49 John Belicka, Woodstock 76 72 76 224
T49 Sterling Hale, Atlanta 74 75 75 224
T53 James Morton, McDonough 74 76 75 225
T53 Jim Prantl, Dacula 75 73 77 225
T53 Jorge Cora, Atlanta 72 73 80 225
T53 West Streib, Atlanta 77 71 77 225
T57 Philip Verlander, Decatur 75 75 76 226
T57 Ralph Ireland III, Augusta 72 73 81 226
T57 Stephen Hall, Covington 70 78 78 226
T57 Thomas Rajek, Suwanee 73 74 79 226
61 Jack Larkin, Atlanta 74 72 81 227
T62 Brian Kovalcik, Dacula 75 75 78 228
T62 Greg Garde, Smyrna 71 77 80 228
T62 Jayson Planche, Lawrenceville 73 77 78 228
T62 Jim Heard, Roswell 72 78 78 228
T62 Larry Clark, Kingston 73 77 78 228
67 Andy McLendon, Atlanta 74 75 80 229
68 Mike Shepp, Roswell 73 77 82 232
T69 Kevin Jordan, Smyrna 75 73 WD WD
T69 Mark Schwab, Warner Robins 77 71 WD WD
T69 Tom Price, Marietta 79 71 DQ DQ
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