Mississippi Am: Vindication for Randolph

GULFPORT, MS (June 7, 2009)--Jonathan Randolph shot a closing 73 to win the Mississippi State Amateur with a 5-under 283 total, one shot ahead of Thomas Watkins, who fired a 71 to finish at 4-under.

Randolph entered the day holding a three shot advantage over Watkins. The battle that waged between the future Ole Miss teammates was an exciting one to watch. Through the front nine, Randolph maintained his three shot lead as both players shot 1 over par on their opening nine. Watkins nullified Randolph’s lead by making birdies on holes 14 and 17 coupled with Jonathan’s bogey on 14. With both players tied for the lead and in the middle of the fairway on 18, Watkins hit his approach shot to four feet. Then, Jonathan hit his shot inside of Watkins to a foot and a half. Thomas’ birdie effort burned the edge. Calmly, Randolph knocked in his winning birdie putt to take home the title.

“Vindication,” said Randolph, who lost a four-shot 54-hole lead in this event last year. “It was a big grind for me today. Victory always tastes sweet.”

Mississippi State golf coach Clay Homan finished in third with a four day total of 287, one under par. Lane Pippin and Kevin Jones rounded out the top five by finishing tied for fourth with 290, a 2 over par total. Windance Country Club was in great shape and proved to be a true test for the State Am field. The grainy, quick greens tested even the best of putters. The weather was phenomenal for the weekend. Both Saturday and Sunday yielded warm sunny days that were perfect for golf.

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