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.

ABOUT THE Mississippi State Amateur

Format: The tournament is scheduled for 72 holes of stroke play with a cut to the low 60(+ties) after 36 holes of play. Field size is limited to 120 players. Qualifiers will be held for the State Amateur, including an Open Qualifier, the week of the event. Each is scheduled for 18 holes of stroke play. The number of players to advance will be determined by the number of entries for each qualifier and the number available in the field after the exempt players have reserved their place. The same percentage from each qualifier will advance to the championship.

Eligibility: The Amateur Championship is open to male amateurs who are bona fide residents of the state of Mississippi for at least 60 days prior to the first round of the tournament. Participants must conform with the USGA Rules of Amateur Status. All participants in Mississippi Golf Association State Championships are required to have an active GHIN Handicap through a USGA Licensed Mississippi Club.

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