GREENVILLE, SC (July 17, 2005) -- A little encouragement never hurt anyone.
Downtrodden and dejected from his near miss for the US Senior Open qualifying round last week, Paul Simson came home to hear his son Phillip give him some fatherly advice.
"Phillip told me to channel all my frustration from missing the qualifier and use it to win the Carolinas Am," said father Paul. "I took those words to heart and look what happened."
Simson refers to his misfortune last week when he made double bogey on the final hole to miss making the trip to this year's U.S. Senior Open championship. But good things came from it.
With those words etched in his mind, Simson came to Greenville Country Club's Chanticleer course ready to play. The result was 54 year-old Simson of Raleigh, NC defeating Dustin Barr of Mooresville, NC by a 6 and 5 margin to capture the 91st Carolinas Amateur Championship.
Simson, an insurance executive, captured his 13th CGA win and second Carolinas Amateur. His last Carolinas Amateur win was in 1991 which makes the 14-year margin a CGA record for the most years between wins.
With this Carolinas Amateur win, Simson CGA collection includes four Carolinas Mid-Amateurs, two Carolinas Amateurs, one Father-Son, five North Carolina Amateurs, and one North Carolina Mid-Amateur.
"I have won the North Carolina Amateur a few times, but winning the Carolinas Amateur means so much to me," said Simson. "This championship has so much history and being the two-state champion is just great."
Simson trailed early in the 36-hole match but gained a two-up lead after the morning 18 holes. Both players struggled on their third nines, but Simson unleashed some stellar play beginning with a birdie on his 28th hole.
"I was really pleased with the way I hung in there on 10, 11 and 12 of my final nine holes", said Simson. "We were both getting tired and I was able to turn it up a notch and win some more holes."
Barr, a rising junior at the College of Charleston was happy with his overall performance.
"It was an honor to be here this week," said the 22 year-old Barr. "This was a great experience for me."
Simson compared his 1991 Carolinas Am to this year's win.
"I really think I played better this time around, " said Simson. I was under par on every round this time and that was not the case back in 1991 at Pinewild (Country Club).
Simson still hopes to hear from the USGA on his second alternate position for the US Senior Open.
"I am planning to play with my son Phillip in the CGA Father-Son in a couple of weeks," said Simson. "But I hope to get the call to play in the US Senior Open."
Whatever happens, Simson takes his 13th CGA title home with him. And the words "Carolinas Amateur Champion" should be encouragement enough for his next event.