VALDOSTA, Ga. (May 22, 2011) -– Mark Strickland held on to take the 30th annual Georgia Mid-Amateur Championship by three strokes ahead of runner-up Cason Hammock of Columbus at 3-under-par 213 and two other players who finished at even-par 216 and tied for third in Mark Sweeney of Monroe and Jeff Knox of Augusta. Strickland, of Woodstock, turned in an even-par 72 final-round score to earn his second Georgia Mid-Amateur Championship (2006), bringing his 54-hole total to 6-under-par 210.
Throughout the final round Strickland never relinquished the lead, although he did make it interesting towards the end. Up by only one stroke with four holes to play, Knox double-bogeyed the par-3 15th hole and bogeyed the par-4 16th hole to allow Strickland to remain in the lead with a slight cushion. Strickland managed to close it out on the remaining holes, bringing his final round scorecard to two birdies and two bogeys.
“It’s great,” said Strickland. “It is so tough to play with the lead. It is out of my comfort zone, so it was a big deal to win this week.”
With the victory, Strickland becomes the sixth player in the 30-year history of the event to win on more than one occasion. He won five years ago in 2006 when the event was held at Cartersville Country Club.
“This was tougher to win,” said Strickland. “This golf course is so hard; you really can’t trick this course. I played really well coming down the stretch. It was just a tougher golf course.”
A trio of players finished tied for fifth as David Noll, Jr., of Dalton, Chris Hall of Kennesaw and Bill Hodges of Thomasville finished with 2-over-par 218 totals. Jay Degenhart of Savannah and Kennesaw’s Christian Raynor both finished tied for eighth at 3-over-par 219. Rounding out the top ten were Adam Thomas of Baxley, Savannah’s Doug Hanzel and Dave Poteet of Suwanee, who each finished with 5-over-par 221 scores.
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