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Georgia Senior: Jackson sneaks in for the win

STATESBORO, Ga. (Aug. 26, 2011) -– Jimmy Jackson of Macon came from behind to win his first Georgia Senior Championship at Forest Heights Country Club at even-par 216 (70-74-72). Over the 56-hole event, Jackson recorded 12 birdies, nine bogeys and one double-bogey, and the birdie on the final hole of the final round proved to be the most important. Finishing one stroke back in the runner-up position was 36-hole leader Bill Leonard of Kennesaw. Leonard’s final score was 1-over-par 217 (74-69-74).

The 63-year-old Jackson entered the final round one stroke off Leonard’s second-round lead, and carding a birdie on two of his first three holes put early pressure was put on Leonard. Making the turn at 2-under-par for the day, Jackson bogeyed 13 and 14 to bring his round back to even. With a bogey on 17 and a birdie on 18, Jackson sealed the deal and earned his first Senior championship.

“It is very gratifying,” said Jackson after accepting the Johnny Skeadas Trophy. “I feel very fortunate. The GSGA puts on a good event. This is a big deal to me. I played here at this course 15 or 20 years ago, and it is in great shape. I have to give credit to the greens keeper; these greens were really fast. You must play well to play here, and if you can putt, you can score low out here.”

Joining Jackson and Leonard in the top-10 of the final leaderboard included: Ron Waeghe of Greensboro (third; 3-over-par 219), Don Marsh of Johns Creek (T4; 4-over-par 220), Bob Kulp of Savannah (T4; 4-over-par 220), Matt O’Brien of Decatur (T4; 4-over-par 220), John Cochran, III, of Duluth (T7; 5-over-par 221), Lee Dennis of Athens (T7; 5-over-par 221), Frank Perry of Fayetteville (T9; 6-over-par 222), Mark Benefield of Duluth (T9; 6-over-par 222) and Larry Clark of Kingston (T9; 6-over-par 222).

Only three players turned in a round in the 60s over the three-day event at Forest Heights Country Club in Statesboro. In the second round, Kulp carded a 68 and Leonard carded a 69. In the final round, Cochran carded a 69.

Of note, Spencer Sappington of Milton, who has won the Georgia Senior Championship a record five times (2003, ’04, ’05, ’07, ’10), finished this year’s event tied for 60th. Stacy Webb of Statesboro, the General Manager of Forest Heights Country Club, finished tied for 44th, and Steve Collins of Claxton, the Superintendent of Forest Heights, finished tied for 32nd.

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