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Curtis Thompson wins Dixie Amateur

CORAL SPRINGS, Fla. (Dec. 22, 2011)— Hometown hero Curtis Thompson saved the best for last, shooting a 5-under 67 at the 7,234-yard Heron Bay Golf Club on Thursday to win the 81st Dixie Amateur by two shots over Daniel Berger of Jupiter, Fla.

Thompson's four-round total of 13-under 274 was four better than Motin Yeung of Orlando, Fla., who finished alone in third.

"That was a lot of fun, but I have to say there was some pressure," said Thompson, who turned 19 just nine days ago. The Louisiana State University freshman was cheered on by a sizeable gallery that included some golfing buddies and "my whole family…Mom, Dad, my grandparents, brother [Nick, a professional golfer], Lexi…everybody."

"Lexi" is more formally known as the phenomenal Alexis Thompson, who this year, at the age of 16, became the youngest ever to win on the LPGA and European women's tours. She also won the women's Dixie Amateur in 2007 at the age of 12, so she and Curtis now are the first sister-brother duo to win this prestigious title.

It was the first major amateur victory for Thompson, who went into the Dixie Amateur ranked 263rd by World Amateur Golf Ranking, the official rankings of the USGA and R&A.

"I never enter an event thinking I can't win," said Thompson, whose first-round 69 left him six shots back of leader Sebastian Pinzon of Bogota, Colombia. While Pinzon ballooned to 81 in the second round and was never again a factor, Thompson methodically posted matching 69s in the second and third rounds, leading each day by a single stroke.

"Going into today, I just concentrated on keeping the ball in play. The turning point, really, was when I bogeyed No. 6 but then made a 30-footer for birdie on 7, and then birdied 9 and 10."

While the final two rounds were played at Heron Bay, former site of the PGA Tour's Honda Classic, the field was split during the first two days between Heron Bay and the East Course at Woodlands Country Club. Both clubs are owned by ClubLink, which also organizes and conducts the Dixie Amateur. Although the weather all week was sunny and warm, the gusty winds took their toll. Eighty players out of the starting field of 240 survived the 36- hole cut that came at 4-over par or better.

"This is the third time I've played in the Dixie, and this is by far the best," said Thompson. "Everything, from the pace of play and how we were treated, was a lot better overall."

With the victory, Thompson joins an impressive list of champions who went on to PGA Tour success, including Hal Sutton, Ryuji Imada, Brandt Snedeker, Andy Bean, Bruce Fleisher, Lanny Wadkins, Nolan Henke, Len Mattiace, and Jesper Parnevik. Two-time defending champion Peter Uihlein did not compete this week as he has declared his intention to turn professional next month.

The men's Dixie Amateur, first played in 1924, is designated as one of the "majors" of amateur golf by amateurgolf.com. More than two dozen of the top 500 male amateurs in the world, according to the WAGR, from 32 U.S. states and 18 other countries competed in this year's Dixie Amateur.

The women's and senior women's divisions of the Dixie Amateur start Friday, Dec. 30, at Heron Bay with almost 100 of the world's best amateurs in the field.
Results For Dixie Amateur 2012 Men's Invitational Golf Tournament
Place  PtsScores
1FLCurtis ThompsonCoral Springs, FL70069-69-69-67--274
2FLDaniel BergerJupiter, FL50071-71-66-68--276
3FLMotin YeungOrlando, FL40068-71-69-70--278
4New ZealandBen TaylorNew Zealand40071-70-69-69--279
5ALTom LoveladyBirmingham, AL40068-71-71-71--281

View full results for Dixie Amateur 2012 Men's Invitational Golf Tournament

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