DULUTH, Ga. – David Noll Jr. of Dalton, entering the final round with a seven-stroke lead, posted an even-par 72 and held off a charge from Chase Jones of Cartersville to capture his second Georgia Mid-Amateur title by two shots at Berkeley Hills Country Club. Noll (67-66-72) finished at 11-under-par 205, while Jones finished at 207 in the 31st annual championship.
Two-time past champion Jeff Knox of Augusta finished third, six strokes back of Noll. Knox, who won in 2008 and ’09, and Jones were tied for second after the second round, trailing Noll by seven shots. Tevis Upton of Acworth fired the low round of the tournament on Sunday – 7-under 65 – that vaulted him into a tie for fourth place overall with Zane Goldthorp of Tucker (213).
The 2004 Mid-Amateur champion, Doug Hanzel of Savannah, finished alone in sixth place at even-par 216. Berkeley Hills member Mike Cromer of Peachtree Corners tied for seventh at 217 along with Bob Royak of Alpharetta, 2000 champion Greg Kennedy of Duluth and Chris Waters of Athens.
Noll’s round on Sunday began conservatively with 10 straight pars as he carded his first birdie on the 144-yard 11th. Jones, meanwhile, was chipping into the deficit with three birdies on the front nine (holes 3, 8 and 9) to trail by four shots at the turn. He responded to Noll's birdie with one of his own at the 12th. Both players birdied the 552-yard 15th, then Jones added another at 16 to get within three shots of the leader. After Noll bogeyed 17, his first blemish of the day, Jones found himself trailing by just two going into the final hole. His tee shot on 18 went left of the fairway, however, and he settled for bogey; as did Noll, for the final two-stroke margin of victory.
“It never gets old,” said Noll, who won his first Mid-Amateur title in 2007 at the Country Club of Columbus. He is also the reigning Georgia Amateur champion. “To be able to do this and win these events is always fun. And I did it playing with two great friends today (Jones and Knox).”
During the second round, Greg Cottrell of Powder Springs recorded a hole in one on the 177-yard fourth hole with a 5 iron.
Berkeley Hills played to 6,694 yards and a par 72.
The 54-hole Georgia Mid-Amateur Championship was open to male amateur golfers age 25 or older as of May 18, who belong to a GSGA member club. The field of 144 was cut to the low 70 and ties after 36 holes, with the cutline falling at 10-over-par 154 and 71 players advancing.
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