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Simson inducted into SGA Hall of Fame
Paul Simson
Paul Simson
By Ron Balicki, Golfweek

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (July 18, 2012) -- In his opening remark while receiving his latest golfing honor, Paul Simson said, "This is really the apex for me in my (amateur) career."

Considering everything the Raleigh, N.C., resident has done over his long and storied career in the amateur game, that was a pretty strong statement.

It came this past Tuesday night on the eve of the 106th Southern Amateur Championship when Simson was inducted into the Southern Golf Association Hall of Fame during dinner ceremonies at Chenal Country Club.

"What a wonderful honor," he said. "It's very, very special."

One reason: The exclusiveness of this Hall of Fame.

It was established by the SGA in 1972 and its first inductee was Robert T. Jones, Jr., who was inducted posthumously at the 1972 Southern Am at Green island Country Club in Columbus, Ga.

It is unique in that it does not necessarily induct a member each year nor does it select multiple inductees in any one year. In this, its 41st year, Simson becomes only the 23rd member and the first since Hubert Green in 2006.

ABOUT THE Southern Amateur

The Southern Amateur, which dates back to 1902, is one of two competitions held by the Southern Golf Association. (The other is the Southern Junior.) Its champions roster is like a who’s who’s of competitive golf. (And the same could be said of the standing of its host clubs.) Leading this group is Robert T. (Bobby) Jones, Jr., who was the Southern Amateur Champion in 1917, 1920, and 1922. Others who have won or finished in a challenging position and gone on to national and/or international prominence include Tommy Barnes, Dale Morey, Don January, Gay Brewer, Doug Sanders, Billy Joe Patton, Lew Oehmig, Hubert Green, Downing Gray, Marvin (Vinny) Giles, Lanny Wadkins, Steve Melnyk, Tom Kite, John Mahaffey, Ben Crenshaw, Gary Koch, Bill Rogers, Gil Morgan, Danny Edwards, Andy Bean, Vance Haefner, Jerry Pate, Chip Beck, David Edwards, Jay Sigel, Bob Tway, Mark Brooks, Gene Sauers, Davis Love, Justin Leonard and more recently PGA Tour standouts Webb Simpson and Kyle Stanley, who won twice each between 2005 and 2008 in alternate years.

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