Champion Paul Simpson (CGA photo)
WILMINGTON, NC (May 17, 2016) -- In thrilling fashion, Paul Simson, of Raleigh, NC, came from 6 shots back to win his 8th North Carolina Senior Amateur Championship in the past 11 years. Simson carded a final round 66 that included 7 birdies and a lone bogey on the 4th hole. He finished the tournament with a three day total of 210, 6-under par.
Not only was this Simson's 8th North Carolina Senior Amateur Championship but was also his 30th CGA championship. After his round Simson said "This is only the 3rd round in the 60s all year...I played like I'm capable of playing," and he picked a good time to shoot one of his best rounds of the year. He finished his round by birdieing 4 of his last 6 holes including both 17 and 18.
The leader after the first two rounds, Jim Grainger of Charlotte, NC, carded a final round 73 to finish at 5-under par, to finish in a tie for second only 1 shot behind Simson. This is the 5th year in a row that Grainger has finished runner up and this defeat was difficult for him to swallow.
"I figured if I shot even par I thought I would be tough to beat, but you have to remember Paul Simson is in the field and he can shoot anything."
Grainger was right, even if he had shot even par today he still would have had to face Simson in a playoff, which is how Simson defeated Grainger in 2015. Grainger has won the Carolinas Senior Amateur but stated several times this week that this was the championship he wanted to win. Doug Owens of Albemarle, NC, also finished in a tie for second at 5-under after shooting a final round 68. Owens was in the same group as Simson and missed a 15-foot putt birdie putt on 18 that would have tied him for the lead. Ed Byman, of Raleigh, NC, carded a final round 71 to finish in 3rd with a three day total of 214. Preston Edmonson, of Mooresville, NC, finished the championship at 1-under par with a three-day total of 215. Robby Kirby, of Charlotte, NC, shot a final round 74 and was even par for the tournament. He was only 3-shots behind Grainger after 2 rounds but was unable to make a run at the championship. The top 30 players from this year’s championship will be exempt into next year's tournament field.
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