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Cone Captures Top Honors in Senior Amateur Tour Championship

PINEHURST, N.C. -- The second time was the charm for Tom Cone in the annual championship of the Senior Amateur Golf Tour.
Cone, of Concord, N.C., drained an eight-foot par putt on the 18th hole Wednesday to capture the championship in his second appearance in the year-end event. Cone's two-day total 71-73--144 was good for a one-stroke victory over Pinehurst's Rick Luzar, who shot 70-75--145 to finish runner-up in the Championship Flight for the second straight year. Third place, at 146, went to Jim Gallagher of the Tidewater, Va., tour.
While Cone's final par was crucial, he set up the victory by making eagle on the 15th hole and by draining a long birdie putt on the 17th.
"I putted great both days; couldn't have putted any better," said Cone, who plays on the Charlotte tour. "I also drove the ball well both days."
In the A Flight, Brent Massey of the Raleigh tour built a big lead in the final round and held on for a two-stroke victory. Massey shot 155 total, followed by Sonny Branning of the Mississippi tour and Ernie Timmerman of the Augusta tour, who both shot 157.
The B Flight title was decided in a sudden death playoff as Denny Miller of Charleston made par on the first playoff hole to edge Mike Johnson of Raleigh. Both shot 156. Third place in the flight went to Tim Sobitz of Orlando at 158.
Randy Woodward of Augusta took top honors in the C Flight with a 168 total, while Charlotte's Mac Geddie (170) was second.
In the battle for team cup, the Charlotte tour won for the third consecutive year with an eight-shot victory over Raleigh.
The Senior Amateur Tour Championship, which drew a field of 229 golfers, was contested on three top-notch courses in the Pinehurst area: National Golf Club, Pine Needles and Mid Pines.
"The tour plays great courses and the competition is very good," said the 51-year-old Cone. "That's the thing for me. At this age, golf is one of the few things at which you can remain competitive."
Nov. 16-17, Pinehurst, NC
National Golf Club, Pine Needles, Mid Pines
Championship Flight
1. Tom Cone (Charlotte)            71-73--144
2. Rick Luzar (Pinehurst)            70-75--145
3. Jim Gallagher (Tidewater)       70-76--146
4. Dennis Brady (Orlando)          77-70--147
5. Bill Foster (Orlando)               68-79--147
6. James Dill (Raleigh)                75-75--150
7. Gary Eudaly (Indiana)             76-75--151
8. Steve Lambert (Triad)            79-72--151
9. Alan Dirk (Pinehurst)              77-75--152
10. Tommy Lee (Triad)               73-79--152
A Flight
1. Brent Massey (Raleigh)            75-80--155
2. Sonny Branning (Mississippi)    78-79--157
3. Ernie Timmerman (Augusta)      71-86--157
4. Dale Casey (Raleigh)               76-82--158
5. Mark Robinson (Triad)            81-78--159
6. Randy Bunn (Raleigh)               78-81--159
7. Tom Garceau (Myrtle Beach)    76-84--160
8. Larry Bouchy (Charlotte)          77-85--162
9. Jim Eskridge (Triad)                  80-84--164
10. Mark Toloso (Louisiana)         79-85--164
B Flight
1. Denny Miller (Charleston)        77-79--156*
2. Mike Johnson (Raleigh)            84-72--156
3. Tim Sobitz (Orlando)                79-79--158
4. Twig Avent (Triad)                    78-83--161
5. James Herndon (Charlotte)        81-81--162
6. Charles Smith (Raleigh)             80-82--162
7. Brent Murray (Down East)        85-78--163
8. Kerry Byars (Louisiana)            82-81--163
9. Tom Handy (Raleigh)                81-83--164
10. Tom Whatley (Raleigh)            82-84--166
C Flight
1. Randy Woodward (Augusta)    88-80--168
2. Mac Geddie (Charlotte)            86-84--170
3. Gary Graham (Charlotte)          85-88--173
4. John Henely (Pinehurst)            87-87--174
5. Bill Wilkinson (Pinehurst)          86-88--174
6. Julian Reville (Augusta)             88-87--175
7. Van Storie (Charlotte)              85-91--176
8. Al Tobin (Pinehurst)                 90-86--176
9. Gerald Housley (Mississippi)    91-85--176
10. Joe Lee (Charlotte)                84-92--176
* -- won in sudden death playoff
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