SPRINGVILLE The list of players who have twice won the Art City Amateur is surprisingly fairly long.
With Darrin Overson's six-shot win Sunday, add his name to the list which is now at eight. By closing with a 5-under par 66 on a day when almost every other contender was struggling with Hobble Creek's tough pin placements, Overson joins Gil Torres, Jack Noble, Ron Hitchcock, Eduardo Herrera, John Taylor, Pete Stone and Chris Moody as players who have doubled up on the scenic layout in the canyon east of Springville.
"This is awesome," Overson said. "I have a ton of respect for this tournament. And one of my best friends (Moody) is one of the ones who has won it twice so now I rub that in his face a little bit."
Overson shot 65 on Saturday and started the final round one shot behind first-round leader Brandon Hargett. But with 18 holes of steady and consistent play Sunday, Overson slowly pulled away from the field and coasted to victory with a two-day score of 11-under par. Finished tied for second at 5-under was Clay Bingham and Jeremy Richmond. Tyler Weight took fourth at 3-under par.
Overson, a one-time mini-tour professional, hit 15 greens in his final round but only had two one-putt greens. His 5-under round included 14 two-putts and the longest putt he made the entire round was an 8-footer for eagle on the par-5 third.
He survived on great lag putting because three of those two-putts came on par 5s in which the long-hitting Overson was putting for eagle. He played Hobble Creek's four par fives on Sunday at minus five. For the tournament, he was 8-under on the four par fives.
"I just tried to take advantage of the par 5s, which is my strength, and tried not to make any mistakes," Overson said.
Also, it helped that most everyone else was leaking oil from the opening tee shot. Hargett, paired with Overson, was four over through four holes Sunday thanks to two early three-putts. When Overson rolled in his eagle on No. 3 he was suddenly five strokes ahead of Hargett and four up on a host of others.
"With the quality of the field here, I'm kind of surprised that no one really made a run at me," Overson said.
Two players with local knowledge tried to stay within reach of Overson, who fired 3-under 33 on the front nine Sunday. Weight, a Hobble Creek pro shop worker, and Richmond, a former Hobble Creek pro shop worker, both made the turn only three shots behind. Weight got to minus six with birdies on No. 3, No. 7 and No. 9. Richmond birdied No. 7 from close range and then drained a bomb for eagle on No. 9 to get to 6-under.
However, both made bogey on No. 10 to drop four back. Richmond then added another bogey on No. 11, a hole that Overson also bogeyed. The clincher for Overson came on the par-4 12th. Weight knocked his approach to within 10 feet while Overson's approach sailed long over the green. But when Overson chipped in for birdie, Weight's plans for a quick two-shot swing, which would have brought him to within two, were deflated.
"When he chipped that in and I failed to make birdie at No. 13, it was kind of over from there," Weight said.
Richmond stayed within reach for a few more holes with birdies on No. 12 and No. 14. But a bogey on No. 17 and a three-putt par on 18 ended his title hopes. Weight bogeyed three of his final four holes to fall out of contention. Bingham started slow Sunday, but quietly crawled into a tie for second place with a solid final nine holes.For Overson, the win was his first major tournament victory since regaining his amateur status in September of 2006.
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