Davis Wins 76th SCGA Amateur Championship
Lee Davis, a 30-year-old former professional from Los Angeles Country Club, shot a consistent 72-70-71-69—282 to win the 76th SCGA Amateur Championship by five strokes over 20-year-old Art Butler Jr. at the demanding Wilshire Country Club. Davis was the only golfer in the field able to break par (284) for the tournament.
Butler, whose father, Dr. Art Butler, was a two-time California State Amateur finalist, was only one shot off the pace heading into the 70th hole, but his third shot to Wilshire's 16th hole landed in a water hazard in front of the green. He had to settle for a double bogey 7, and fell three strokes behind Davis. The same hazard, which winds precariously through the Wilshire course, caught Butler again on the 72nd hole, where he made another double bogey. Davis coasted through the last two holes, nearly dropping a birdie on No. 18 to extend his victory margin to six strokes. Unfortunately, the ball hung on the lip.
Davis, who captained the 1966 USC golf team, is a four-time Los Angeles Country Club Champion, and is currently president of a Southern California manufacturing firm. This was Davis' fifth try for the coveted SCGA Championship; he finished fourth in 1967 and was leading the field last year on the final day before staggering home with four straight bogeys to finish third overall. This year Davis was often out driving the members of his foursome by as much as 30 yards. His distance off the tee and accuracy to the green (he missed only nine greens in 72 holes) were mainly responsible for his SCGA victory. While still attending USC, Davis also won the Southern California and Pacific Coast Inter-collegiate tournaments.
Although Davis was an early favorite to win this year's SCGA title, it looked more like a battle between former professional Brian Gaddy (Annandale) and Butler (Glendora), than a convincing Davis victory. Gaddy and Butler were tied at 211, after both shot fine 67s in the third round. Gaddy had seven birdies, but three-putted two greens. Butler, a sophomore at Citrus College is Azusa, had eight birdies in his 34-33 round, which was blemished by a double bogey 7 on the 14th hole. He also had 12 1-putt greens. Meanwhile, Davis lurked in the wings with a 213, two shots off the lead.
During the final round, Gaddy stumbled through the first five holes five-over-par, on his way to an 80 and a tie for 10th place with Ron Frankle of Riviera. Butler struggled home with a 76, nine strokes worse than his third round score.
The lowest round of the tournament was a 66 by Mark Campbell, a 5 handicap from Chevy Chase.