Roswell, GA — The ageless wonder, 69-year-old James Mason, strikes again for his second consecutive victory in just three weeks in a Georgia Section stroke play championship since the return to competitive golf here in the state of Georgia at the beginning of June.
Mason, a member of the Georgia Golf Hall of Fame, and the PGA teaching professional at The Orchard in Clarkesville, carded a final round of 2-under par 70 for a two-day total of 3-under par 141. Mason then survived a hole-by-hole playoff to capture the title at the Yamaha Atlanta Open presented by Bushnell Golf at Echelon Golf Club in Milton. This marks the second time that Mason has claimed the Lyman R. Hunter trophy, his first victory happened during the Clinton administration in 2000.
Mason began the day three strokes behind first round leader, amateur Erik Martin of Alpharetta. Mason carded a 1-over par outward nine of 37 and then proceeded to make birdies on holes 11, 12, and 14 to get to 3-under for the tournament, but still trailed Paul Claxton by one shot as Claxton went to the play his final hole where disaster struck as Claxton made a triple-bogey. Playing in the last group amateur Rece Moore of Dallas made consectutive birdies to get to 3-under par for the tournament. Moore made an up and down from over the back of the 18th green to force a playoff with Mason.
Both players made par on the first playoff hole, and then played the 18th hole once again. Mason’s drive found the penalty area and he dropped and proceeded to make a bogey 5. Moore’s approach from the fairway ended up in the deep rough where he proceeded to put his third shot in the greenside bunker and we was unable to get up and down for bogey 5 which gave the victory to the timeless Mason.
Mason credits a recent lesson from fellow PGA professional Ted Fort with helping him with his putting in recent weeks. He also credits marking his golf ball with a line that completely encircles his ball aiding how he sees the ball roll forward. For his efforts Mason won the first place prize money of $4,000.
Rounding out the top three was PGA assistant professional Anthony Cordes of Cherokee Town & Country who finished the championship in third place at 2-under par 142. Echelon Golf Club is a Rees Jones signature course and is set up to play as a par 72 at 7001 yards for the championship.
The Yamaha Golf-Car Company has been a long time supporter of the Georgia Section and serves as the title sponsor of the Atlanta Open and the Georgia Senior Open. Yamaha Golf-Car Company has based its North American headquarters in Newnan, located off I-85 in south metro Atlanta, since 1987. It has developed into the largest employer in Coweta County, with more than 1750 employees.
The Georgia PGA is one of the 41 Sections of the PGA of America. Its membership includes nearly 890 PGA professionals working at over 265 golf courses, clubs, and ranges throughout the state. Additionally, more than 25 Georgia PGA members compete on one of the PGA Tours. In keeping with the fundamental objectives laid down by its founders, one of the Georgia PGA’s primary goals is promoting the game of golf through clinics, junior and minority golf programs, consumer programs, and print, radio, and television media.