Slocum Snares Southern Farm Title


2005 Southern Farm Bureau ClassicMADISON, Miss. -- Heath Slocum fired a 6-under 66 on Sunday and edged a low-scoring field to win the Southern Farm Bureau Classic.
Slocum finished at 21-under-par 267 for a two-stroke victory at Annandale Golf Club and a $540,000 paycheck. It was the second career win for the 31-year- old, who spent part of his childhood growing up in nearby Vicksburg.
Heath Slocum
Heath Slocum lets out a scream after a late birdie lifted him to the Southern Farm Bureau title.
'I grew up close to here and had a lot of friends and family out, so it was really special,' said Slocum, whose father Jack -- a former Mississippi club pro -- served as his caddie throughout the tournament.
Loren Roberts was tied with Slocum for the lead heading into the 17th hole, but he drove into the water and settled for a bogey while Slocum rolled in a 10-foot birdie putt to reach 21 under and assume his two-stroke lead.
Roberts, 50, was attempting to become the third-oldest champion ever on the PGA Tour. Instead, he settled for a second-place tie with Carl Pettersson at 19-under-par 269.
'Obviously I would have liked to win the tournament, but to see [Slocum] win it with his dad on the bag, it was pretty special,' said Roberts, who missed a birdie putt from the fringe at 18 and finished with a 68.
Last week's winner at the Chrysler Championship, Pettersson shot a 5-under 67 in his final round.
Pettersson also captured the Fall Finish with his third top-10 placement in the 11-event series. That netted the Swede a $500,000 check to go along with the $264,000 he earned in this event.
At one point during the round Slocum, Pettersson, Roberts and overnight leader Joey Snyder III were all tied for the lead at minus-20. Snyder bogeyed 14 to fall off the pace and finished alone in fourth place at 18-under, while Pettersson dropped a shot at 16 to fall back.
Slocum, whose only previous win on the tour came at last year's Chrysler Classic, bested a low-scoring field by mixing a tournament-best 25 birdies and one eagle with just four bogeys and one double bogey in his four rounds.
He wasn't the only player scoring well in a field that was missing the top 30 money winners who were eligible to compete at the Tour Championship in Atlanta.
In fact, just one of the 75 players who made the cut finished the tournament over par -- a remarkable number reached, in part, by a combined 86 rounds fired in the 60s over the final two days.
But Slocum made the best of the favorable conditions at Annandale. He played the last two days bogey-free, and after beginning the final round in a tie for second place, he really set himself up as a contender with five birdies on the front nine Sunday.
That put him at minus-20, and Slocum went on to collect eight pars and one birdie the rest of the way to end the tournament with 43 consecutive holes without a bogey.
Slocum embraced his father after rolling in his final par putt at 18. The elder Slocum is a former Mississippi club pro who participated in this event nine times when it was held at Hattiesburg (MS) Country Club.
'I told him 'No one is expecting us to win, so we just have to go out and hit the ball,'' Jack Slocum said.
Heath Slocum's season got off to a slow start with six missed cuts in his first 11 starts. But since then the former Nationwide Tour player has made 16 of 17 cuts, including 11 straight during one three-month stretch from May to August. His previous best finish of 2005 was a tie for fourth at the St. Jude Classic in May.
On the crowded leaderboard, seven players tied for fifth place at minus-17. Among them, Bo Van Pelt had the best final round with a seven-under 65. John Cook, Bob Tway, Charlie Wi, Shaun Micheel and Woody Austin all shot six-under 66s, while Tag Ridings reached minus-17 with a three-under 69.
After that, five players tied for 12th place at 15-under, while 14 players shared 17th place one stroke further back.
Related Links:
  • Leaderboard - Southern Farm Bureau Classic
  • Full Coverage - Southern Farm Bureau Classic