Thirty-six holes weren't going to be enough for Rob Simmons and John Patterson to settle a past score.
Darkness halted a playoff between the two last year for low amateur at the Hilton Head Open. They settled for a tie.
But plenty of daylight remained Sunday when Simmons and Patterson finished the final round of the Amateur Championship at Oyster Reef Golf Club tied at even-par 144. And they used another chunk of the afternoon, embarking on a sudden-death playoff eventually won by Simmons with a birdie at No. 12, the fourth playoff hole.
Simmons defended his 2011 title and again held his ground against the likes of Patterson; both are former professionals playing in the Hilton Head Island Amateur Golf Association after regaining their amateur status.
Simmons collected a $425 gift certificate to the pro shop and a spot in the 2013 Players Amateur.
He won after coming back from five shots down with five holes to play.
His 25-foot birdie putt on No. 18, up the slope and back downgrain the final half, dropped in the center to force the playoff.
"That was one of the best putts I've hit in competition in a long time," said Simmons, who will defend his title at the Beaufort City Championship starting Saturday. "Just to be able to do it, knowing I had to make it."
Patterson's chances dissolved in part to an unfavorable ruling on No. 17. After losing his drive right, plugged near both lateral hazard stakes and out-of-bounds markers, Patterson played two balls -- one as if in the hazard and one as if out-of-bounds -- and waited on a ruling.
The decision was that Patterson's ball was out of bounds. The double bogey cut his advantage to one.
"That was the only swing I missed all day," Patterson said.
Oyster Reef, playing at close to 7,000 yards, prevented scores from going lower. A myriad of doglegs required precise driving, often forcing players to hit irons or hybrids to the corners.
Simmons hit more drivers Sunday as Patterson extended his lead. Patterson said his putting was improved after a putting lesson with Chechessee Creek Club's Mike Fries, but he fought the driver, his left-to-right flight not fitting the shape of many holes.
Patterson, the director of marketing and sales at Chechessee Creek, will fly at the end of the week to Chicago to compete in the Western Amateur. A former member of the Buy.com Tour who once reached the finals of PGA Tour Qualifying School, Patterson is trying to play elite amateur events for the first time since regaining his status in 2009.
"I'm excited about that," he said. "It's going to be good to get back into some bigger events."
Simmons, between a wife and 15-month-old son at home and a full travel schedule for work, is content to compete on the local level, venturing into bigger events when time and invitations allow. He'll try and defend his Beaufort City title before U.S. Mid-Amateur qualifying the following week.
"If I play well to get into some tournaments, I'll keep trying to devote the time to it," Simmons said. "But my family is the No. 1 thing."
Hilton Head Island Amateur Golf Association Amateur Championship
Final round at Oyster Reef Golf Club, par 72
Rob Simmons 73-71--144
John Patterson 71-73--144
Mike Balzer 77-73--150
Keith Potts 77-73--150
J.D. Hoft 72-78--150
Brian Rizzo 80-71--151
Benji Gecy 74-77--151
Tate Hoisington 76-75--151
Jeff Wong 79-73--152
Gerry Pascale 72-80--152
Tony Nimmer 81-72--153
Jamie Manning 77-76--153
Chris Lane 75-78--153
Todd Barrenger 80-75--155
Alex Kiproff 77-79--156
Jim Ferguson 80-77--157
Joe Bryant 82-76--157
Drew Butler 77-81--158
Scott Berkner 79-80--159
Gordon Gourley 82-78--160
Phillip North 78-82--160
Charlie Niland 86-75--161
P.J. Tanner 81-80--161
Tom Cunneff 84-78--162
Pratt Reed 80-82--162
Jon Piccone 77-85--162
Marcus Byler 79-84--163
Trent Hoisington 82-81--163
Eric Dollenberg 82-82--164
Jordan Carpenter 78-87--165
Travis Cashion 80-87--167
Chris Lewis 87-83--170
Bill Fuge 81-89--170
Bob Engler 82-89--171
Randy Sparks 87-87--174
Tony Woods 99-97--196