THE WOODLANDS, Texas (July 18, 2013) -- The USGA is watching mid-amateurs very closely this summer, as they play a busier schedule than normal in an effort to boost their Walker Cup prospects.
With a guaranteed 2 spots remaining for mid-ams, and just 3 other spots left after the first 5 team USA players were announced, winning major amateur tournaments, against fields that are mostly young college players, is one of the best things a player like Kevin Marsh can do to get noticed.
Marsh is a 3-time (over the last four years) champion of the Carlton Woods Invitational played at this year's Southern Amateur venue, the Club at Carlton Woods. He has both the length, accuracy, and steady putter to tame the long Nicklaus Course, and an almost home course advantage because he likely has ten times the number of rounds here than most players in the field.
Marsh showed it by opening with a 65 Wednesday, the following with a 4-under 68 Thursday to take a 3-shot lead at the Southern Amateur Championship at 11-under.
“I just hope I can keep playing well, but it’s two more days in this heat,” Marsh told the Southern Golf Association. “I love this place," added the real estate developer.
Trailing Marsh are University of California senior Michael Weaver (who is definitely on the Walker Cup shortlist) and Georgia Tech junior Oliver Schniederjans. Weaver finished 2nd at the Players Amateur last week in Hilton Head; his chance to catch up with the leader being thwarted by a final round washout. He was runner-up in the 2012 U.S. Amateur, lipping out a putt to win it outright on the 36th hole.
First-round leader Zachary Olsen, who shot 8-under 64 on Wednesday, posted a 1-over 73 Thursday and is tied for fourth.
ABOUT THE Southern Amateur
The Southern Amateur, which dates back to 1902, is
one of two competitions held by the Southern Golf
Association. (The other is the Southern Junior.) Its
champions roster is like a who’s
of competitive golf. (And the same could be said of
the standing of its host clubs.) Leading this group is
Robert T. (Bobby) Jones, Jr., who was the Southern
Amateur Champion in 1917, 1920, and 1922. Others
who have won or finished in a challenging position
gone on to national and/or international prominence
include Tommy Barnes, Dale Morey, Don January,
Brewer, Doug Sanders, Billy Joe Patton, Lew Oehmig,
Hubert Green, Downing Gray, Marvin (Vinny) Giles,
Lanny Wadkins, Steve Melnyk, Tom Kite, John
Mahaffey, Ben Crenshaw, Gary Koch, Bill Rogers, Gil
Morgan, Danny Edwards, Andy Bean, Vance Haefner,
Jerry Pate, Chip Beck, David Edwards, Jay Sigel, Bob
Tway, Mark Brooks, Gene Sauers, Davis Love, Justin
Leonard and more recently PGA Tour standouts Webb
Simpson and Kyle Stanley, who won twice each
between 2005 and 2008 in alternate years.
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