BETHLEHEM, Pa. (Sept. 11, 2014) — Scott Harvey, 36, of Greensboro, N.C., has a 4-up lead over Brad Nurski, 35, of St. Joseph, Mo., after the morning 18 holes of the scheduled 36-hole final at the 2014 U.S. Mid-Amateur Championship, held at the par-71, 7,076-yard Saucon Valley Country Club’s Old Course. The afternoon round begins at 11:45 a.m. EDT.
Harvey, the No. 1 seed, and Nurski, the No. 2 seed, were co-medalists in stroke-play qualifying. The championship match is featuring the top two seeds for the first time since 2010. Both players are competing in their first USGA championship final.
Harvey, whose previous best Mid-Amateur performance was advancing to the quarterfinals in 2010, won three of the final six holes on the inward nine to build his margin. He made a 12-foot birdie putt on the short par-4 13th for a 2-up lead and won No. 15 after Nurski missed a 5-foot par putt to the right.
Harvey appeared to be in trouble on the par-4 16th when he hit his approach shot into the lateral hazard to the left of the green. After advancing his third shot to the rough, he played a nifty chip to within 4 feet to halve the hole with a bogey.
Both players drove the green at the 307-yard, par-4 18th. However, Nurski, who is competing in his second U.S. Mid-Amateur but first since 2008, missed a 5-footer for birdie. Harvey followed by draining a 4½-foot birdie putt for a four-hole advantage.
Harvey, a real estate property manager, and Nurski split the match’s first two holes. Harvey won the par-5 first with a birdie, while Nurski sank a par-saving 22-foot putt to win the second.
Harvey, who is playing in his seventh consecutive U.S. Mid-Amateur, went back in front on the par-4 third with a 12-foot par putt and increased his lead on the par-4 fifth when Nurski found the left fairway bunker off the tee, resulting in a bogey.
Nurski, a railroad conductor and switchman, had difficulty finding the fairway off the tee throughout the morning. But he cut the deficit in half at the seventh hole when he got up and down from the right greenside bunker for a par and Harvey missed a 9-foot putt in an effort to halve the hole.
The U.S. Mid-Amateur is one of 13 national championships conducted annually by the United States Golf Association, 10 of which are strictly for amateurs.