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Seven Western PA Spring Stroke Play Wins for Nathan Smith<br>(USGA photo)
Seven Western PA Spring Stroke Play Wins for Nathan Smith
(USGA photo)

BEALLSVILLE, PA (May 16, 2017)--Four-time U.S. Mid-Amateur champion Nathan Smith continued his dominance of Western Pennsylvania and the Spring Stroke Play in particular, winning the tournament for a record seventh time at Nemacolin Country Club.

Smith, of Pittsburgh, shot rounds of 69 and 68 on the par-70 course for a two-shot win over Erik Bertrand of Pittsburgh, Dave Brown of Ligonier, and Chuck Nettles of McMurray.

Nettles led after the morning round after shooting a three-under 67 that included six birdies. Brown had a six-birdie round of his own and was second at 68, with Smith tied third with Brady Pevarnik of Latrobe and Darin Kowalski of Bethel Park at 69.

Several golfers would make a push in the afternoon round, only to fall back as Smith stayed steady.

Pevarnik got it to three under for the tournament early in the afternoon round, but faded to a 72 and a 141 total. Kowalski was three under with nine hole to go, but lost four shots coming in to match Pevarnik at 141. Nettles too got it to three under with eight holes remaining, but he also backed up to finish at one-under 139. Finally, Brown was three under with five holes to go, but bogeyed two of the last five holes to finish joint runner-up with Nettles and Bertrand.

Only Smith was able to maintain the pace, shooting three under on the front nine of the afternoon round to get to four under, and then managed to avoid the pitfalls that struck each of his competitors, playing an uneventful final nine with eight pars and a bogey.

Three-time champion Sean Knapp of Oakmont finished tied thirteenth with a 74-70, while two-time champion Rick Stimmel of Pittsburgh finished 28th with a 71-78.

View results for Western Pennsylvania Spring Stroke Play Golf Tournament

ABOUT THE Western Pennsylvania Spring Stroke Play

The competition began in 1994 and marks the beginning of the championship season. The competition began as an invitational for Member Club champions, winners of Association championships and other players of note are invited. Since then it has evolved into a full field open competition with club champions of WPGA Member Clubs having exempt status to the field. The trophy is named for Jack Benson, South Hills, who won six West Penn Amateurs between 1934 & 1954.

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