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Players to Watch at the U.S. Mid-Amateur
ATLANTA, GA (October 5, 2017) - The 264-player field for the 37th U.S. Mid-Amateur Championship is set, and players will tee it up at the Capital City Club as stroke play begins on Saturday with the biggest title in mid-amateur golf up for grabs.

Related: 37th U.S. Mid-Amateur: A Closer Look at the Field
Related: 2017 U.S. Mid-Amateur Qualifying Roundup

Here is a look at some of the key players to watch:

Claudio Consul
Claudio Consul
Claudio Consul, 34, of Dusseldorf, Germany, made his USGA debut at the 2016 U.S. Mid-Amateur at Stonewall, where he made the match play Final 16. His play in some of the best amateur tournaments in Europe--he has top-25's in the St. Andrews Links Trophy, the Lytham Trophy, the Portuguese International Amateur, and the English Amateur--have taken him into the top 10 in the AmateurGolf.com Mid-Amateur Rankings. While earning his doctorate in engineering at Oxford, Consul played on the university’s golf team. He now works in his family's fashion business.

Keith Decker
Keith Decker
Keith Decker, 57, of Martinsville, Va., has competed in 20 USGA championships, including five U.S. Mid-Amateurs. He reached the Round of 16 in this year’s U.S. Senior Amateur and was member of the winning Virginia team in the 1995 USGA Men’s State Team Championship. In 2017, he was inducted into the Virginia Golf Hall of Fame along with Donna Andrews and J.C. Snead. Decker, who is a furniture salesman, is a seven-time Virginia State Golf Association player of the year. This fall he has won the Senior Porter Cup and has finished runner-up in the Sunnehanna Senior and the Society of Seniors Fall Classic.

Joseph Deraney
Joseph Deraney
Joseph Deraney, 34, of Nashville, TN, won three significant national mid-amateur invitationals last year: the Stocker Cup in California, the Lupton Invitational at the Honors Course in Tennessee, and the Timuquana Cup in Florida. Over the last two seasons he has also had top-10 finishes in the Carlton Woods Invitational, the Birmingham National Invitational, Crane Cup and Canadian Mid-Amateur. Last week he won his second-straight Kentucky Mid-Amateur. A reinstated amateur, Derany is playing in his first U.S. Mid-Amateur Championship.

Gene Elliott
Gene Elliott
Gene Elliott, 55, of West Des Moines, Iowa, is competing in his 29th USGA championship and 13th U.S. Mid-Amateur. Elliott, who has reached match play in 11 of 12 U.S. Mid-Amateurs played, won this year’s Trans-Mississippi Senior Amateur by four strokes with a 54-hole score of 4-under 209. Elliott, who was a 2006 U.S. Mid-Amateur quarterfinalist, won the Iowa Senior and the Canadian Senior, and made the semis of the Crump Cup Senior this fall. He was inducted into the Iowa Golf Hall of Fame in 2012.

Jeronimo Esteve
Jeronimo Esteve
Jeronimo Esteve, 36, of Puerto Rico, is the general manager of an auto dealership and a driving instructor for high-performance racing cars. He is playing in his sixth USGA championship and fourth U.S. Mid-Amateur. Esteve, who lives in Windermere, Fla., has competed in all three Latin American Amateur Championships and two World Amateur Team Championships (2012, 2014). He was captain of the Dartmouth College golf team and earned All-New England recognition in 2003. Esteve finished fifth at the George C. Thomas Invitational earlier this year and was a quarterfinalist in the Crump Cup two weeks ago.

Stewart Hagestad
Stewart Hagestad
Stewart Hagestad, 26, of Newport Beach, Calif., won the 2016 U.S. Mid-Amateur Championship by defeating Scott Harvey in 37 holes and was a member of the winning 2017 USA Walker Cup Team which posted a 19-7 victory over Great Britain and Ireland. Hagestad, who became the second-youngest Mid-Amateur champion, produced the largest comeback victory (4 down with 5 holes to play) since a 36-hole final was introduced in 2001. He was the low amateur in the 2017 Masters Tournament, tying for 36th, and competed in this year’s U.S. Open. Hagestad, a University of Southern California graduate, has played in 12 USGA championships, including eight U.S. Amateurs.

Scott Harvey
Scott Harvey
Scott Harvey, 39, of Greensboro, N.C., has competed in 25 USGA championships, including nine U.S. Mid-Amateurs. He won the 2014 U.S. Mid-Amateur, which earned him an invitation to the 2015 Masters, and was the runner-up to Stewart Hagestad last year. Harvey, a property manager, has reached match play in three U.S. Amateur Four-Balls with partner Todd Mitchell (2015, semifinals; 2016, Round of 16; 2017, quarterfinals) and was a member of the 2015 USA Walker Cup Team. Harvey qualified for his first U.S. Open this year at Erin Hills, and tied his father with nine career wins in Carolinas Golf Association events when he won last month's North Carolina Mid-Amateur.

Sean Knapp
Sean Knapp
Sean Knapp, 55, of Oakmont, Pa., won the 2017 U.S. Senior Amateur when he defeated Paul Simson in the final on Aug. 31. He then won his next tournament, the Sunnehanna Senior, by eight shots. Knapp, who caddied at Oakmont Country Club, has competed in 41 USGA championships, including 15 U.S. Mid-Amateurs. He advanced to the semifinals in 2008 and 2010. Knapp lost to eventual champion Tiger Woods in the Round of 16 of the 1995 U.S. Amateur and tied for 60th in the 2012 U.S. Senior Open. Knapp, who is a 14-time Western Pennsylvania Golf Association Player of the Year, is a member of the Indiana University of Pennsylvania athletic hall of fame.

Michael McDermott
Michael McDermott
Michael McDermott, 42, of Bryn Mawr, Pa., won the Crump Cup at Pine Valley two weeks ago, beating Bill Williamson 1 up in the final match. One down in the 17th fairway, McDermott holed a 125-yard wedge shot to a tucked pin and then won the 18th to close out the match. He also won the Crump Cup in 2012 and has numerous regional wins including the Philadelphia Amateur and Mid-Amateur. McDermott was a quarterfinalist at last year's U.S. Mid-Amateur and will be playing in his third straight championship. He played college golf at St. Joseph's University and is the President of Kathmere Capital Management.

Michael Muehr
Michael Muehr
Michael Muehr, 45, of Potomac Falls, Va., is competing in his seventh U.S. Mid-Amateur and 18th USGA championship. He is a two-time Crump Cup champion and also won the Middle Atlantic Amateur twice. Muehr, who works as a financial advisor, advanced to the quarterfinals in last year’s U.S. Mid-Amateur and was also a quarterfinalist in 2011. He was diagnosed with melanoma in 2003 and is the founder of Golf Pros Beating Cancer, a charitable foundation in Virginia. Muehr, who underwent successful treatment and surgery, previously has competed on the PGA Tour and Web.com Tour before regaining his amateur status in 2007.

Matt Parziale
Matt Parziale
Matt Parziale, 30, of Brockton, Mass., is a firefighter with the Brockton Fire Department. Parziale, whose father, Vic, has worked for the same fire department for more than 30 years, is playing in his ninth USGA championship and fourth U.S. Mid-Amateur. Parziale won the Francis Ouimet Memorial and the the Massachusetts Amateur earlier this summer, and won two straight Massachusetts Mid-Amateurs in 2015 and 2016. He shared medalist honors with Scott Harvey in the 2015 U.S. Mid-Amateur. Parziale was reinstated as an amateur in 2013 after competing on the NGA Hooters and eGolf tours and making three trips to PGA Tour Qualifying School.

John Sawin
John Sawin
John Sawin, 34, of San Francisco, Ca., graduated from Princeton University in 2007 with a Bachelor's degree in Economics and three Ivy League team championship titles. From there he took a job on Wall Street, but put his career on hold to pursue a full season of competitive amateur golf in 2014. He has won the Stocker Cup and the Walter Travis Invitational, and was runner-up in the Crump Cup and Stocker Cup last year. He has also had top-15 finishes in the Lupton Invitational, the George C. Thomas Invitational, and the Coleman Invitational over the last two seasons.

Scott Shingler
Scott Shingler
Scott Shingler, 45, of Haymarket, Va., is a former Virginia Amateur champion and a multiple Virginia Golfer-of-the-Year selection. Shingler is in good form leading into the championship, having finished runner-up in last week's Middle Atlantic Amateur, and qualifying for both the U.S. Amateur and U.S. Mid-Amateur. He also finished tied 9th in the Coleman Invitational at Seminole in the spring. Shingler is a former U.S. State Team Championship runner-up representing the state of Virginia.

Nathan Smith
Nathan Smith
Nathan Smith, 39, of Pittsburgh, Pa., is a four-time U.S. Mid-Amateur champion (2003, 2009, 2010, 2012). He is second in career Mid-Amateur match-play wins (34) behind Jerry Courville Jr.’s 36 victories. Smith won the 2015 U.S. Amateur Four-Ball title with partner Todd White, who is also in this field. A member of three USA Walker Cup Teams (2009, 2011, 2013), Smith works as an investment advisor. He has played in 41 USGA championships, including 17 U.S. Amateurs. In 2015, he was inducted into the Western Pennsylvania Golf Hall of Fame.

Ken Tanigawa
Ken Tanigawa
Ken Tanigawa, 49, of Paradise Valley, Ariz., is playing in his 10th USGA championship and third U.S. Mid-Amateur. He was a quarterfinalist in the 2013 Mid-Amateur and reached match play the following year. Tanigawa played six years on the Japan Tour and was reinstated as an amateur in 2012. He was born in Kobe, Japan, and moved to Los Angeles at age 3. Tanigawa, who played as a collegian at UCLA, runs a chemical product manufacturing business with his brother. He won his second Arizona Amateur in three years, and was a back-to-back Arizona Mid-Amateur champion.

Justin Tereshko
Justin Tereshko
Justin Tereshko, 27, of Greensboro, N.C., is the head golf coach at Guilford College and has led the program to two NCAA Division III Tournament berths and a pair of Old Dominion Athletic Conference titles. He is competing in his fifth USGA championship and second U.S. Mid-Amateur. Tereshko, who reached match play in the 2015 Mid-Amateur, won this year’s North Carolina State Amateur by three strokes on June 18 with a 72-hole score of 5-under 283. He was one of two mid-amateurs to qualify for match play in this year’s U.S. Amateur. This summer, Tereshko had top-20 finishes in the Monroe Invitational, the Porter Cup, and the Dogwood Invitational, which helped him rise to #7 in the AmateurGolf.com Mid-Amateur Rankings.

Todd White
Todd White
Todd White, 49, of Spartanburg, S.C., is playing in his 25th USGA championship and seventh U.S. Mid-Amateur. He reached the Mid-Amateur semifinals in 2012 and was a quarterfinalist in 2014 and 2015. White won the 2015 U.S. Amateur Four-Ball Championship with partner Nathan Smith and was a member of the winning 2013 USA Walker Cup Team. The high school history teacher played in the 1995 U.S. Open at Shinnecock Hills Golf Club. In 2017, he advanced to the Amateur Four-Ball quarterfinals with Smith and tied for second in the Azalea Invitational (a tournament he won in 2015).

Bill Williamson
Bill Williamson
Bill Williamson, 40, of Cincinnati, Ohio, was the 2013 U.S. Mid-Amateur runner-up to Michael McCoy at the Country Club of Birmingham (Ala.). Two weeks ago he was one up over Michael McDermott with two holes to go in the Crump Cup final, but had to settle for runner-up after McDermott won the last two holes, including a hole-out eagle on 17. Williamson has competed in six Mid-Amateurs, advancing to match play three times. An attorney, Williamson is competing in his 15th USGA championship. He is a three-time Greater Cincinnati Player of the Year, and finished 5th in last year's Coleman Invitational and third in the 2015 Terra Cotta Invitational.

Related: The AmateurGolf.com Mid-Amateur Rankings

- The USGA contributed to this article.
ABOUT THE U.S. Mid-Amateur

The U.S. Mid-Amateur originated in 1981 for the amateur golfer of at least 25 years of age, the purpose of which to provide a formal national championship for the post-college player. 264 players begin the championship with two rounds of sroke play qualifying held at two courses, after which the low 64 (with a playoff if necessary to get the exact number) advance to single elimination match play.

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