Kiawah Island, S.C. – Co-medalist Nathan Smith, the 2003 champion from Pittsburgh, Pa., and four-time quarterfinalist Patrick Carter, of Huntington, W.Va., highlight a group of four players who advanced Wednesday to the semifinals of the 2009 U.S. Mid-Amateur Championship at the 6,964-yard, par-72 Cassique at The Kiawah Island Club.
Smith, 31, a member of the victorious 2009 USA Walker Cup and USGA Men’s State Team squads earlier this year, defeated Dave Bunker, of Canada, 4 and 3, in the third round, and Chris Marin, of Monterey, Calif., 1 up, in the quarterfinals.
An investment advisor who won the 2009 Pennsylvania Amateur, Smith faces Robert Gerwin, 42, of Cincinnati, Ohio, in the second of Thursday’s semifinal matches as Gerwin celebrates his 43rd birthday. Gerwin, who works in real estate, defeated defending champion Steve Wilson, 39, of Ocean Springs, Miss., 2 up, in the quarterfinals. Gerwin was also a quarterfinalist in 1997.
“It does and it doesn’t,” said Smith when asked if reaching the semifinal round again was familiar. “Sometimes, (2003) feels like yesterday and sometimes it feels like 20 years ago. All you can do is play hard. You never know when you are going to get another opportunity.”
In his quarterfinal win, Smith rebounded from a 1-down deficit through 13 holes by winning two consecutive holes. On the 14th hole, Smith made a winning par as Marin’s slippery 30-foot putt sped by the hole and resulted in a three-putt bogey. Smith won the par-5 15th with a birdie to take his first lead of the match against Marin, a caddie at Del Monte Golf Course in Pebble Beach, Calif.
“He’s such an explosive player,” Smith said of Marin. “I was just trying to stay close to him. I was trying to just keep it to one down and hang around and maybe get lucky.”
Carter, 41, a 12-time West Virginia State Amateur champion, advanced to the semifinals with a 5-and-3 victory over 1996 runner-up Randy Lewis, 51, of Alma, Mich; and 4-and-3 decision over Todd Burgan, of Knoxville, Tenn., in the quarterfinals. Burgan had edged co-medalist Mike McCoy, of West Des Moines, Iowa, 2 and 1, in the third round.
In the first semifinal match, Carter plays Tim Spitz, 33, of Rochester, N.Y., who defeated Tripp Davis, of Norman, Okla., in 20 holes, in the quarterfinals.
Carter broke through to the semifinals after making the quarterfinals in 1996, 1997 and 2003 as well.
“Finally,” Carter said. “It gets kind of frustrating making it to the quarters and not getting through. I told myself I’ve been playing well the last three or four weeks. A lot of it was lack of confidence before, but I am confident in my game now. I would like to think that someone would have to play well to beat me.”
Against Burgan, Carter jumped out to a 5-up lead through six holes and never trailed.
“I ended both matches at 15,” said Carter, who has lost 25 pounds since March of this year. “So I haven’t played as many holes as a lot of them out there. I might be a little fresher. It may be an advantage.”
All quarterfinalists are exempt from qualifying for the 2010 U.S. Mid-Amateur at Atlantic Golf Club in Southamption, N.Y., from Sept. 25-30.
The seven second-round matches that were not completed Tuesday resumed at 7:20 a.m. Gerwin was the only semifinalist who had to complete his second-round match on Wednesday.
Story written by Pete Kowalski, manager of championship media relations for the USGA. E-mail him with questions or comments at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Kiawah Island, S.C. – Results of Wednesday’s third and quarterfinal rounds of match play at the 2009 U.S. Mid-Amateur Championship, played at the 6,964-yard, par-72 Cassique at The Kiawah Island Club.
Todd Burgan, Knoxville, Tenn. (145) def. Michael McCoy, West Des Moines, Iowa (140), 2 and 1
Patrick Carter, Huntington, W.Va. (144) def. Randal Lewis, Alma, Mich. (144), 5 and 3
Tim Spitz, Rochester, N.Y. (146) def. Danny Germaine, Palm Beach Gardens, Fla. (148), 3 and 2
Tripp Davis, Norman, Okla. (142) def.. Andrew Medley, Scottsdale, Ariz. (145), 3 and 2
Nathan Smith, Pittsburgh, Pa. (140) def.. Dave Bunker, Canada (145), 4 and 3
Christopher Marin, Monterey, Calif. (142) def. Sean Knapp, Oakmont, Pa. (146), 2 and 1
Robert Gerwin, Cincinnati, Ohio (141) def. Troy Logan, Chicago, Ill. (149), 4 and 3
Steve Wilson, St. Martin, Miss. (149) def. Jeff Wilson, Fairfield, Calif. (142), 5 and 4
Carter def. Burgan, 4 and 3
Spitz def. Davis, 20 holes
Smith def. Marin, 1 up
Gerwin def. S. Wilson, 2 up
Kiawah Island, S.C. – Pairings for Thursday’s semifinal round of match play at the 2009 U.S. Mid-Amateur Championship, played at the 6,964-yard, par-72 Cassique at The Kiawah Island Club. (EDT)
9 a.m. -- Patrick Carter, Huntington, W.Va. (144) vs. Tim Spitz, Rochester, N.Y. (146)
9:15 a.m. -- Nathan Smith, Pittsburgh, Pa. (140) vs. Robert Gerwin, Cincinnati, Ohio (141)