Chattanooga, Tenn. (Sept 11, 2005) -– Darin Newhouse, 32, of Tyler, Texas, shot a 1-under-par 71 at The Honors Course to earn medalist honors at the 25th U.S. Mid-Amateur Championship Sunday.
Newhouse, playing in his second Mid-Amateur, had four birdies and three bogeys in his round, including three birdies in a four-hole stretch, punctuated on the par-5, 555-yard second hole when he hit a lob wedge to a foot. He admitted his sizzling 5-under-par 67 at Black Creek Club during Saturday’s first round of stroke play helped relieve the pressure as he played the more difficult Honors layout.
“I was definitely a little more relaxed because the pressure was somewhat off, unless I started off making a bunch of bogeys,” said Newhouse. “But I started off okay and hit some good shots. This is a really tough, tight golf course and I think just having some additional room out there to miss some shots makes it easier to actually hit the shots.”
While some players might shy away from medalist honors to avoid being the player to beat, Newhouse welcomed the possibility.
“It’d be the best thing I’ve ever done,” he said. “Just making it is great. Just shooting well and playing like I’ve played the last two days, I’m pretty happy with that.
“This is a tough golf course (Honors), one of the toughest I’ve ever played. There’s just so little room when you’re driving, and then if you succeed at that, you usually have a difficult shot into a green because you have to hit a perfect shot into one of those small spot or you have a really, really hard chip or putt. If you don’t hit two really good shots here, you’re in trouble.
A day after recording the low score of the first round at The Honors with a 2-under-par 70, Raymond Floyd Jr., 30, of Greenwich, Conn., finished two shots back after recording another 2-under 70 at Black Creek Club Sunday.
Floyd said he was thinking about medalist honors a little bit when he started his second round, but wasn’t overly disappointed.
“At the end of the day that doesn’t mean anything,” said Floyd. “You just have to be in the final 64 and you have a chance. Yes, it would be nice to be medalist, therefore technically you would be number one seed so you would be playing the [No. 64] guy. But at the same time I am happy to shoot two solid rounds, especially a very solid one at The Honors where obviously the [match-play] rounds are going to be.”
First-round leader Brendan Hester of Northbridge, Mass., who opened with a 6-under 66 at Black Creek Course, plays his second round at The Honors Course Sunday afternoon. Defending champion Austin Eaton III of New London, N.H., also plays The Honors Sunday afternoon after opening with a 1-over-par 73 at Black Creek.
Among those who should easily advance to match play are 1996 U.S. Amateur Public Links champion Tim Hogarth, 39, of Northridge, Calif. (2-over 144) and 2002 U.S. Mid-Amateur champion George Zahringer, 52, of New York, N.Y. (4-over 146).
After the completion of the second round of stroke play Sunday, the field will be trimmed to the low 64 scorers who will advance to match play at The Honors Course. The championship runs through Thursday’s 36-hole final match.
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.
Story written by Beth Murrison of USGA Media Relations. E-mail her with questions or comments at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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