BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (Oct. 4, 2012) -- As a result of winning the USGA Mid-Amateur Championship for a record fourth time, Pittsburgh financial adviser Nathan Smith, 34, has been named National Amateur of the Month for September by the Southern Golf Association. It is the third time Smith has won the prestigious award, this time over an impressive list of nominees. Only PGA Tour star Webb Simpson has won the award more times, having been selected four times during his collegiate career at Wake Forest.
University of Missouri senior Jace Long polled second in voting by the SGA’s blue-chip national selection panel after a hat trick of victories in September: two collegiate tournaments and a pre-qualifying event for the PGA Tour Q-school as an amateur. The panel awarded Long honorable mention for the September award. Another deserving nominee was San Diego State’s Tom Berry, who beat a star-loaded collegiate field in the Ping/Golfweek NCAA Preview at the Capital City Club in Alpharetta, Ga. -- site of the 2013 NCAA Division I men’s championship next June.
In the Mid-Am Championship, played at Conway Farms GC in Lake Forest, Ill, Smith survived a tough opening match against recent SGA Hall of Fame inductee Paul Simson, 2-and 1, then proceeded with clutch performances down the stretch of his remaining matches. Three of his final four matches were decided at 1-up, including the finale against Canadian Garrett Rank.
The victory earns Smith an invitation to compete in the Masters at August National next spring for the fourth time.
Winners of the SGA’s March-through-October award are determined by a panel of golf officials, coaches and journalists. Earlier winners this year include J.J. Spaun of San Diego State, Alabama all-Americans Justin Thomas and Bobby Wyatt, Southern Amateur champ Peter Williamson from New Hampshire and U.S. Amateur champ Steven Fox.
The SGA supports amateur golf at the highest level, including staging of the storied Southern Am, which will be played for the 107th time next July at The Club at Carlton Woods near Houston.
The SGA's National Amateur of the Month Award is in its 10th year and recognizes the top amateurs during the month's of March through October and are selected by a blue-ribbon national panel of golf officials, coaches and media members.
Among the award's most famous winners are U.S. Open champion Webb Simpson, PGA Tour player Kyle Stanley and Peter Uhlein, the former top-ranked amateur in the world.