5-Time USGA Champ Smith joins Sunnehanna Committee
Nathan Smith won the Sunnehanna Amateur in 2011<br>(Sunnehanna photo)
Nathan Smith won the Sunnehanna Amateur in 2011
(Sunnehanna photo)

JOHNSTOWN, PA (February 6, 2018) - The Sunnehanna Amateur Committee has added one of the most prestigious names in its history.

Nathan Smith has been an elite level amateur player throughout his career and he won the Sunnehanna Amateur in 2011 after contending for the title several times. He brings experience and an ongoing relationship with the game at its highest level.

“Adding Nathan to the committee is good for him and it’s good for us,” said Sunnehanna Amateur co-chairman John Yerger. “The bottom line is he’s a former champion, a USGA champion, a three-time Walker Cup team member. He wants to support not only us, but golf in general.”

Those facts speak loudly about Smith’s credentials and the high regard in which he’s held. But from the Brookville native’s perspective, it’s a great honor.

“The Sunnehanna Amateur has grown into a big part of my life,” he said. “I was 15 or 16 the first time I played in it. The fact that it’s in my backyard, with all the history that’s taken place there and being fortunate enough to win it, it’s just very special to me. The championship means the world to me, more than people think.”

Smith’s victory in a four-hole playoff in 2011 came against a loaded field that included Justin Thomas, Zac Blair, Max Homa, John Peterson, Jordan Spieth, Peter Uihlein, and Kelly Kraft. “Winning in 2011 was special, especially because of the guys that were playing that year,” he said. “That was a loaded field. I’ve won U.S. Mid-Ams (four), state events, big amateur events, but this is kind of a different level.”

Yerger said the committee’s goals with Smith’s inclusion were straight forward.

“We consider our tournament to be run for the player and who better to tell us about things from a player’s perspective?” he asked. “It’s really that simple. Nathan lends great credibility to what we’re doing.”

Smith recognizes the difference in how the Sunnehanna Amateur, ranked as one of the top five amateur events in the country, is run.

“We’ve talked a lot about the tournament and those conversations will continue,” Smith said.

“We’re always talking about improving the field. We’ll be having more conversations moving forward. Obviously, I can provide a perspective from the players side. While I’m still playing I have my ear to the ground with the players and I’m sure I’ll be helping with recruiting players.”

The 2018 Sunnehanna Amateur will be held June 12-16 on the classic A. W. Tillinghast layout in suburban Johnstown, Pennsylvania.

ABOUT THE Sunnehanna Amateur

The Sunnehanna Amateur was inaugurated in July of 1954 -- it was the first country club sponsored 72-hole stroke play competition for amateurs in the United States. The tournament is played on a classic A.W. Tillinghast design. Only one other amateur tournament in the United States can list the likes of Chick Evans, Arnold Palmer, Julius Boros, Art Wall, Jack Nicklaus, Phil Mickelson, Tiger Woods, and Rickie Fowler as contestants: the United States Amateur. Its medal play format has been emulated by countless amateur tournaments across the country.

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