Marsh (69) starts quickly at U.S. Mid-Am

BRIDGEHAMPTON, N.Y (Sept. 25, 2010) --Kevin Marsh, the 2005 U.S. Mid-Amateur champion, made the first step towards adding another USGA trophy to his case on Saturday.

Marsh, 37, fired a 3-under 69 at The Bridge to take a one-shot lead in stroke-play qualifying at this year’s Mid-Am in Bridgehampton, N.Y.

“I’m kind of surprised that I had the lowest score but I’m certainly not disappointed,” said Marsh, who made five birdies in Saturday's opening round.

Trailing Marsh by three shots is another past champion – last year’s champion, in fact – Nathan Smith of Pittsburgh, Penn. Smith shot an even-par 72 despite four bogeys at Atlantic Golf Club, the other qualifying course.

“I needed a good score over here and I feel like I got it,” said Smith, who also won this event in 2003. “At least it might hold me in there to have a chance to make match play.”

Todd Burgan of Knoxville, Tenn., a 2009 U.S. Mid-Am quarterfinalist, trails Marsh by one shot at 2-under 70, while Dick Engel, Chris Hall, Brian Grossman, Scott Harvey and Todd Mitchell all turned in 71s.

Mike McCoy, recent winner of the Crump Cup and medalist at last year's Mid-Am shot 73 and sits T-16, while Tim Jackson, who made a run at the 2009 U.S. Senior Open, shot 76 to tie for 60th after Round 1.

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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