Semis Set At U.S. Mid-Amateur

Past champs Jackson and Smith to meet; White and Rank in second match


Todd White held off Casey Boyns to earn a spot in the U.S. Mid-Amateur semifinals on Wednesday at Conway Farms. (Chris Keane/USGA)
By Christina Lance, USGA
September 12, 2012

Lake Forest, Ill. – Tim Jackson, Nathan Smith, Todd White and Garrett Rank have reached the semifinals at the 2012 U.S. Mid-Amateur Championship, being conducted at the par-71, 7,078-yard Conway Farms Golf Club.

Jackson, 53, of Germantown, Tenn., advanced on Wednesday morning with a 3-and-2 victory over Dennis Bull, of Norwalk, Iowa. Smith, 34, of Pittsburgh, eliminated Corby Segal, of Santa Clarita, Calif, 1 up.

White, 44, of Spartanburg, S.C., took a 2-and-1 win over Casey Boyns, of Monterey, Calif. Rank, 25, of Canada, defeated Matthew Mattare, of New York, by a 3-and-2 margin.

The 2012 U.S. Mid-Amateur Championship, for players ages 25 and older, consists of 36 holes of stroke play. The low 64 scorers advanced to match play, which features six rounds, including a 36-hole final scheduled for Thursday, beginning at 7 a.m. CDT.

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.

Jackson faced little pressure from Bull, who dropped the par-3 second with a bogey to give Jackson a 1-up lead. Jackson’s birdie at the ensuing par-4 third stretched the lead to two and he was able to extend it to as much as 4 up before coasting to victory.

“I was very comfortable today,” said Jackson, the 1994 and 2001 Mid-Amateur champion. “It was just one of those days where the club feels right in your hand.”

Jackson’s semifinal opponent on Wednesday afternoon, Smith, is another multiple Mid-Amateur champion, having taken the title in 2003, 2009 and 2010. But this will be the first time the two past USA Walker Cup participants have played each other in a match-play competition.

Smith trailed for much of his quarterfinal match with Segal. He gained his first lead with a birdie at the par-5 14th, but Segal’s birdie-3 at the 15th brought the match back to all square.

The match remained deadlocked to the par-5 18th. Segal deftly placed his approach within 10 feet of the hole. Smith’s approach made a nifty, 180-degree spin around Segal’s ball and came to rest 5 feet past.

“I heard everybody go crazy and I saw the ball going everywhere,” said Smith, who has reached the Mid-Amateur semis for a fourth consecutive year. “But then I realized that I'm outside his line, so I was probably going to give him the line.”

Smith calmly stepped up and sank the 15-foot birdie. When Segal’s attempt to extend the match came up short, Smith knew he was facing yet another tough battle. He was extended to 19 holes on Tuesday afternoon against close friend Sean Knapp in the round of 16..

“I'll have my hands full again and just try to hang with him,” said Smith of his afternoon opponent.

White opened with a birdie at the par-4 first to quickly set the tone again Boyns. The high school history teacher at Hilton Head Island High maintained a lead for the duration of the match, though Boyns never quite let White feel comfortable.

“I got up early and managed to keep the ball in play and put it on the greens,” said White, whose best previous USGA result was a round-of-16 appearance at the 2003 U.S. Amateur at Oakmont (Pa.) C.C. “I've got to give credit to my opponent - he fought back. He really played well late in the match.”

Rank started the championship as the youngest person in the 264-competitor field, but finds himself as one of the last four men standing. After steamrolling through his opening three matches, Rank faced a tough adversary in Mattare, also competing in his first Mid-Amateur.

While Rank never trailed in the match, Mattare kept things close. Rank’s birdie at the first was countered by a long Mattare birdie at the second. Rank carried a lead until the par-3 12th, when his bogey squared the match.

But Rank was able to turn things around at the par-5, 535-yard 14th. Rank’s 3-wood approach found the middle of the green, while Mattare hit a wedge to 5 feet. Mattare missed the short birdie putt after Rank promptly dropped his birdie from 7 feet to regain the lead, this time for good.

“That was huge,” said Rank, a member of the Canadian National Team and a referee in the Ontario Hockey League. “I'd lost 11 and 12 to go all square, so that got the momentum back in my favor.”

Rank has yet to play the 17th and 18th holes in match play, something he hopes will not come back to haunt him.

“I hope they don't have the tees up on 18 because I'm not sure if it's driver or not,” said Rank with a laugh. “Hopefully I don't have to get there.”

Christina Lance is a coordinator of championship communications for the USGA. Email her at clance@usga.org.

Follow the USGA
Become a Facebook Fan of the USGAFollow us on Twitter @USGA
THE RULES OF GOLF APP
Get The Rules of Golf App For Your iPhone Or Android Today
World Amateur Golf Ranking
WAGR Counting Event
Partner Links
AmEx image
AmEx image
AmEx image
AmEx image
Chevron
   

The USGA and Chevron have committed to using the game of golf to encourage students in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) disciplines. This commitment has led to the creation of extensive golf-focused STEM teaching tools, and has resulted in charitable contributions to support golf-related programs through Eagles for Education™

At U.S. Open Championships the Chevron STEM ZONE™ is an interactive experience highlighting the science and math behind the game of golf through a variety of hands-on exhibits and experiments.

The partnership has also produced educational materials such as the Science of Golf video series and a nationally-distributed newspaper insert which are provided to teachers as tools to enhance existing curriculum in schools. These lessons teach the science behind the USGA’s equipment testing, handicapping, and agronomy efforts.

For more interactive experiences featuring golf-focused STEM lessons, visit the partnership homepage.


Chevron image
Rolex
   

Rolex has been a longtime supporter of the USGA and salutes the sportsmanship and great traditions unique to the game. This support includes the Rules of Golf where Rolex has partnered with the USGA to ensure golfers understand and appreciate the game.

As the official timekeeper of the USGA and its championships, they also provide clocks throughout host sites for spectator convenience.

For more information on Rolex and their celebration of the game, visit the Rolex and Golf homepage.



Rolex image
IBM
   

IBM has partnered with the USGA to bring the same technology, expertise, and innovation it provides to businesses all over the world to the USGA and golf's national championship.

IBM provides the information technology to develop and host the U.S. Open’s official website, www.usopen.com, as well as the mobile apps and scoring systems for the three U.S. Open championships. These real-time technology solutions provide an enhanced experience for fans following the championship onsite and online.

For more information on IBM and the technology that powers the U.S. Open and businesses worldwide, visit http://www.usopen.com/IBM

AmEx image
Lexus
   

Lexus is committed to partnering with the USGA to deliver a best-in-class experience for the world’s best golfers by providing a fleet of courtesy luxury vehicles for all USGA Championships.

At each U.S. Open, Women’s Open and Senior Open, Lexus provides spectators with access to unique experiences ranging from the opportunity to have a picture taken with both the U.S. Open and U.S. Women’s Open trophies to autograph signings with legendary Lexus Golf Ambassadors in the Lexus Performance Drive Pavilion.

For more information on Lexus, visit http://www.lexus.com/

AmEx image
American Express
   

Together, American Express and the USGA have been providing world-class service to golf fans since 2006. By creating interactive U.S. Open experiences both onsite and online, American Express enhances the USGA’s effort to make the game more accessible and enjoyable for fans.

For more information on American Express visit www.americanexpress.com/entertainment


AmEx image