BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – Michael McCoy, 50, of West Des Moines, Iowa, has a 5-up lead over Bill Williamson, 36, of Cincinnati, after the morning 18 holes of the scheduled 36-hole final at the 2013 U.S. Mid-Amateur Championship, held at the par-71, 7,173-yard Country Club of Birmingham’s West Course. The afternoon round begins at 12:15 p.m. CDT.
McCoy, the ninth seed in the match-play bracket following stroke-play qualifying, recovered from a triple-bogey 7 on the first hole by winning three consecutive holes (Nos. 4, 5 and 6). His 4½-foot birdie putt fell in from the right side on the par-5 4th before he made a 13-footer for a par on the fifth. McCoy took a 2-up advantage on the par-4 6th with a downhill 6-foot birdie putt.
McCoy, who is playing in his 38th USGA championship, including 14 U.S. Mid-Amateurs, extended his lead at the drivable par-4 12th. He laid up off the tee and hit his approach shot to with 6 feet for his third birdie of the round. Williamson, who like McCoy is playing in his first USGA championship final, found a mound on the left side of the green with his tee shot and pitched to 8 feet. But he missed his birdie attempt to the left.
Williamson, whose previous best Mid-Amateur performance was advancing to the Round of 16 in 2006, had to make par putts on Nos. 14 and 15 to stay close. Each player got into trouble with their second shots on the par-5 15th. McCoy saved par with a 15-footer from just off the back of the green. Williamson countered by getting up-and-down from the front left greenside bunker.
McCoy, who played in this year’s U.S. Senior Open and U.S. Amateur, won the last two holes of the morning to post his commanding lead. After driving into the rough, Williamson missed the green to the left with his approach that left him a closely-mown area. His third shot did not making the putting surface and resulted in a bogey. On the par-4 18th, McCoy nestled a 40-foot putt from the back fringe to tap-in range for a par, while Williamson missed a 10-footer to halve the hole.
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.
Brian DePasquale is the USGA’s manager of championship communications. E-mail him at email@example.com.