It’s like the ESPN college football matchmakers were running the draw for match play, which started today at Atlantic Golf Club.
That’s because Nathan Smith and Tim Spitz, who battled for the 2009 U.S. Mid-Amateur title, were paired in the first round.
Smith was one of three co-medalists and was the No. 1 seed for match play. Spitz won the last spot (#64) in the field through a playoff this morning at The Bridge.
“I was at the BBQ last night and some of the guys were talking about a lot of great players in the playoff,” Smith said. “I thought there was a chance that I was going to get one of them.
“When I was eating breakfast this morning, I looked up at the (scoring) screen and I saw it. It was a little weird, kind of shocking. It’s a tough draw and he played great out there. I was surprised. I didn’t have too much breakfast.”
On a dreary morning, Smith played some terrific golf - with the normal match-play concessions he was the equivalent of 5 under par through 14 holes - and defeated Spitz, 5 and 4.
Spitz probably summed it up best when he said: “I had more fun playing him the final.” -- Pete Kowalski