Bridgehampton, N.Y. – Defending champion Nathan Smith’s third trip to the U.S. Mid-Amateur Championship semifinals might be more memorable than the others because it is arguably the longest day of golf in his life.
With a 3-and-2 victory over Anthony Barrera, of San Jose, Calif., Smith moved a step closer to his record-tying third title at the 2010 U.S. Mid-Amateur Championship Wednesday afternoon at Atlantic Golf Club.
Tim Hogarth, a tri-medalist with Smith from stroke play, Todd Burgan and Sean Knapp joined Smith in the semifinals. All four players won two matches Wednesday before the semifinals began at 3:10 p.m. EDT After Tuesday’s lengthy weather delay, the third round resumed at 6:52 a.m., and the quarterfinal matches started at 10:40 a.m.
Smith, a member of the victorious 2009 USA Walker Cup Team and the Mid-Am champion in 2003 and 2009, meets Burgan, 41, of Knoxville, Tenn., in the first of the semifinal matches.
It’s a lot of golf, said Smith, 32, of Pittsburgh, Pa. You just close your eyes and keep playing. It’s that way for everyone. It’s been a long day. We were here way before light and we will play till dark. We are trying to get it in. Everybody’s feeling it. It’s a lot and not just physically.
Burgan, also a quarterfinalist in 2009l, defeated Tim Mickelson of San Diego, Calif., 5 and 3, in the quarterfinals. Earlier in the day, Burgan eliminated two-time champion and fellow Tennessean Tim Jackson, 4 and 3, in the third round.
It’s exciting, said Burgan. It was exciting to get to the quarterfinals last year and take another step this year. It gave me confidence. It was the first national tournament that I had advanced that far. That gave me the confidence heading into this year in general.
Hogarth, 44, of Northridge, Calif., advanced to the semifinals for the first time in 10 Mid-Amateur appearances with a 4-and-2 win over Robby McWilliams of Bossier City, La.
You don’t get that many opportunities when you feel like your game is there, said Hogarth, the 1996 U.S. Amateur Public Links champion. Everything fits you and the course looks good to you. You have to take advantage when you feel good.
The health foods distributor is the only remaining player carrying this own golf bag. There’s a good reason, according to Hogarth.
I think that fitness-wise I am stronger than I have ever been in my life, he said. I tend to like doing it myself because a caddie can create doubt in my mind. I’m very fragile so I have to protect myself from getting in my own way so I just do it myself.
The possibility of playing as many as three matches in the day did not daunt him.
For about two years I’ve been involved in fitness but for the last six months I’ve been taking muay tai kickboxing and I think my cardio is beyond here it’s ever been, said Hogarth.
Hogarth faces Knapp, 48, of Oakmont, Pa., who defeated tri-medalist Scott Harvey, of Greensboro, N.C., 3 and 2. A semifinalist in 2008 as well, Knapp was a member of Pennsylvania’s victorious 2009 USGA Men’s State Team Championship squad along with his good friend Smith.
All of the quarterfinalists are exempt from qualifying for the 2011 U.S. Mid-Amateur at Shadow Hawk Golf Club in Richmond, Texas.
The 36-hole championship final is scheduled for Thursday.
The U.S. Mid-Amateur, which is open to golfers age 25 and older, is one of 13 championships conducted annually by the United States Golf Association, 10 of which are strictly for amateurs.
Bridgehampton, N.Y. – Results following Wednesday’s third and quarterfinal rounds of match play at the 2010 U.S. Mid-Amateur Championship, being played at the 7,044-yard, par-72 Atlantic Golf Club.
Round of 16
Nathan Smith, Pittsburgh, Pa. (144) def. Kevin Pomarleau, E. Wenatchee, Wash. (152), 3 and 1
Anthony Barrera, San Jose, Calif. (147) def. Steve Harwell, Mooresville, N.C. (152), 19 holes
Todd Burgan, Knoxville, Tenn. (145) def. Tim Jackson, Germantown, Tenn. (152), 4 and 3
Tim Mickelson, San Diego, Calif. (153) def. Joseph Saladino, Huntington, N.Y. (149), 3 and 1
Tim Hogarth, Northridge, Calif. (144) def. Patrick Duffy, Omaha, Neb. (152), 6 and 4
Robby McWilliams, Bossier City, La. (149) def. Joey Gullion, Humble, Texas (152), 21 holes
Scott Harvey, Greensboro, N.C. (144) def. Rick Cloninger, Fort Mill, S.C. (149), 1 up
Sean Knapp, Oakmont, Pa. (145) def. Mike Calef, West Bridgewater, Mass. (152), 4 and 3
Nathan Smith, Pittsburgh, Pa. (144) def. Anthony Barrera, San Jose, Calif. (147), 3 and 2
Todd Burgan, Knoxville, Tenn. (145) def. Tim Mickelson, San Diego, Calif. (153), 5 and 3
Tim Hogarth, Northridge, Calif. (144) def. Robby McWilliams, Bossier City, La. (149), 4 and 2
Sean Knapp, Oakmont, Pa. (145) def. Scott Harvey, Greensboro, N.C. (144), 3 and 2
Bridgehampton, N.Y. – Pairings for Wednesday’s semifinal round of match play at the 2010 U.S. Mid-Amateur Championship, being played at the 7,044-yard, par-72 Atlantic Golf Club.
Nathan Smith, Pittsburgh, Pa. (144) vs. Todd Burgan, Knoxville, Tenn. (145)
Tim Hogarth, Northridge, Calif. (144) vs. Sean Knapp, Oakmont, Pa. (145)