In 1981, the USGA inaugurated its first new championship for amateurs in four years, the U.S. Mid-Amateur. The Mid-Amateur, for amateur golfers of at least 25 years of age, provides a formal national championship for the post-college amateur, for whom the game is truly an avocation.

Before the arrival of the Mid-Amateur, the post-college player could compete in the Amateur Championship, sometimes successfully, but these older amateurs faced greater odds. While they fit their golf around their work and families, they were most often competing against college golfers, for whom the game is close to a full-time activity.

Only about 40 percent of those who qualify for the U.S. Amateur Championship each year are at least 25, although several have been quite successful. For example, Bob Lewis Jr., then 41, reached the Amateur final in 1980, and the semifinals in 1981 and 1986. Jay Sigel won consecutive Amateur titles in 1982 and 1983 (at ages 37 and 38, respectively), then added the Mid-Amateur title in 1983, 1985, and 1987. In 1986, Buddy Alexander, 33, a reinstated amateur, won the U.S. Amateur. And in 1993, 41-year-old John Harris won the Amateur.

In general, however, most post-college amateurs found themselves at a disadvantage competing against college golfers. Thus, the Mid-Amateur Championship was born.

Played at the Bellerive Country Club in St. Louis, the first Mid-Amateur drew 1,638 entries in 1981. The field included three former Amateur Champions: Gary Cowan (1966, 1971), Marvin Giles III (1972), and Fred Ridley (1975). Jim Holtgrieve, 33, of Des Peres, Mo., defeated fellow Walker Cupper Bob Lewis Jr., 37, of Warren, Ohio, in the final, 2 up.

In 1983, Jay Sigel, 39, of Berwyn, Pa., became the first golfer in 53 years to win two USGA Championships in the same year when he added the Mid-Amateur Championship to the U.S. Amateur Championship he had won just 32 days earlier.

Sigel became the Mid-Amateur's first two-time winner when he again captured the championship in 1985. Sigel won his third Mid-Amateur in 1987. Combined with his two U.S. Amateur titles (1982, 1983) Sigel had won a total of five USGA championships.

In 1985's first qualifying round, Don Bliss of St. Louis, made holes-in-one on the eighth and tenth holes at Brook Hollow Golf Club in Dallas, Texas. Bliss became the only player to score two holes-in-one in one round of a USGA championship.

Jim Stuart of Macon, Ga., became the first player to win two consecutive Mid-Amateur Championships when he won in 1990 and 1991. That feat was duplicated in 2010 by Nathan Smith of Pittsburgh, Pa., who joined Sigel as a three-time champion of the event. Smith won his first Mid-Amateur in 2003, then followed up with victories in 2009 and 2010.

The U.S. Mid-Amateur Championship has continued to grow in popularity and in 1989 topped 3,000 entries for the first time.

In its short history, the championship's unique age qualification has inspired similar tournaments throughout the country and there are now Mid-Amateur events in nearly every state.

In 2001, the final match, for the first time in the history of the championship, was expanded from 18 to 36 holes.

And in 2011, Randal Lewis, Alma, Mich., became the championship's oldest winner at the age of 54.

Partner Links
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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.

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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.

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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

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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/

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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

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