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U.S. Mid-Amateur Update - Marsh Rolls On
Kevin Marsh, 40, of Henderson, Nev., took two matches, including a second-round win over defending champion Nathan Smith, 35, of Pittsburgh, to advance to the quarterfinals of the 2013 U.S. Mid-Amateur at the par-71, 7,173-yard Country Club of Birmingham's West Course.
Marsh, the 2005 U.S. Mid-Amateur winner, defeated Smith, a four-time champion, 2 and 1. In the third round, Marsh held off Keith Unikel, 34, of Potomac, Md., 1-up. "I told myself at lunch to not have a letdown," he said of his morning win over Smith, a member of last month's winning USA Walker Cup Team. "I was proud of myself for beating Nathan. It wouldn't have meant as much if I was not able to back it up."
The Mid-Am continues with the quarterfinal and semifinal rounds Wednesday, and will conclude with the 36-hole final Thursday.
Bill Williamson, the third seed, also defeated two opponents to reach the quarterfinals. The 36-year-old from Cincinnati, Ohio, dispatched Joseph Saladino, 33, of Huntington, N.Y., 5 and 4, in the third round and won by concession in the second round after Tim Hogarth, 47, of Northridge, Calif., pulled out due to illness.
Kenneth McCready, the youngest remaining player in the field at 25, held off third-round opponent Brad Valois, 26, of Warwick, R.I., for a tight 1-up victory. Valois, the stroke-play medalist at last year's U.S. Mid-Amateur, rallied by winning three consecutive holes on the inward nine with a birdie and two pars and was 1-down with one to go.
McCready, in his first year of eligibility for the U.S. Mid-Amateur, pushed his approach shot into the right greenside bunker on No. 18, but then hit a "once-in-a-lifetime" shot with his 58-degree sand wedge. The ball landed barely onto the green and rolled to within six inches of the hole, ending Valois' comeback attempt. "There's nothing better," he said. "That's why you practice. I proved a lot to myself with that shot."
Michael McCoy, 50, of West Des Moines, Iowa, was a 2-and-1 winner over Zach Atkinson, 31, of Hurst, Texas in the third round. McCoy won holes 12, 13, and 14 with two pars and a birdie to break open a tight match. He rolled in a 20-footer on the 449-yard, par-4 14th for a birdie and a 2-up lead. "It's always good to be still standing at the end of the day," said McCoy, who also defeated his second-round opponent, 4 and 2.
Todd Mitchell, the 2008 U.S. Mid-Amateur runner-up, also won two matches in reaching the quarterfinals for the second time. The 35-year-old from Bloomington, Ill. defeated John Engler, 34, of Augusta, Ga., 3 and 2, in the third round. Mitchell had four birdies, including Nos. 9 and 10 when he took a 3-up lead.
Bradley Bastion, 28, of Clinton Township, Mich., Ken Tanigawa, 45, of Phoenix, Ariz., and Matt Schneider, 25, of Grand Rapids, Minn., also advanced to the quarterfinals. Schneider won his third-round match in 19 holes.
The above report is courtesy of the USGA. For more information and full scoring details, visit www.usga.org.