Three area golfers advanced to match play at the U.S. Mid-Amateur Championship at the Country Club of Birmingham October 5-10. Leading the way was defending champion Nathan Smith, Pittsburgh, who shot 74-72–146. Smith has won the championship four times. At 147 were Greensburg’s Arnold Cutrell with 73-74 and Wexford’s Mitch Mercer, 76-71.
Greensburg’s Ron DeNunzio was the fourth local player to qualify for the championship. He missed the playoff for match play by two strokes on scores of 77-73–150.
Mercer was all square with Scott Harvey of Greensboro on the 18 hole in his first round match when Harvey holed a 7-iron from 165 yards for an eagle to win the match. Smith beat Scott Shingler of Haymarket, VA, 4 & 3, while Cutrell beat Brad Gibson, Frisco, TX, 1-up. Cutrell was two down after fifteen holes and then won the last three holes to advance to the second round.
But that was a far as anyone would get. Smith lost to the 2005 champion Kevin Marsh, Henderson, NV, 2 & 1 and Cutrell lost to Matt Schneider, Grand Rapids, 7 & 5.
In addition to these three, six more golfers qualified for match play in a USGA championship. Don Erickson, DuBois, reached the quarter-finals of the Senior Amateur. Sean Knapp, Oakmont, advanced to the third round in the Amateur Public Links. Paul Schlachter, Bridgeville, reached the second round in the Senior Amateur, as did Sue McMurdy, Indiana, in the Senior Women’s Amateur. Joining Mercer in advancing to match play were Jordan Craig, Connellsville, in the Women’s Mid-Amateur and Carol Semple Thompson in the Senior Women’s Amateur.