When Nathan Smith advanced to the quarterfinals in the U.S. Amateur at Atlanta Athletic Club August 11-17, he was the first since Sean Knapp in 1998 at Oak Hill Country Club near Rochester.
Korea’s Gunn Yang won this year’s championship.
U.S. Amateur champions from Western Pennsylvania are Arnold Palmer, 1954 at Country Club of Detroit, S. Davidson Herron, 1919 at Oakmont Country Club, William C. Fownes, 1910 at The Country Club, and Eben Byers, 1906 at Englewood Golf Club.
Other top finishers in the Amateur:
1905 – D. P. Fredericks, semifinals at Baltusrol Golf Club
1907 – William C. Fownes and Eben Byers, semifinals at Euclid Golf Club
1914 – William C. Fownes, semifinals at Ekwanok Golf Club
1941 – Steve Kovach, quarterfinals, at Omaha Field Club
1951 – Jack Benson, semifinals at Saucon Valley Country Club
1955 – Charles Kunkle, quarterfinals at Country Club of Virginia
1970 – Jim Simons, 3rd place (stroke play) at Waverly Country Club
1972 – John Birmingham, t-10 (stroke play) at Charlotte Country Club
1980 – Dick VonTacky, semifinals at Country Club of North Carolina
With two semifinals plus the 1910 championship, William C. Fownes has the most notable record in the Amateur of any area golfer. Also notable was 1907 when the area’s two best amateurs for twenty years, Eben Byers and William C. Fownes, both reached the semi-finals.
CORRECTION – Dick VonTacky advanced to the semifinals in 1980. The final eight players that year were Fred Couples, Jim Holtgrieve, Hal Sutton, Jodie Mudd, Clarence Rose, Dick VonTacky, Jay Sigel and Bob Lewis.