Smith reaches US Mid-Amateur final

Posted October 8, 2009 - Western Pennsylvania Golf Association - Contact

Nathan Smith, Pittsburgh, defeated Bob Gerwin, Cincinnati, one-up, in the semi-finals during the USGA Mid-Amateur Championship at the Kiawah Island Club, South Carolina, to reach the final for the second time. He won the 2003 Championship at Wilmington CC, Delaware, defeating Bryan Norton, Kansas City, after Norton withdrew during the ninth hole of the first round after sustaining a leg injury.

The other Western Pennsylvania golfer who reached the USGA Mid-Amateur final was Rick Stimmel, Wexford, in 1997, at Dallas Athletic Club. Smith and Stimmel share something in common as each championship was delayed for one day due to heavy rains. Stimmel had to wait a day for his final match with rains postponing Thursday's final, while Smith experienced the same thing on Monday after stroke play rounds were completed but before any matches were played.

Ken Bakst, New York, beat Stimmel one-up with a birdie on the final hole, in an eighteen hole final. Smith beat Gerwin with a winning par on the final hole in the semi-finals after the two had halved eight straight holes with pars. Gerwin had rallied from two down to catch Smith at the turn. The 1997 Bakst-Stimmel match was eighteen holes. Nathan Smith and Tim Spitz, Rochester, New York, are scheduled for 36-holes, as the final was changed from one round to two in 2001. Spitz defeated West Virginia standout, Pat Carter, Huntingdon, 3&2, in the other semi-final match, earning the slot against Smith.