Marsh knocks off 4-time Mid-Am champ Smith

Kevin Marsh during the 2013 U.S. Mid-Amateur in Birmingham, Ala.

Kevin Marsh during the 2013 U.S. Mid-Amateur in Birmingham, Ala.

Four-time U.S. Mid-Amateur champion Nathan Smith will not defend his 2012 title after losing in the round of 32 to Kevin Marsh, 2 and 1, Tuesday at the Country Club of Birmingham (Ala.).

Smith, who played on last month's winning U.S. Walker Cup team, was not the only victim of the day for Marsh.

The 2005 champion, Marsh, of Henderson, Nev., went on to defeat Keith Unikel 1 up in the afternoon.

“I told myself at lunch to not have a letdown,” Marsh said. “I was proud of myself for beating Nathan. It wouldn’t have meant as much if I was not able to back it up.”

Marsh led Unikel 3 up after 10 holes, yet Unikel squared the match with three straight birdies. Marsh needed a 9-iron from a fairway bunker at No. 18 to inside 10 feet to set up a match-clinching par.

“Pars are really good around here, especially the last five or six holes,” said Marsh, 40, who will make his fourth quarterfinals appearance. “I am not swinging real confidently. It’s all about figuring out a way and taking it one hole at a time.”

Kenneth McCready, the youngest remaining player in the field and at age 25 in his first year of eligibility to compete, had to stave off his third-round opponent and 2012 stroke-play medalist Brad Valois, 1-up.

Todd Mitchell, the 2008 U.S. Mid-Amateur runner-up, also won two matches in reaching the quarterfinals for the second time. Matt Schneider, 25, of Grand Rapids, Minn., needed 19 holes to win his third-round match and also advanced to the quarterfinals.

No. 3 seed Bill Williamson also advanced through both of Tuesday's rounds.

The quarterfinals and semifinals take place Wednesday, with the 36-hole final Thursday.

• • •

Results of Tuesday's second and third rounds of match play at the 2013 U.S. Mid-Amateur Championship, played at the 7,173-yard, par-71 Country Club of Birmingham (West Course)

Round of 32

Bradley Bastion, Clinton Township, Mich. (146) def. Davis Boland, Louisville, Ky. (148), 4 and 2

Dan Sullivan, Pasadena, Calif. (147) def. Erik Hanson, Kirkland, Wash. (147), 19 holes

Zach Atkinson, Hurst, Texas (145) def. Mark Cusic, California, Md. (148), 1 up

Michael McCoy, West Des Moines, Iowa (140) def. Scott Rowe, Hinsdale, Ill. (145), 4 and 2

Kevin Marsh, Henderson, Nev. (139) def. Nathan Smith, Brookville, Pa. (146), 2 and 1

Keith Unikel, Potomac, Md. (144) def. Corby Segal, Santa Clarita, Calif. (142), 5 and 3

Keith Humerickhouse, Eagle, Colo. (145) def. Tim Jackson, Germantown, Tenn. (140), 1 up

Ken Tanigawa, Phoenix, Ariz. (146) def. Scott Harvey, Greensboro, N.C. (142), 1 up

Brad Valois, Warwick, R.I. (145) def. Kenny Cook, Noblesville, Ind. (138), 19 holes

Kenneth McCready, San Diego, Calif. (143) def. Stan Gann Jr., Bonaire, Ga. (147), 3 and 1

Todd Mitchell, Bloomington, Ill. (146) def. Jon Veneziano, Mount Dora, Fla. (140), 6 and 5

John Engler, Augusta, Ga. (146) def. Brian Higgins, Bellingham, Mass. (147), 1 up

Bill Williamson, Cincinnati, Ohio (139) def. Tim Hogarth, Northridge, Calif. (146), match conceded (due to illness)

Joseph Saladino, Huntington, N.Y. (143) def. Joseph Alfieri II, Lutz, Fla. (143), 6 and 5

Craig Smith, Springfield, Tenn. (145) def. Paul Simson, Raleigh, N.C. (140), 6 and 5

Matt Schneider, Grand Rapids, Minn. (146) def. Arnold Cutrell, Greensburg, Pa. (147), 7 and 5

Round of 16

Bradley Bastion, Clinton Township, Mich. (146) def. Dan Sullivan, Pasadena, Calif. (147), 1 up

Michael McCoy, West Des Moines, Iowa (140) def. Zach Atkinson, Hurst, Texas (145), 2 and 1

Kevin Marsh, Henderson, Nev. (139) def. Keith Unikel, Potomac, Md. (144), 1 up

Ken Tanigawa, Phoenix, Ariz. (146) def. Keith Humerickhouse, Eagle, Colo. (145), 4 and 3

Kenneth McCready, San Diego, Calif. (143) def. Brad Valois, Warwick, R.I. (145), 1 up

Todd Mitchell, Bloomington, Ill. (146) def. John Engler, Augusta, Ga. (146), 3 and 2

Bill Williamson, Cincinnati, Ohio (139) def. Joseph Saladino, Huntington, N.Y. (143), 5 and 4

Matt Schneider, Grand Rapids, Minn. (146) def. Craig Smith, Springfield, Tenn. (145), 19 holes

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