ERIN, Wis. – Three-time U.S. Mid-Amateur champion – and two-time defending champ – Nathan Smith came up just short of earning a spot on the match-play bracket at the U.S. Amateur.
Smith, who earlier this month was selected to the U.S. Walker Cup team for the second time, finished the two stroke-play qualifying rounds at even-par 142. That put him in a 20-man playoff for the final four spots.
Playing the par-4 10th hole, Smith was one of 10 players to record a bogey and be eliminated.
“It’s tough, but I played well so I can’t complain too much,” said Smith, who maintained his trademark upbeat attitude. “I’ll just go home and get some rest and get ready for (the Walker Cup).”
Then with a big smile and a bit of a laugh, he added, “At least they can’t retract my spot,” Smith said of his spot on the team. “I’m there, like it or not.”
Earlier this month, Smith missed advancing to match play at the Western Amateur by one shot when he made bogey on his final hole in the 72-hole stroke-play qualifier.
At last year’s U.S. Amateur, played at Chambers Bay in University Place, Wash., he also was involved in a playoff for the final spot on the bracket and also came up short.
Two years ago, Smith was a member of the winning U.S. Walker Cup team at Merion Golf Club near Ardmore, Pa. He posted a 2-1-0 record as he teamed with Peter Uihlein to win two foursomes matches.