Marsh advances to quarterfinals at US Mid-Amateur

Updated: October 8, 2013, 8:32 PM ET
Associated Press

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. -- Kevin Marsh won two matches, including a second-round win over defending champion Nathan Smith, on Tuesday to advance to the quarterfinal round at the U.S. Mid-Amateur Championship.

The event was held at the par-71, 7,173-yard Country Club of Birmingham's West Course.

Marsh, the 2005 U.S. Mid-Amateur titlist, defeated Smith, a four-time winner of this championship, 2 and 1. In the third round, he held off Keith Unikel 1 up.

"I told myself at lunch to not have a letdown," said Marsh about his morning win over Smith, a member of last month's winning USA Walker Cup Team. "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 had a 3-up lead after 10 holes, but Unikel reeled off three consecutive birdies to square the third-round match. A pair of pars helped Marsh win Nos. 14 and 15. He two-putted from the upper left fringe on the par-4 14th and made a 6-footer on the following hole.

After a bogey on No. 16 cut his lead in half, Marsh later found himself in the left fairway bunker on the 434-yard, par-4 18th. The championship's fourth seed calmly made a 9-iron to within 9 feet to set up the match-clinching par.

"Pars are really good around here, especially the last five or six holes," said Marsh, who has advanced to the U.S. Mid-Amateur quarterfinals for a fourth time. "I am not swinging real confidently. It's all about figuring out a way and taking it one hole at a time."

The U.S. Mid-Amateur Championship continues with the quarterfinal and semifinal rounds on Wednesday. The championship is scheduled to conclude with a 36-hole final on Thursday.

The U.S. Mid-Amateur is one of 13 national championships conducted annually by the United States Golf Association, 10 of which are strictly for amateurs.


Copyright 2013 by The Associated Press

This story is from ESPN.com's automated news wire. Wire index

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