Spokane, Wash. –U.S. Mid-Amateur qualifying took place today, as 22 players competed at Spokane Country Club for two coveted spots into the U.S. Mid-Amateur Championship, which will be held at Conway Farms Golf Club in Lake Forest, Ill. from September 8-13, 2012. After playing 18 holes in near perfect conditions, Jimbob Coleman of Billings, Mont. claimed medalist honors at the qualifier with an even-par 71, and Mark Mance of Whitefish, Mont. earned the second spot with a 2-over par 73.
Coleman, who last year was reinstated as an amateur, had a blazing front nine on the venerable course, ripping off birdies on holes two, six and seven to make the turn at 3-under par, but cooled down on the back nine with four bogeys against one birdie to make it to the clubhouse at even par.
Mance, playing in the final group of the day, struggled on the front nine, making the turn at 3-over par. After 15 holes he stood at 4-over for the day, but birdied the par-5 16th and the par-4 18th to claim the second and final spot by one stroke. Mance’s only previous success has been as a member of the USGA State Team.
David Nuhn of Moscow, Idaho and Gregg Lavoie of Kennewick, Wash. both shot 3-over par 74, but Nuhn conceded the first alternate spot to Lavoie.
Organized in 1898, Spokane Country Club is the Northwest’s third-oldest golf club. The course’s current location was built in 1911 and designed by James Barnes, the club pro at the time. Barnes would later win the 1921 U.S. Open and the 1925 British Open. The course was later remodeled by noted architect Robert Muir Graves, and has been the site of the first-ever U.S. Women’s Open (in 1946) and the 1969 U.S. Junior Amateur.
This year marks the 32nd U.S. Mid-Amateur Championship. The championship proper consists of 36 holes of stroke play qualifying, held on September 8-9, to determine the 64 players who will then compete in single elimination match play to determine the champion. Last year, Randal Lewis of Alma, Mich. became the oldest champion in the event’s 31-year history when he defeated Kenny Cook of Noblesville, Ind. 3&2 in the championship match. Lewis was 54 years old at the time, and will be back to defend his title in this year’s championship.
Entries for the 2012 U.S. Mid-Amateur Championship were open to players who have reached their 25th birthday by Saturday, September 8, 2012, and who have a USGA Handicap Index not exceeding 3.4. Entries into this championship closed on July 18. Champions of this event earn an invitation to the Masters.
The U.S. Mid-Amateur is one of 13 national championships conducted annually by the United States Golf Association (USGA), 10 of which are strictly for amateurs. The Washington State Golf Association (WSGA) is the local representative of the USGA and conducts this qualifier for the U.S. Mid-Amateur Championship.
Since 1922, the WSGA has been conducting the state’s amateur golf championships. Today, it is one of the largest amateur golf associations in the United States. Serving over 80,000 members, 600 member golf clubs and 270 golf courses throughout the state of Washington and Northern Idaho, the WSGA works to continually expand the game of golf to people of all backgrounds.
The WSGA is a 501c4 non-profit amateur golf association governed by volunteers. The 25-person WSGA board of directors employs a full-time staff of 14 inpiduals. The WSGA serves as a statewide representative of the USGA and works closely with other allied associations within the golf industry for the betterment of the game.
For more information about the 14 amateur championships conducted by the WSGA each year, visit www.thewsga.org.
U.S. Mid-Amateur Championship Qualifier
Spokane Country Club – Spokane, Wash.
6,616 yards – par 71