Mattare falls, Smith advances at U.S. Mid-Amateur

6:49 PM, Oct 7, 2013   |    comments
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Birmingham, AL ( - Stroke play medalist Matthew Mattare was eliminated, while defending champion Nathan Smith advanced Monday at the conclusion of the opening round of match play at the U.S. Mid-Amateur Championship.

Mattare, who was a quarterfinalist last year, was eliminated by Davis Boland, 2 & 1, on the West Course at the Country Club of Birmingham.

Mattare grabbed the early lead with a par at the first, but then lost the next four holes to fall 3-down to Boland. After a bogey at the seventh dropped Mattare into a 4-down deficit, he was able to battle back to within one with a pair of pars at the eighth and 11th around a birdie at the 10th.

Boland birdied the 12th to regain a 2-up advantage. Mattare parred the 16th to pull back within one, but tripped to a bogey at the 17th while Boland rolled in a par to seal the victory.

Boland was part of a 12-for-8 playoff earlier on Monday to earn his spot in the match play portion of the tournament.

Smith, meanwhile, advanced to the second round of match play with a 4 & 3 decision over Scott Shingler.

The duo entered the sixth hole all square after each had won a pair of holes, but Smith took control from there, moving to 4-up with pars at the sixth, eighth and ninth, and a birdie at the 12th.

Shingler birdied the 13th to get back within three of the four-time champion, but Smith converted another par at the 15th to win the hole and put the match away.

Smith will now face 2005 winner Kevin Marsh in the round of 32 after Marsh defeated Matthew Rosen, 1-up.

The largest margin of victory on Monday came from Keith Humerickhouse, who rolled to a 7 & 5 decision over Grant Skyllas. Tim Jackson, the 2001 winner, and Bill Williamson were next with a pair of 6 & 4 wins over Michael Greene and John Rudolph, respectively.

Stan Gann, Jr. and Matt Schneider each needed 19 holes to advance to the next round.

Among those players to fail to advance past the first round of match play was 2011 champion Randal Lewis, who lost to Dan Sullivan, 1-up.

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