Two “local” teams, one from the St. Louis qualifier and one from the qualifier in Kansas City, made it through the qualifying rounds and into the 64 side match play portion of the event, conducted May 2-6 at The Olympic Club in San Francisco.
The St. Louis qualifiers, the team of St. Louis elite amateur Skip Berkmeyer and Brad Nurski of St. Joseph, runner up in the 2014 US Mid-Amateur, exited in the round of 32 after qualifying for match play. Their counterparts from the Kansas City area, Don Walsworth and Jon Troutman, made it one more round before being eliminated in the round of 16.
The event was won by decorated mid-amateurs and members of the 2013 Walker Cup Team, Nathan Smith (36) from Pittsburgh and Todd White (47) from Spartanburg, SC. They easily defeated the team of Sherrill Britt and Greg Earnhardt with a 7 & 5 win in the finals.
Smith and White were put on the 2013 Walker Cup Team by Captain Jim Holtgrieve, a St. Louisan. Holtgrieve successfully lobbied the USGA for the inclusion of two mid-ams on his 2013 Walker Cup team. He said at the time, “I don’t think it’s right to eliminate our mid-ams from consideration just because they have jobs, a family, and cannot play the full amateur schedule that our college players enjoy.”
Apparently Holtgrieve had (and has) a good point, witness the victory by Smith and White in the inaugural USGA Amateur Four-Ball.
(go to www.usga.org for details and scores)