Duke's Smalley earns medalist honors at U.S. Am


BLOOMFIELD TOWNSHIP, Mich. – Alex Smalley will have a little more than 12 hours to savor his U.S. Amateur medal.

A new tournament looms Wednesday. 

Smalley, a Duke sophomore, shot 7-under 133 at Oakland Hills to earn top honors after 36 holes of stroke play, but that only guarantees a spot in the match-play bracket.

“I don’t think it has any weight to it now,” he said afterward. “We’re all starting over.” 

Smalley, who finished last season ranked 117th in the country, had top-10 finishes at the Cardinal and Southern amateurs heading into this week. 

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Even after bogeying two of his last three holes, he finished one shot ahead of Texas senior Gavin Hall and Lipscomb junior Dawson Armstrong.

The last medalist to win the U.S. Amateur was Ryan Moore in 2004.

“You can’t play defense, and your opponent can’t play defense against you,” Duke coach Jamie Green said. “It’s fine if there’s a target on his back. He’s earned the place he’s in.”