Defending Champion Moves on in US Mid-Amateur


Greenwich, CT -- Defending champion Tim Jackson won a convincing 7 & 5 decision in the first round of the match-play segment of the U.S. Mid-Amateur Championship Monday.
Jackson, who also won the 1994 Mid-Amatuer championship, carded four front-nine birdies en route to his win over Rick Reinsberg.
'I want to play as good as I can play and stay right in the middle of what I'm doing,' Jackson said. 'You can't think about the trophy until the last day when the final putt drops. You know this match play thing - funny things happen on the way to the house.'
George Zahringer, the 2001 Mid-Amateur runner-up and co-medalist from the weekend's stroke-play format, won the par-5 14th to square his match against Scott Hardy. Zahringer took a 1-up edge when Hardy bogeyed the par-3 16th hole and the duo traded pars on the final two holes to give Zahringer a 1-up victory.
'Hopefully, you only have one match that could go either way, what you would characterize afterward as a squeaker,' Zahringer said. 'The close matches are tough. They wear on you. This is a match that could have gone either way, so absolutely I feel fortunate to win.'
The other two co-medalists, Pat Carter and Bill Sharpe, both lost in first round action. Tim Hogarth, the 1996 U.S. Amateur Public Links champion, bested Carter, 1-up and David Brown defeated Sharpe 4 & 3.
The second and third rounds of the match-play portion will take place Tuesday with the quarterfinals and semifinals slated for Wednesday. The final match is scheduled for Thursday.
The U.S. Mid-Amateur Championship is open to all players 25 years or older with a USGA Handicap Index not exceeding 3.4. All players competed on the two courses in a stroke-play format before the top-64 golfers advance to match- play.