Smith holds off Rank to win U.S. Mid-Am
Lake Forest, IL (Sports Network) - Nathan Smith held off a late charge from Garrett Rank on Thursday to win the U.S. Mid-Amateur Championship.
Smith parred the 35th hole to regain the lead, then parred the last to win the match, 1-up. Smith became the first player to win this championship four times.
The Pittsburgh native also won the title in 2003, 2009 and 2010.
Trailing 3-down with six holes to go at Conway Farms Golf Club, Rank forged a rally to square the match.
The Canadian 2-putted for par on the 31st hole to cut the deficit to 2-down. He 2-putted for birdie on the 32nd hole to get within 1-down. Smith stumbled to a 3-putt bogey on the 33rd hole to square the match.
Both players parred the 34th hole, before Smith regained the lead on the 35th. He 2-putted for par from 35 feet out, while Rank missed the green and failed to get up and down for par. The duo halved the final par-5 to give Smith his fourth title at this championship.
Early on, the duo traded wins at the second and third, then again at the fifth and sixth. Rank's win on the fifth was his last lead of the match.
Smith grabbed a 1-up lead with a par on the ninth. Rank found a hazard on No. 10 and water at the 11th and suddenly was 3-down. Rank eagled the short par-4 15th and also won No. 16 when Smith missed a 5-foot par putt.
After a pair of halves, Smith took a 1-up lead to the second 18. Rank made a mess of the 20th and conceded the hole. Rank failed to save par on the 24th hole and was 3-down.
The duo traded wins on the 27th and 28th holes before Rank made his late charge.
09/13 18:36:05 ET