Nathan Smith won the 2009 U.S. Mid-Amateur
and played on the victorious Walker Cup team.
How does this sound for a dream summer?
You win your three major state amateur
championships. With your sights set on
making the Walker Cup team, you spend
the summer chasing the college kids at
the usual haunts… Sunnehanna, the Porter
Cup, the Northeast and the Western Amateur. Not only do you make the Walker Cup
squad, your contributions are a factor.
Then you team with a few close friends
from home and win the USGA State Team
championship. With summer turning to
fall, you claim your second U.S. Mid-Amateur championship.
So, Nathan Smith, how do you top that?
“You don’t,” he replied, when asked at
the Jones Cup last week.
Part of his 2009 success was calendar-related – the Walker Cup and State Team
events are played every other year, and
Smith got hot in the right year. Nonetheless, he readily acknowledges that 2009
was a special year, one full of special
The best memory? Holing a no-brainer
on the final hole of stroke-play qualifying at
the Western Am. With a Walker Cup berth
perhaps hanging in the balance, with the
sun setting on his 31st birthday and his
dad on the bag, Smith gassed one that was
headed off the green had it not hit the hole,
popped up and disappeared. The gallery
roared, and U.S. Walker Cup captain Buddy
Marucci had a player with gray in his hair
to rely on at Merion.