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4.19.19

Six Things To Know about the U.S. Mid-Amateur Championship

by Steve Pease

Erin Hills and Blue Mound to co-host 2022 Championship

The U.S. Mid-Amateur Championship was created in 1981 to provide a platform for post-college aged amateurs looking to compete on a national level. The prestigious United States Golf Association (USGA) championship features accomplished amateur players and journeyman champions from many walks of life including: golf club salesmen, firefighters and burgeoning investment bankers.

A victory in the U.S. Mid-Amateur carries a 10-year exemption from future qualifying for the championship, and a full exemption into the following year’s U.S. Open Championship. A win is typically accompanied by a likely invitation to the Masters.

Here are six things you might not already know about the U.S. Mid-Amateur Championship.

1. Two host courses in 2022: The 2022 Mid-Amateur will test every part of a player’s game — in multiple formats — on multiple courses. From September 10-15, players will play practice rounds and stroke-play rounds on both Erin Hills, and Blue Mound Golf and Country Club in Wauwatosa, Wis. Blue Mound, a Seth Raynor-designed golf course that opened in 1926, hosted the PGA Championship in 1933 (won by Gene Sarazen), and served as the stroke-play co-host for the U.S. Amateur in 2011. Four days of match play at Erin Hills will culminate with the 36-hole championship match.

2. Highly Competitive: The U.S. Mid-Amateur Championship is open to any amateur golfer at least 25 years old with a Handicap Index® not exceeding 3.4. The USGA accepted 4,709 entries for the 2018 championship, the second-highest total ever — up from 4,386 in 2017. The single-year record of 5,271 entries was set in 1997. Sectional qualifying for the 2022 Mid-Amateur is expected to be held on 60+ sites — with 264 players advancing to stroke play, and 64 players making it to match play. Therefore, those who tee it up at Erin Hills and Blue Mound have already notched quite an accomplishment.

3. Multi-year winners and Stew, too: There have been five multi-year winners in U.S. Mid-Amateur history. Nathan Smith, of Pittsburgh, Pa., has won the Mid-Amateur a record four times (2003, 2009, 2010, 2012). As a benefit of his U.S. Mid-Amateur victories, Smith was granted entry into the four Masters Tournaments and selected for three consecutive USA Walker Cup Teams. Recent winners of the U.S. Mid-Amateur are Kevin O’Connell in 2018, Matt Parziale in 2017 and Stewart Hagestad — who rallied from 4-down with five holes to play to defeat Scott Harvey in 2016 at Stonewall. You may remember Hagestad as low amateur in the 2017 Masters and competing in two U.S. Opens – Erin Hills in 2017 and Shinnecock Hills in 2018. Harvey also qualified for the 2017 U.S. Open.

4. The 2022 U.S. Mid-Amateur will be the 16th USGA championship in Wisconsin: After stops at Colorado Golf Club (2019), Kinloch Golf Club in Manakin-Sabot, Va. (2020) — and a 2021 venue yet to be named — the U.S. Mid-Amateur will return to the Midwest in September 2022, with the stroke-play portion of the event slated for both Erin Hills and Blue Mound Golf and Country Club. The Mid-Am will be the 16th USGA championship held in Wisconsin, after the 2019 U.S. Girls’ Junior is conducted at SentryWorld in Stevens Point, from July 22-27. The 2025 U.S. Women’s Open Championship has also been announced at Erin Hills in the summer of 2025.

5. Second time in Wisconsin: The U.S. Mid-Amateur was previously held in Wisconsin in 2008 when Steve Wilson, a 39-year-old gas station owner from Ocean Springs, Miss., rode a hot putter to win the championship at Milwaukee Country Club. “This is like hitting the lottery for me,” said Wilson, who was playing in his third USGA championship and first Mid-Amateur. “I never believed I could win anything this big.” Brown Deer Park Golf Course was the co-host for the stroke-play portion of the championship.

6. Admission is free! Tickets are not needed for the U.S. Mid-Amateur, and spectators are encouraged to attend. Volunteer information will be released as we get closer to the championship.