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Steve Wilson Beats Todd Mitchell In U.S. Mid-Amateur Final, 5 And 4

River Hills, Wis. – Steve Wilson, 38, of Ocean Springs, Miss., gained the lead with a birdie on the 13th hole and pulled away for a 5-and-4 win over Todd Mitchell, 30, of Bloomington, Ill., in the 36-hole final of the U.S. Mid-Amateur championship Thursday at Milwaukee Country Club.

With his win, Wilson earned custody of the Robert T. Jones trophy for a year and a probable invitation to the 2009 Masters Tournament.

“This is like hitting the lottery for me,” said Wilson, who has never been to Augusta National. “I never believed I could win anything this big.”

Wilson had never even won in match play before this week, but he quickly learned to like the format.

“I love match play. You can be super aggressive,” said Wilson, a gas station owner who was a “part-time” professional golfer for almost 10 years before being reinstated as an amateur in 2005.

“I never dreamed of getting to the Masters,” Wilson said about his professional days. “Just getting to the PGA Tour would have been plenty. And now for the Masters to be my first PGA Tour event is unbelievable.”

He took a 2-up lead against Mitchell with wins on the 13th and 15th holes before Mitchell earned a hole back with a winning par at 16.

Mitchell probably thought he would win one of the last two holes in the morning round as well. Wilson was in a greenside bunker on both holes and made mid-range putts to save par on each. To make matters worse, Mitchell three-putted the 18th hole to again fall 2 down.

“He’s a good player,” said Mitchell of Wilson. “He’s never out of a hole as he proved with his bunker play and good putting.

“What a difference a day makes,” Mitchell continued. “It’s difficult to have your best game each and every day. He was able to do that and I wasn’t.”

Wilson shot the equivalent of 1-under-par 69 for his morning round on the windswept 7,004-yard, par-70 layout. To begin the afternoon, Wilson was just as sharp and patiently built his margin to 5 up after 24 holes while holding Mitchell from taking any holes in a 14-hole stretch.

Mitchell did win the 12th (30th) hole in the afternoon, but it was too late. In all, Mitchell won only four of the 32 holes in the match. And when Wilson made the last of his 14 one-putts for par on the 14th hole (32nd), the match was over.

Wilson gained momentum as the week went on. He didn’t trail in any of his final three matches.

Mitchell, an insurance salesman and a 2002 graduate of Illinois State where he played baseball well enough to be drafted by the New York Yankees, survived a 19-man playoff on Monday after 36 holes of stroke-play qualifying just to advance to the 64-player match-play field.

The Mid-Amateur, open to players age 25 and older who meet the handicap requirement, is one of 13 national championships conducted annually by the United States Golf Association, 10 of which are strictly for amateurs.

Story written by Craig Smith, USGA Director of Media Relations. E-mail him with questions or comments at

River Hills, Wis. – Results of Thursday’s 36-hole championship final match at the U.S. Mid-Amateur played at the 7,004-yard, par-70 Milwaukee Country Club:

Steve Wilson, Ocean Springs, Miss. (141) def. Todd Mitchell, Bloomington, Ill. (147),  5 and 4



Championship Facts

U.S. Mid-Amateur

PAR AND YARDAGE The course at Milwaukee Country Club is set to play at 7,004/6,958 yards and par 35-3570. Brown Deer Park Golf Course, which will be utilized as the second course for the stroke-play portion of the championship (two rounds), is set up at 6,728 yards with a par of 34-3670.

ARCHITECTS OF THE COURSES H.S. Colt and Charles Alison designed the course at Milwaukee Country Club, which opened in 1911. The club was founded in 1894.

George Hansen was the architect of Brown Deer Park Golf Course, which opened in 1929.

WHO CAN PLAY – Amateur golfers who will have reached their 25th birthday on or before Sept. 6, and who have a USGA Handicap Index® not exceeding 3.4, are eligible.

ENTRIES Entries for the 2008 U.S. Mid-Amateur closed July 16. The USGA accepted 3,839 entries for the 2008 championship. The record of 5,271 entries was set in 1997.

QUALIFYING Sectional qualifying for the U.S. Mid-Amateur will be conducted from July 28-Aug. 18 at 68 sites.

THE FIELD The starting field will consist of 264 golfers. Each golfer will play a single round on each of the two golf courses before the field is trimmed to the low 64 scorers, who will advance to match play at Milwaukee Country Club.


  • Saturday, Sept. 6 First round, stroke play (18 holes)
  • Sunday, Sept. 7 Second round, stroke play (18 holes). After 36 holes, the field will be cut to the low 64 scorers, who advance to match play.
  • Monday, Sept. 8 First round, match play (18 holes)
  • Tuesday, Sept. 9 -Second round, match play (18 holes); Third round, match play (18 holes)
  • Wednesday, Sept. 10 Quarterfinals, match play (18 holes); Semifinals, match play (18 holes)
  • Thursday, Sept. 11 Final, match play (36 holes)
  • ADMISSION Admission is free. Tickets are not needed for this USGA championship and spectators are encouraged to attend.



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