Add Nathan Smith’s name to the history books. The 34-year-old becomes the most crowned US Mid-Amateur Champion ever after winning his fourth US Mid-Amateur title. The Pittsburgh native defeated Canada’s Garrett Rank by one hole in the 36-hole final at Conway Farms Golf Club in Lake Forest, Illinois.
Smith, who played on last two US Walker Cup teams, also won the title in 2003, 2009 and 2010. He moves ahead of three-time champion Jay Sigel as the most prolific winner of the US Mid-Amateur Champion.
Smith will play in next year’s Masters as a result, his fourth appearance at Augusta national. He also leaps 462 places on this week’s World Amateur Golf Ranking to 99th. Rank moves to 250th, a jump of 202 spots.
Canada’s Corey Conners also moves up this week’s ranking after winning the Gopher Invitational at Spring Hill Golf Club in Wayzata, Minnesota.
The Kent State University student entered the final round in joint 7th place eight shots behind University of California player Max Homa. However, Homa struggled to a closing 68 while Conners fashioned a final round 68 to go with earlier scores of 75 and 70 for a one shot victory over Homa and California teammate Michael Kim.
Conners jumps 15 places this week to 37th. He is the second highest ranked Canadian behind world number 31 Albin Choi.
Homa moves seven spots this week to 24th. Kim becomes world number 40, and improvement of 13 places.
Seve Ballesteros’s son Javier won the Campeonato Abierto de Madrid. The 22-year-old dedicated the victory to his late father. Javier, who is studying law at Madrid’s Complutense University, moves 737 places on this week’s ranking to world number 3002.
Spain’s Camilla Hedberg kicked off the new college season by reaching a personal milestone. The University of Florida player won the Cougar Classic at Yeamans Hall Golf Club in Charleston, South Carolina, to win her first college golf tournament in just her second season.
Scores of 69, 66 and 68 for a 13-under-par total of 203 gave Hedberg a four-shot victory over US Curtis Cup player Lindy Duncan. Hedberg was the only player in the field to return three scores in the 60s. The native of Stitges, Spain, helped her University of Florida take the team title.
Hedberg moves nine places on this week’s World Amateur Golf Ranking to 38th. Duncan improves one spot to world number eight.
New Zealand’s Lydia Ko proved once again why she has headed the World Amateur Golf Ranking for much of the past 18 months with another impressive display in a major championship. Ko, winner of the Mark H McCormack Medal as leading amateur for 2012, took the top amateur prize in the Ricoh Women’s British Open at Royal Liverpool.
The 15-year-old finished in joint 17th place after rounds of 72, 71, 76 and 78 in trying conditions for a 9-over-par total of 297. She earned the Smythe Salver as leading amateur to add to the top amateur medal she earned in this year’s US Women’s Open.
Ten amateurs qualified into the championship, with Ko one of four making the cut. Curtis Cup players Holly Clyburn and Bronte Law pushed Ko for the amateur prize. Clyburn finished two shots behind Ko in 26th place, and moves 27 places on this week’s ranking to 26th. Law jumps 32 spots to world number 14 after finishing three shots behind Ko in 33rd place. China’s Jing Yan finished 47th and improves 103 places this week to 70th.