Sammy Schmitz wins US Mid-Amateur, earns Masters spot
VERO BEACH, Fla. (AP) Sammy Schmitz won the U.S. Mid-Amateur on Thursday to earn a Masters invitation, making a hole-in-one on the 260-yard, par-4 33rd hole at John's Island Club in a 3-and-2 victory over Marc Dull.
''I can't believe it,'' said the 35-year-old Schmitz, a reinstated amateur from Farmington, Minnesota. ''I've been hitting driver (on the hole) the entire tournament. I think I've hit the green four times. I just had a good feeling. I can't believe it went in.''
It is believed to be only the second ace on a par 4 in USGA amateur competition. Derek Ernst accomplished the feat on the 299-yard eighth hole at Bandon Trails in the 2011 U.S. Amateur Public Links.
''I win 14 (the 32nd hole in the 36-hole file) and I'm thinking maybe we can get back in this,'' Dull said. ''I didn't hit a good tee shot, and when a guy jars it on a par 4, what are you going to do? You just shake his hand and laugh it off. It was an amazing shot that he hit.''
Schmitz is a regional director for a health care services company. He played at St. John's University in Minnesota and is a three-time Minnesota Golf Association Player of the Year.
''It's not real yet,'' Schmitz said. ''It feels real good. It's been a long week, a long nine days being away from my two little girls at home. I'm pretty happy and proud.''
The 29-year-old Dull, from Lakeland, Florida, also is a reinstated amateur. He played at Florida Southern and works as a caddie at Streamsong Resort.
''This is by far the most golf I've ever played in a row,'' Dull said. ''I wouldn't say that had anything to do with it. I don't feel tired. I don't feel fatigued. I just didn't have it today. He played well. He made the putts when he had to make them.''
The event is limited to players 25 and older.