Miracle Birdie Ends Second US Mid Am Title Bid for Vegas Golfer Kevin Marsh

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Image October 4, 2007 (UPDATED OCT. 5)–Kevin Marsh won the US Mid Am in 2005, and thought that was difficult. He survived about the worst weather conditions he's ever faced during this year's event at Bandon Dunes, and made it all they way through to the semi-finals where he lost on the final hole to Ken Whitaker of Washington. Whitaker birdied the final hole to edge out Marsh. Marsh got home in two on the par 5 but three-putted from 40-feet while Whitaker got up and down for birdie from a greenside bunker. "It was a brutal way to lose on 18, but that's the way it goes sometimes," said Marsh. "It was another good learning experience. Bandon Dunes is just spectacular. Anybody that considers themselves a player that truly loves the game needs to go there for a few days and play those courses. It was a great resort as well. The USGA has treated me so well and I've been fortunate to enjoy a 14-3 match play record there in my amateur career since my first mid-am in '04 at Sea Island. I would have loved to be out there all day yesterday with Trip (Kuehne, the eventual champion) making him battle. It looks like he played some incredible golf (no bogeys) but just being out there with my good friend playing for a championship would have been very special. Next year hopefully"

It was just such an up-and-down match,” said Whitaker, who was playing in his first Mid-Amateur. “I assumed he would two-putt. My ball was buried. I just aimed a couple inches behind the ball and swung as hard as I could. That ball could have gone anywhere.”

Marsh won the 2005 Mid-Amateur 10 and 9 over Carlton Forrester at The Honors Course in Tennessee. It is the largest margin of victory since the championship went to a 36-hole final. He was also a quarterfinalist in 2004. In other USGA championships, Marsh advanced to the third round of the 1993 U.S. Amateur after finishing third in the stroke play qualifying. Among his other victories is the 1996 Southern California Amateur. Marsh is a 1996 graduate of Pepperdine University in Malibu, Calif., where he played golf. In 1997, he served as assistant coach for the Waves and coached them to the NCAA Men’s Division I team title when head coach John Geiberger was sick with the chicken pox and could not travel to the event. He was reinstated to amateur status in 2002. His father, Don, is a competitive senior golfer.

Whitaker faces Trip Keuhne in the final.

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