Schmitz Grabs 2-Up Lead at Midway Point of Final October 8, 2015 | Vero Beach, Fla. By Brian DePasquale, USGA

Sammy Schmitz overcame two early bogeys to take a 2-up lead over Marc Dull in the 36-hole final at John's Island Club. (USGA/Chris Keane)

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Sammy Schmitz, 35, of Farmington, Minn., holds a 2-up lead over Marc Dull, 29, of Lakeland, Fla.., after the morning 18 holes of the 36-hole final of the 2015 U.S. Mid-Amateur Championship, held at the par-72, 6,855-yard West Course at John’s Island Club. The afternoon round begins at 12:30 p.m. EDT.

Dull, a caddie at Streamsong (Fla.) Resort, won the opening two holes by taking advantage of his opponent’s miscues. Schmitz, the No. 8 seed in the match-play bracket, hit his approach shot over the green on the par-4 first, leading to a bogey, then made another bogey when he found the left greenside bunker with his second shot at No. 2.

Schmitz, who edged Brad Wilder, 36, of Fort Wright, Ky., 1 up, in the semifinal round on Wednesday, rallied with a pair of birdies on holes 4 and 5. He knocked a 112-yard, 50-degree wedge to within 2 feet at the par-5 fourth and followed with a 3-foot birdie putt on the next hole.

Schmitz, who reached match play in his previous two Mid-Amateurs in 2011 and 2012, grabbed the lead on the par-3 seventh. Dull hit his tee shot on the 211-yard hole behind a palm tree to the left of the green, resulting in a bogey. Schmitz two-putted for a par to win the hole.

Dull, whose great-grandfather, Dexter Daniels, won two U.S. Senior Amateur championships, got into more trouble on the par-4 10th when he found the left fairway bunker off the tee. His approach shot flew the green and hit a cart path, leading to a bogey. Schmitz, who is No. 3,724 in the World Amateur Golf Ranking™, made a 5-foot par putt to build a 2-up advantage.

Dull, who posted a 4-and-3 victory over David Bolen, 36, of Lubbock, Texas, in the semifinal round, twice sliced his opponent’s lead in half on the inward nine. He made a 16-footer for a birdie on the short par-4 11th and sank a 3-foot birdie putt on the par-5 14th.

But Schmitz, who works for a healthcare services group, answered on both occasions to keep his two-hole lead. He was conceded a short par putt on the 181-yard, par-3 13th when Dull’s tee shot barely cleared the water hazard but embedded in the bank in front of the green. Schmitz birdied the drivable par-4 15th when he pitched to 3 feet from the base of the embankment just short of the putting surface.

Dull, the No. 39 seed, stayed within striking distance over the morning’s last three holes. He made a 10-foot downhill birdie putt to halve No. 17 and got up and down to match Schmitz’s par on No. 18.

The U.S. Mid-Amateur is one of 13 national championships conducted annually by the United States Golf Association, 10 of which are strictly for amateurs.

Brian DePasquale is the USGA’s manager of championship communications. Email him at bdepasquale@usga.org.


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