Parziale 6 Up Midway Through Final October 13, 2017 | ATLANTA, Ga. By Brian DePasquale, USGA

Matt Parziale made eight birdies during the morning session at Capital City Club's Crabapple Course. (USGA/Chris Keane)

U.S. Mid-Amateur Home

Matt Parziale, 30, of Brockton, Mass., holds a 6-up lead over Josh Nichols, 26, of Kernersville, N.C., after the morning 18 holes of the 36-hole final of the 2017 U.S. Mid-Amateur Championship, held on the par-70, 7,207-yard Capital City Club’s Crabapple Course. The afternoon round begins at 12:30 p.m. EDT.

Parziale, who shot the equivalent of a 7-under-par 63, with concessions, over the opening 18 holes, and Nichols, are playing for the Robert T. Jones Jr. Memorial Trophy and a full exemption into the 2018 U.S. Open Championship, scheduled to be conducted June 14-17 at Shinnecock Hills Golf Club, in Southampton, N.Y.

Parziale, who is competing in his fourth U.S. Mid-Amateur and rallied from 5 down with eight holes to play to win his quarterfinal match on Thursday, reeled off three consecutive birdies on the outward nine to take control. He 3-wood tee shot found the green on the drivable 308-yard, par-4 fifth, and he two-putted for a birdie to begin that run. Parziale, a firefighter, followed with birdie putts of 18- and 8½- feet on holes 6 and 7, respectively.

Nichols, a wedding caterer who is playing in his second consecutive Mid-Amateur, cut into the lead when he holed out from the front greenside bunker for a winning birdie on the par-4 ninth.

But Parziale made four birdies on the inward nine to extend his advantage. He sank a 55-footer on the par-3 13th for a 4-up margin and followed by striking a 156-yard pitching wedge to within 4½ feet for a conceded birdie on No. 14.

Parziale, who was the medalist in 2015 but whose best performance in a U.S. Mid-Amateur was reaching the Round of 64 twice, moved out to 6-up lead on No. 16. He struck a 163-yard 8-iron to within 4 feet for his eighth birdie of the round.

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. This week’s play was postponed for a full day earlier in the week due to the impact of Tropical Depression Nate.

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

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