RICHMOND, Texas -- Three time champion Nathan Smith of Pittsburgh defeated Scott Weeks of Savannah, Ga., 3 and 2 Monday in the first round of the U.S. Mid-Amateur Championships.
Smith, seeking an unprecedented fourth straight title, got his tournament-record 13th in a row. He went 3-up after 14 holes and exchanged pars with Weeks to complete the victory.
Smith won titles in 2003, 2009 and last year to join Jay Sigel (1983, 1985, 1987) of Berwyn, Pa., as the only three-time winners of the event. Smith was a member of the 2011 Walker Cup team.
The field was cut to the top 64 players after a 36-hole stroke play qualifier.
Mike McCaffrey of League City, Texas, won medalist honors with consecutive 4-under par 68s in stroke play but he quickly ran into trouble in match play against Chad Bolts of Bellefontaine, Ohio.
Bolt, the final qualifier, birdied the first hole and never trailed until McCaffrey pulled even on the final hole and forced a playoff. They remained tied after the first playoff hole when play was suspended by darkness.
In other matches, John Engler of Augusta, Ga., defeated Scott Hovis of Jefferson City, Mo., 3 and 2; 60-year old Paul Simson of Raleigh, N.C., defeated Michael Standard of McDonough, Ga., 5 and 4; and Chris Congdon of Foxboro, Mass., was 5-down after 10 holes before rallying to beat Andres Gaviria of Coral Gables, Fla., 1-up with a birdie on the final hole.