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Saturday February 6th, 2016 2:27AM

Clarkesville's McCoy downed by Smith in US Amateur match play

By The Associated Press
JOHNS CREEK -- Pittsburgh financial adviser Nathan Smith beat U.S. Amateur co-medalist Lee McCoy in 19 holes Wednesday in the first round of match play at Atlanta Athletic Club.<br /> <br /> The 36-year-old Smith, the oldest player left in the field, pulled even with a birdie win on the par-3 17th, matched McCoy - the University of Georgia player junior from Clarkesville - with a par on the par-5 18th and won with a par on the par-4 19th.<br /> <br /> Last year in the Walker Cup on Long Island, Smith won the deciding point in the United States' 17-9 victory over Britain and Ireland. He's a four-time U.S. Mid-Amateur champion.<br /> <br /> Taylor Moore, the Edmond, Oklahoma, player and Arkansas junior who tied McCoy for medalist honors in stroke-play qualifying, also dropped out. Jesse Heinly of Bend, Oregon, beat Moore 3 and 2.<br /> <br /> On Wednesday morning, Smith and Heinly survived a 17-man playoff for the last four match-play spots.<br /> <br /> "It was a long day. That was a lot of fun," said Smith, a 14-time U.S. Amateur participant who won a first-round match for the first time in nine years. "You know, I think it's one of those, I was so excited to be there. Kind of nothing to lose and I just got lucky."<br /> <br /> Heinly plays at Concordia University in Portland, Oregon.<br /> <br /> "My goal was just to make the match play here," Heinly said. "I love playing match play because it wipes the score, just one-on-one. Thought maybe I had a pretty good chance."<br /> <br /> Ryan Moore was the last stroke-play medalist to win the tournament, accomplishing the feat in 2004.<br /> <br /> Another playoff survivor, Canada's Garrett Rank beat fourth-seeded Jimmy Beck of Columbus, Georgia, 1 up. Rank, a 26-year-old hockey referee, made a 6-foot birdie putt on the 18th hole to win the match.<br /> <br /> "I knew going into 18, if I could put two good swings on it, or at least give myself a chance to go for the green, that I could make birdie," Rank said.<br /> <br /> The highest seeded player to win was Taiwan's Cheng-Tsung Pan, a senior at the University of Washington who qualified third. He beat Zach Healy of Peachtree Corners, Georgia, 4 and 2.<br /> <br /> Georgia Tech's Ollie Schniederjans, No. 1 in the world amateur ranking, beat Matt Teesdale of Maple Glen, Pennsylvania, 6 and 5. Second-ranked Robbie Shelton of the University of Alabama also advanced, topping Dan Stringfellow of Roselle, Illinois, 2 and 1. Will Zalatoris of Plano, Texas, the Wake Forest-bound player who won U.S. Junior last month, beat Oklahoma State star Jordan Niebrugge 2 and 1.
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