Smith, White win U.S. Four-Ball title

Nathan Smith of Pittsburgh and Todd White of Spartanburg, S.C., defeated Sherrill Britt of West End, N.C., and Greg Earnhardt of Spartanburg, S.C., 7 and 5, to win the inaugural U.S. Amateur Four-Ball Championship on the Lake Course at the Olympic Club in San Francisco.

Smith and White, who were teammates on the 2013 U.S. Walker Cup team, won the first four holes, with Smith sinking a 14-foot birdie putt on the third hole, and coasted to victory.

“Getting up early was a big, big help,” said White, a high school history teacher who won the 2015 Azalea Amateur. “It freed us up to not really take chances, because you can’t do that here, but just know that we could play steady golf.

“It’s difficult to make birdies out there, so it was going to be tough for them to catch up.”

Added Smith, a four-time U.S. Mid Amateur champion. “I just didn’t want to let Todd down. So if you’re just playing for yourself, it’s kind of all on you, but I didn’t want to let my partner down as we kept advancing. So for me, I felt a lot more pressure playing today than all week.”

White and Smith played 76 consecutive holes in five rounds of match play without making a bogey. In 78 holes, their only bogey, against 19 birdies, came on the second hole of the first round of stroke play.

In the semifinals, Smith and White got past Sam Burns, of Shreveport, La., and Austin Connelly, of Irving, Texas, 2 and 1, while Britt and Earnhart beat Scott Harvey of Greensboro, N.C., and Todd Mitchell of Bloomington, Ill., on the 19th hole.

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