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Zahringer Advances to Semifinals in the 2003 U.S. Mid-Amateur Championship

WILMINGTON, DEL. – The story Wednesday has been the gusty and swirling conditions at Wilmington Country Club’s South Course. Winds of up to 30 mph have clearly affected play.


Never was there a clearer example than what occurred on the 18th hole of the match between defending champion George Zahringer, 50, of New York, N.Y., and Rick Reinsberg, 31, of Lafayette, Calif.


As Reinsberg addressed his 8-foot putt that could have given him a chance to win the hole, a burst of wind actually moved the ball. An unhappy Reinsberg pulled off, waved a Rules official over and called a penalty on himself, taking a double bogey on the par-4 layout. It allowed Zahringer to move on to the semifinals.


The wind is “banging you up a little bit,” said Zahringer, intimating he’s never played in such severe conditions. “And it’s blowing debris all over the place.


“I told [Reinsberg on No. 18], ‘If it makes you feel any better, we’ll just halve the holes with 5s.’”


Two up entering the 16th hole, Zahringer couldn’t close out Reinsberg. A three-putt from 18 feet opened the door, albeit slightly. Reinsberg won the 17th hole, setting the stage for the final-hole letdown.


Zahringer will take on Norton in the afternoon. Norton is a former professional who competed on the PGA European Tour from 1987-91. He also played briefly on the PGA Tour in 1991, with his best finish coming at the Houston Open, where he placed seventh.


“I wouldn’t say I’m feeling confident,” said Zahringer. “That’s not the right word. Let’s say I know what it takes [to win].”


In his quarterfinal match, former US Mid-Am champion and 2002 runner-up Jerry Courville, Jr. of Shorehaven, lost to Nathan Smith of Brookville, PA 3 & 2.


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