Daren Johnson held off Ed Fryatt and Kenny Ebalo to win the 2018 Nevada State Mid-Am and will be gunning for back-to-back titles in this year’s event. The stroke play event features many of Nevada’s top-ranked players in the 54-hole tournament.
The 2019 Nevada State Mid-Am will be held Aug. 20-22 at Red Hawk Country Club in Reno.
The historic Nevada State Mid-Amateur annually features some of the top amateurs in Nevada who are over the age of 25, testing their games against each other at some of the top golf courses in the state. To qualify, players must meet the age criteria by the opening day of the tournament. As with other state championships, the location of the event rotates between the north and south each year.
The mid-amateur format was created by the United States Golf Association in 1981 when the national event was first played at Bellerive Country Club near St. Louis and was won by Jim Holtgrieve. Las Vegas resident Kevin Marsh won the national event in 2005.
On a Nevada level, the Nevada State Mid-Amateur has been played, according to records that are continually being researched and updated, since 1998. David Nelson, a Reno resident who operates Hole-In-One USA, won the first tournament and added an additional Nevada State Mid-Amateur title in 2006 to go along with his four wins at the Nevada State Match Play (1984, 1989, 1990, 200) and a Nevada State Senior Amateur victory. Nelson, a lifetime amateur who as of 2015 had competed in 29 USGA amateur tournaments, was a fitting champion each time.
“It has been a thrill to compete at the state level and win a major title in four different decades,” says Nelson. “Plus playing at the state level has been an honor because I have watched some of the young kids come up through the ranks. I was fortunate to play against Robert Gamez when he was 17-years old and some of the other guys who went on to play college golf and professionally. I just love to play against the best and it has been a thrill of a lifetime to play all over the state on some of best courses in addition to some courses that aren’t around anymore like the old Dunes in Las Vegas.”
Other mid-am winners in Nevada include Las Vegas Golf Hall of Famer Brady Exber (2000, 2003 and 2011) and Coronado High School Golf Coach Joe Sawaia (2008 and 2010) in addition to former University of Nevada golfer Dean Menanta (2009). Former Southern Nevada Golf Association President Steven Fink is also a past champion.
Previous Nevada State Mid-Amateur Champions