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Matthew Mattare lead US Mid-Am qualifiers

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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) - Matthew Mattare topped the 64 match-player qualifiers in the U.S. Mid-Amateur Championship, shooting a 2-under 69 on Sunday to finish stroke play at 5-under 136.

The 27-year-old Mattare, from Jersey City, N.J., one-putted his last seven greens on the Country Club of Birmingham's West Course, one of two courses used in stroke play.

``It's just a sign that you are playing well,'' said Mattare, who finished before steady rain fell in the afternoon. ``While it's exciting you have to keep it in perspective and realize you didn't come here to win the stroke play, you came here to win the match play.''

Match play will be contested on the West Course in the event limited to players 25 and older.

Kenny Cook of Noblesville, Ind., was second after a 5-under 65 on the East Course, the best score in two rounds of qualifying.

``I struggled yesterday and couldn't figure it out,'' said the 33-year-old Cook, the 2011 U.S. Mid-Amateur runner-up. ``(The 65) doesn't hurt, but now today's over. It's a new day when match play starts.''

Nathan Smith, the defending champion and a four-time winner in the event, had a 72 on the East Course to qualify for match play at 5-over 146. He's from Brookville, Pa.

The Associated Press News Service

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The Associated Press
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