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Casper Advances to Round of 32; Gaiotti, Horner Lose

Mason Casper won his first match and advanced to the round of 32 at the USGA Mid-Am Championship while fellow Utahn Dan Horner lost his first round match, and Annette Gaiotti lost her first round match at the USGA Women’s Senior Am.
Casper defeated Jason Higton, 3 and 2, and Horner lost to Kevin Marsh, 1-up. (More comments on this match are posted below.) Gaiotti lost to Therese Quinn, 2 and 1.
Casper is the only Utahn left in the two championships and he plays Todd White of Spartanburg, South Carolina Tuesday morning.
USGA comments on the Marsh-Horner match
By David Shefter, USGA September 10, 2012
Lake Forest, Ill. – Kevin Marsh is still undefeated at Conway Farms … for now.
His first-round, 1-up victory over Dan Horner on Monday at the 2012 U.S. Mid-Amateur left Marsh 30-0 on the course, but just 1-0 as a player.
Back in 1997, Marsh, just five months removed from earning his degree at Pepperdine University, was thrust into the role of emergency coach for the NCAA Division I Championship at Conway Farms.
Waves coach John Geiberger had contracted chickenpox and was quarantined to his hotel room. So somebody needed to coach the team and provide advice.
Enter Marsh, who happened to be in Illinois for an upcoming Hooters Tour event.
He and some friends – the group included future PGA Tour player and ex-University of Nevada-Las Vegas standout Chris Riley – ventured to the suburban Chicago venue to support their respective schools.
Pepperdine had just snuck into the field two weeks earlier by finishing ninth at regionals. But that week at Conway Farms, everything clicked. Behind All-American Jason Gore, the Waves won the national championship, their only tournament victory of that season.
“I went 29-0,” said Marsh laughing. “I have beaten every team that I have ever coached against.”
Pepperdine even gave Marsh a national championship ring, and he retired as an undefeated coach.
But Conway Farms still holds a special place in his heart.
Ever since the Tom Fazio design was awarded the championship, Marsh has been excited about a return trip. Exempt into the Mid-Amateur through 2015 by virtue of his 2005 victory at The Honors Course in suburban Chattanooga, Tenn., the Henderson, Nev., resident has known for a couple of years he was going to be competing in suburban Chicago.
“It seems a lot longer,” said Marsh, trying to recall the layout after shooting a 1-under 70 at Conway on Sunday to get himself into the match-play bracket. “But I am not good at remembering what I did yesterday let alone 15 years ago. Plus, I didn’t get to play it.”
On Monday, Marsh simply survived the course and Horner. Saying it was one of his worst putting performances, the 2012 California Amateur champion overcame his woes on the greens to earn a second-round match Tuesday against Michael Muehr.
“I was lucky to get through the match,” said Marsh.
Marsh went 1 down after missing a 5-foot par putt at 16. He thought that might cost him the match, but Horner failed to get up and down from a greenside bunker at 17. At the par-5 closing hole, Marsh managed to reach the green in two and holed a 5-foot birdie putt for the win.
 And keep himself perfect at Conway Farms.