AURORA, Colo. • In the end, Belden’s Joseph Deraney was exhausted, and in need of some first aid.
“On one of my toes, the skin is gone,” he told reporters after losing Thursday in the 36-hole final of the U.S. Mid-Amateur. “I’m walking gingerly on it because there is a pretty nasty blister.”
The 36-year-old, a former Mississippi State golfer, fell 2 and 1 to Australia’s Lukas Michel at the Colorado Golf Club. It capped a long week that began with two round of stroke play last weekend to get into the 64-man match play bracket.
“Eleven rounds in seven days is a different kind of deal, along with the grind,” Deraney told reporters. “So, yeah, I’m exhausted. … I feel fine right now, but give in 30 minutes and I’ll be snoozing.”
Deraney was 2-up after the morning’s 18 holes and extended his lead to 3 up on the first hole in the afternoon. But slowly, Michel reeled him in.
“I played fine,” Deraney said. “But over 36 holes, when a guy doesn’t miss a putt inside 10 feet … eventually it was tough to beat him.”
The 25-year-old Michel took the lead for good with a birdie on the 33rd hole and extended that on the next hole with another birdie. A par on No 17 wrapped it up.
“To put it into perspective, I played well enough beat 4,000-something players – all of them but one,” Deraney said. “I wanted to come out and play well and I did, but I got beat. So ...”