Prep Golf Roundup: Newnan senior ends career as state runner-upBy CHRIS GOLTERMANN
Golf is a game of perfection. Even the best junior golf standouts in the state are rarely satisfied with second place.
Count Newnan High senior Trevor Smith among them.
“The only putt I missed from six feet in was the one I had on eighteen,” Smitvh said. “I’m happy that I finished in the sixties. I’m happy that I played that well. I’m happy that I got runner up among what had to be over 100 players. (But) when I finished I was so distraught, I couldn’t think straight.”
Smith was already back on the course on Tuesday for SummerGrove Golf Club’s first ever U.S. Open qualifier, the first of several major events he’ll play this summer while the upcoming Newnan High graduate prepares to join Coastal Georgia’s program in the fall.
Smith shot a solid 75 on Tuesday, but was 11 strokes off the pace among a field of players from around the nation trying to reach this year’s 112th U.S. Open, set for June 11-17 at The Olympic Club in San Francisco.
It was with the same determination that Smith qualified for last summer’s U.S. Junior Amateur that had him on his ‘A’ game early into Monday’s round.
“He had one of his better days,” said Newnan golf coach Jeff Bryant, whose team finished ninth in Class AAAAA with a 318. “Champions Retreat is not an easy place to play.”
Jordan Henry added an 80 for the Cougars, while Carson Vaughn and JJ Avery capped off the scoring with respective rounds of 84 and 85. Max Matistic (88) and John Taylor (90) also played for Newnan.
East Coweta’s boys finished 16th in Class AAAAA with a 370, led by Ryan Tobin’s 88. Brady Horton (90), Daniel Jones and Will Scruggs scored for the Indians.
Smith was the only senior among a Cougar lineup that included two sophomores, two freshmen and a junior. He certainly led the way after beginning his round with three consecutive birdies before Bryant caught up to him on No. 4. It helped Smith make the turn at 3-under while knowing opportunities awaited on the back side with a pair of makeable birdie chances on par-5s.
“On the front I only hit five greens (in regulation) but I made five birdies,” said Smith, who also birdied holes No.s 7 and 9. “I knew there were two par fives left that I still had chances for birdies. The back I was hitting real good shots, but nothing was falling.”
BAIK FINISHES THIRD IN CLASS AAAAA GIRLS
East Coweta junior Ji Eun Baik remained steady in a return trip to Monday’s GHSA Class AAAAA Girls Golf Tournament at Augusta’s Westlake Country Club.
Baik improved on last year’s four place individual finish, tying with two other players for third place with a 1-over 73. Rachel Dai of Milton led the Lady Eagles to a state championship while firing a 69 for low medalist honors.
Baik’s effort helped lead the Lady Indians to a seventh-place finish among team scores with a 168. Cheryl Tobin posted East Coweta’s other contributing score, with Brooke Ingalls and Mary Wilson also taking the course.
Freshman Haley Luna competed individually for Newnan in her first trip to the state tournament.
EDWARDS LEADS NORTHGATE AT CLASS AAAA TOURNAMENT
Senior Conner Edwards posted a 76 on Monday, but the Vikings weren’t able to completely recreate its impressive effort of 299 from last month’s Region 3-AAAA event while finishing 11th overall at Monday’s Class AAAA tournament at Augusta’s Jones Creek Golf Club.
Junior Conner Usher added an 82 and older brother, Payton, fired an 83. Both Paden Harvey and Camron Lowery capped off the scoring with rounds of 84 for the Vikings.
Marist was a one-stroke winner over hometown Lakeside-Evans, which won its Region 2-AAAA tournament at Jones Creek.
Habersham Central’s Lee McCoy won low medalist honors with a 68 for a two-stroke victory over Region 3-AAAA individual champion Justin Connelly of Union Grove.