Area Golf Digest

Smith fires 69 to open U.S. Amateur qualifier

Unable to make the cut at last weekend’s GSGA Amateur Championship, Trevor Smith did the next best thing.

He’s now making a run at a trip to next month’s U.S. Amateur Championship at the Atlanta Athletic Club .

Smith put together an impressive 2-under 69 to put himself just four shots from the lead during Tuesday’s opening round of qualifying at Piedmont Driving Club. He is among 65 players in the field.

Smith’s effort, which included only one bogey, put the Coastal Carolina junior player and former Newnan High standout tied for 10th place overall.

After making the turn on the back nine at even-par, Smith came up with his second and third birdies of the day on holes No. 3 and 6.

Chris Waters of Atlanta holds the lead after 18 holes after a 6-under 65 that included five birdies on the back nine.

Joe Lewis of Savannah is one stroke off the lead while two players are tied for third at 4-under. Five more contenders, including Chad Ring of Fayetteville, are three shots off the opening pace.

Among other players from Coweta, recent Newnan High graduate Carson Vaughn, who is headed to play at the University of West Georgia, finished at 5-over-76.

A second U.S. Amateur qualifier is set for next week at Reynolds Plantation. Former East Coweta standout Ryan Tobin, a sophomore player at St. Francis in New York, is among local entries.

KIMPEL CLOSES OUT EFFORT AT GSGA AMATEUR: Despite three consecutive rounds in the low 70s, Sharpsburg golfer Jason Kimpel was unable to keep the pace during Sunday’s final round of the annual Georgia State Golf Association Amateur Championship while finishing in a tie for 59th place with a 19-over 299.

Competing among four players from Coweta County, Kimpel was the only local to make the cut against top competition from throughout the state while posting nine birdies over his opening three rounds of 72, 74 and 73 to put him at just 9-over for the event.

He more than doubled it, however, in a rough final round of 80 while posting a birdie on the par-4 10th hole.

SWORDS LOOKS TO QUALIFY FOR SECOND USGA NATIONAL EVENT: While getting ready for next week’s trip to Arizona for the annual USGA Girls Junior Championship, Newnan standout Annie Swords is in Florida today for a U.S. Women’s Amateur Qualifier.

Swords qualified for the Girls Junior for the third time in four years and will compete starting Monday at Forest Highlands Golf Club in Flagstaff.

A story on Swords will appear later this week in the Newnan Times Herald.



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