Smith finishes U.S. Amateur qualifier as second alternate
by Chris Goltermann
The golf gods simply may not have shined brightest Wednesday on Newnan’s Trevor Smith, who despite a second consecutive 2-under 69, was left on the outside among five players advancing to this year’s U.S. Amateur following a qualifier at the Piedmont Driving Club.
Smith’s two-day 4-under 138 still managed to leave him as the tournament’s second alternate on Wednesday, with a slim chance of making this year’s trip to the Atlanta Athletic Club in Johns Creek starting Aug. 11.
Yet coming up short had less to do with Smith’s mistakes and more with five other players that also were able to post back-to-back scores in the 60s.
The Coastal Georgia junior, coming off an collegiate season where he helped his school win its first ever NAIA national championship, came up with six birdies in Thursday’s final round, doubling his previous day’s total. Smith picked up two strokes on the backside that left him at 4-under for the tournament.
There was no catching Augusta native Chris Waters, however, who posted a two-day 10-under 132 that included 12 birdies led by seven from Tuesday’s opening round.
On his heels were Joe Lewis of Savannah and Zachary Healy of Peachtree Corners, both of whom finished 3-under on Wednesday. It left Lewis two strokes back of Waters at 8-under, while Healy settled for third at 7-under for the qualifier.
The final two qualifying spots went to Zack Jaworski of Alpharetta and David Kleckner of Cumming, each of whom finished at 6-under following consecutive rounds of 68 over both days.
Smith, a former standout in Newnan High’s golf program, finished second following a three-way tiebreaker with Davis Parker of Augusta and Bob Royak of Alpharetta. Parker needed to battle back over the final six holes to force a tie while posting birdies on holes No. 13 and 18.
One of Smith’s former teammates, Carson Vaughn, finished at 8-over for the tournament after wrapping up play on Wednesday with a 3-over 74. He finished with three birdies, all on the front side after making his final turn.
Spencer Steele of Newnan fired an 82 in Tuesday’s opening round, but missed the cut after 18 holes.
A second U.S. Amateur qualifier will be held next week at Reynolds Plantation in Eatonton. Former East Coweta standout Ryan Tobin, a sophomore player at St. Francis College in N.Y., is among the listed field for the event, which begins Monday.