(Bogart, Ga.) – Truett McConnell University men’s golf junior Matt Smith made a name for himself at the U.S. Amateur Qualifier that took place at Jennings Mill Country Club on Monday, July 16, and Tuesday, July 17.
In a field of over 100 players that featured some of the top NCAA Division I golfers in the southeast region, only the top five would advance to the U.S. Amateur Championship and for the first time in Bear history, TMU’s Smith became one of only five to place.
Over the course of 36 holes in two days, Smith was locked in, but it wasn’t until the first hole of sudden death that Smith sealed the deal.
The four universities represented in the playoff were TMU, UGA, Georgia Tech and Augusta University. All four players started out strong with good tee shots putting them all in prime position. Following the approach shots, Smith found himself the closest. After the other three all made par, Smith surveyed his 15-footer for the most important potential birdie of his golfing career thus far. Smith calmly drained the putt.
Smith’s teammates were there cheering him on and Head Coach Steve Patton said, “The celebration was just magical. It was like a scene out of the movie Rocky when Matt raised his arms in the air and gave thanks to the Lord.”
The U.S. Amateur Championship has been played and won by several well-known PGA tour players such as Tiger Woods, Jack Nicklaus and Phil Mickelson.