Smotherman finishes 4th at State Golf Tourney

By: Mike Ray, Loomis News Correspondent
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Austin Smotherman got to rub elbows with the state’s elite high school golfers last week and the Del Oro junior did more than just hold his own. Smotherman, who last month helped lead Del Oro to its first ever CIF Sac-Joaquin Section Masters championship, showed last Wednesday that he can swing it with the best of them. Playing at Poppy Hills Golf Course at Pebble Beach, Smotherman negotiated the tough 6,559-yard layout in a one under par score of 71 to finish in fourth place overall. Smotherman was just one of four golfers out of the 47-player field to break par that day. “Poppy is a tough course and I was fortunate to play well,” said Smotherman. “It was a great experience to be able to play at this level.” Smotherman got his state round off to a good start when he birdied the 383-yard par four No. 3 hole and then followed with another birdie on the 520-yard par five No. 4 hole. The Del Oro golfer used the back-to-back birdies to come in at 34, two under par at the turn. Smotherman stayed in contention for the lead with consecutive pars at No. 10, 11 and 12, but a bogey – his lone of the day – on the par five No. 13 hurt his chances to finish higher. Smotherman, who will be a senior next year, has already committed to play for the University of California, Davis, in 2013. This week, he began play Monday at Yolo Fliers in Woodland for a spot in the U.S. Junior National Tournament. CIF State Golf Championships Poppy Hills Golf Club 1. Alex Schauffele, Scripps Ranch, 69 2. Nicolo Galletti, Foothill (Pleasanton), 69 3. Jay Hwang, Torrey Pines, 70 4. Austin Smotherman, Del Oro, 71 5. C. Yamaguchi, Venice, 72 6. Tanner Hughes, Foothill (Pleasanton), 72 7. Mike Decker, R.L. Stevenson, 72 8. Ryan Burgess, Torrey Pines, 73 9. Danny Ochoa, Torrey Pines, 73, 10. Nick Noya, St. Ignatius (SF), 73