Smotherman reaches NCGA final rounds

By: Staff report
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Loomis youth golfer Austin Smotherman shot 76-72 in the first two rounds of the Northern California Jr. Golf Championship, at Spyglass Hill, on Monday to advance to the final two championship rounds in the 14 to18 age division. Smotherman’s four-over par 148 total left him in a tie for 6th place after the two days of competition. The top 64 golfers advanced to Wednesday’s round. In the third round at last week’s U.S. Junior Championship, played at Gold Mountain in Bremerton, Wash., Smotherman more than acquitted himself by going head-to-head with some of the top junior golfers in the nation. After qualifying with even par 72 to reach the final round of 64, Smotherman posted an easy first round win over Sulman Raza, of Eugene, Ore. Smotherman closed Raza out on the 13th hole for a 6 and 5 victory in the match play competition. Then, in the second round of match play, Smotherman went stroke for stroke against meadalist Beau Hossler, of Misson Viejo, before losing a 1-up decision. On Wednesday, Smotherman needed just 13 holes to oust Raza as he went up six strokes with five to play. He had the largest margin of victory out of the 32 first-round matches played. Hossler defeated Miller Capps, of Denver, N.C. 3 and 2. Smotherman shot an even-par 72 Tuesday in the second round of the U.S. Junior Amateur Championshp, at Gold Mountain’s Olympic Course. His two-round total of 149 (5-over-par) qualified him for the match play competition. Smotherman finished three shots under the cut line of 152 to land a spot in the 64-player match play tournament. Ash Shines Eric Ash, who gradated from Del Oro in June, played very well at the Northern California Golf Association Amateur Stroke Play Championship recently at Poppy Hills Golf Course, in Pebble Beach. Ash fired a final-round of 5-under-par 67 and was the runner-up in one of the NCGA’s most competitive tournaments. Ash finished at -3 overall after shooting a 74 in the first round and a 72 in Round 2.