Matt NeSmith wins Tournament of Champions


Matt NeSmith can’t pinpoint the last time he played this well.


On Friday, NeSmith won for the second time in two weeks, capturing the American Junior Golf Association’s Rolex Tournament of Champions at the Capital City Club in Alpharetta, Ga. He also won the FJ Invita­tional two weeks ago.

“It’s been awhile – I haven’t played this well in a while. Everything is clicking,” NeSmith said. “But I have 10 days off, thank goodness. I’m ready to relax for a couple days.”

NeSmith, who was featured in the current issue of Sports Illustrated in the “Faces in the Crowd” section, finished at 9-under to win by four shots.

The North Augusta High School graduate was the only player to break 70 in each of the first three rounds and carried a three-shot lead into the final round.

He thought a par round of 70 would be strong enough to hold off the field.

“I shoot even par, they’re going to have to play great to beat me,” said NeSmith, who matched par with 70. “I thought I would be pretty good going in, shooting even par.”

At the FJ Invitational, NeSmith was in front entering the final round. After being caught, he was able to pull out a one-shot victory. But at the Rolex Tournament of Champions, the South Carolina signee never surrendered the Friday lead.

NeSmith now has time to rest before he heads to Hilton Head Island, S.C., for The Players Amateur on July 9-15.

After that, he will play in the Wyndham Cup in Orlando, Fla., on July 23-26 and the Wyndham Championship at Sedgefield Country Club in Greensboro, N.C., in August.

NeSmith earned the exemption into the PGA Tour’s Wyndham Championship by winning the FJ Invitational.

“I’m super excited,” he said of playing in a PGA Tour event. “I’m ready to go up there and play with the big guys.”



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