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Smotherman Ends Jr. Career With Big Win

Loomis Golfer Runs Away From Field for Big I Jr. Title
By: Mike Ray, Gold Country News Services
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Austin Smotherman, the 2012 Del Oro High graduate who is about to begin his collegiate career at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, capped a remarkable junior golf career by running away from the field and winning the elite 44th Annual Big I National Jr. Golf Championship last week in Austin, Texas. Smotherman finished in second place in the 2011 Big “I” tournament and said he wanted vindication in his last junior tournament before beginning his collegiate career at SMU later this month. He finished the tournament at 71-70-64-69—274. “I feel like I redeemed myself by getting that one stroke from last year back and more,” he said. “I was a little nervous on the front with some of the other guys coming after me, but I tore it up on the back nine. I stuck to my game plan all week, and it worked for me.” Three players tied for second at 3-under-par: Stratton Nolen (2013) of Austin, Texas; Brendon Doyle (2014) of Louisville, Ken.; and Walker Huddy (2012) of Studio City, Calif. Three more came in at 2-over-par, tied for fifth. Summar Roachell fended off a strong run from Anne Freman (2013) of Las Vegas to take home the Mayerstein Trophy for girls. Both shot 4-under-par 68s on the day, but Roachell’s 9-under-par 71-70-70-68—279 could not be caught. “It feels really good to finally get a win,” she said. “I started off kind of slow, and then I holed-out on No. 6 from about 40 yards and got some momentum there. Anne [Freman] made a run on the back with four birdiess in a row, but I just tried to stay calm and hit the shots that I needed to. This is a great tournament. I can’t wait to come back next year.” Roachell has committed to play at the University of Arkansas in the fall of 2013. Taylor Coleman (2015) of San Antonio, Texas finished third at 2-under par, Maddie McCrary (2014) of Wylie, Texas took fourth at 1-over and Bryana Nguyen (2014) rounded out the top five at 2-over par for the tournament. The boys played to a par 71 at 7,031 yards and a course rating of 75.0. The girls played at 6,098 yards with a par of 72 and a course rating of 76.3. Complete tournament information is available at bigigolf.com. The 45th annual Trusted Choice® Big “I” National Championship will take place at the Country Club of North Carolina the first week in August of 2013. The Trusted Choice® Big “I” National Championship, presented by Texas Mutual, is renowned as the nation’s largest junior stroke-play golf tournament. This year’s field features top junior golfers, ages 13-18, from 38 states who advanced from qualifying tournaments held around the nation. Previous participants include Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, Webb Simpson, Jonathan Byrd, Hunter Mahan, Kevin Na, Cristie Kerr, Cheyenne