Jansen Smith Wins Texas State Junior Championship
Jansen Smith Wins Texas State Junior in Fashion
HORSESHOE BAY – Jansen Smith of San Angelo stood in the middle of the par-5 18th fairway at Summit Rock Golf Club. He shared the lead of the 91st Texas State Junior Championship with John Keefer. Seventy-two yards separated Smith’s third shot from the flag. His approach landed on the front edge of the green and skipped toward the hole. The ball dropped. The small gallery surrounding the 18th green erupted. Smith’s walk-off hole out was enough to win the Texas State Junior Championship by one stroke at a total of 8-under par.
“It means a lot just to be able to close it out in style on the last hole while struggling the rest of the round,” Smith said.
Smith, 17, struggled throughout his even-par final round 72. He bogeyed the par-3 sixth and carded his only over-par nine of the tournament. He turned in 1-over 37 with a one-shot advantage over San Antonio’s Keefer.
Smith’s frustration continued as he began the back side. He bogeyed the par-4 11th hole, and the two-shot lead he began the day with was gone. Tied with seven holes to play, Smith and Keefer battled down the stretch.
The 2018 Texas Tech commit, Smith, made the first move. He birdied the par-5 14th hole to regain a one-shot lead. Smith and Keefer parred 16, but Smith’s costly three-putt bogey on the par-4 17th squared it back up heading to the final hole.
Keefer, a 2019 Baylor commit, played the final hole beautifully. He roped his drive down the middle and played his second to the left greenside bunker. He seemed to have the advantage, yet Smith’s hole-out eagle changed things. Keefer was left with a must make 20-yard bunker shot to force a playoff. He hit it to 4-feet and made birdie, finishing one shy of Smith.
The “shot heard around Horseshoe Bay” was special, but Smith is no stranger to the winner’s circle. Since June, he has qualified for the U.S. Amateur, won the LJT Alamo Shootout and hoisted the trophy at the AJGA event in Abilene last week. Despite his decorated junior career, the San Angelo Central High School senior said his Texas State Junior victory sits atop the rest.
“It has been one of my favorite tournaments, always looking forward to it every summer,” Smith said. “It means a ton to be able to put my name on that trophy.”
Smith joins Scott Verplank, Omar Uresti, Jeff Maggert, Bruce Lietzke as well as a host of other talented golfers as champions of the Texas State Junior Championship. Jun Min Lee of Mission, Scott Roden of Dallas and Austin’s Michael Rome rounded out this year’s top-five.
The Legends Junior Tour extends its warmest and most sincere appreciation to the staff and members of Summit Rock Golf Club at Horseshoe Bay Resort, as well as our volunteers, for their integral part in making the 91st Texas State Junior Championship a memorable and successful event. For more information about this championship click here.
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