Smith Claims Third Victory of Season at North Texas Classic
GRAND PRAIRIE – San Angelo’s Jansen Smith came from behind Sunday afternoon to secure his third victory of the Legends Junior Tour 2017 season. His final round 4-under 68 was enough to win by one shot at the North Texas Classic at Tangle Ridge Golf Club in Grand Prairie, Texas.
Dallas’ Hailey Jones, the two-time defending LJT Girls Player of the Year, shot a final round, 3-under 69 to win going away for her third victory of the season as well Argyle’s Gaven Lane recorded back-to-back 5-under 67s to run away with the Boys 14 & Under division Sunday afternoon.
Grand Prairie’s Tangle Ridge Golf Club has hosted the North Texas Classic since its inception in 2015. The Jeff Brauer designed golf course challenges players with elevation changes, subtle Champion Ultra Dwarf Bermuda greens and the perfectly placed fairway bunkers. The Boys 15-18 division played 6,795 yards, while the Boys 14 & Under division played 6,340 yards and all girls played 5,979 yards.
Smith, a high school senior committed to Texas Tech, had a birdie on the short, par-4 third hole, but then struggled, relatively, for a seven-hole stretch, going 1-over during that span. Then something happened and he went 4-under his next four holes, including an eagle on the par-5 13th hole. He had a bogey on the par-4 16th, but made a birdie on the final hole, a 521-yard par-5, to secure the win.
Finishing one shot back of Smith was Austin’s Evan Vo. He carded a second 3-under 69, but it was a bogey on the final hole that pushed him into second place. He carded a mistake-free round, including four birdies, heading into the 18th hole, but couldn’t get a par. This was Vo’s highest finish in the Boys 15-18 division.
First round leaders Sangmin Park and Randall Fojtasek Jr. finished in a tie for third place. Both shot 1-under 71 and finished two shots back of their playing partner, Smith. Joseph Park shot a final round 5-under 67 to jump into solo fifth place. Jake Holbrook and Luke Dossey finished in a tie for sixth place.
In the Girls 12-18 division, Jones played consistently through her opening nine, carding eight pars and one birdie. She opened her back nine, the par-4 1st with a bogey, but followed it up with back-to-back birdies on holes two and three. She closed out a victory with a birdie on her closing hole, the short, 121-yard par 3.
Jones ran away with the tournament, winning by seven shots over Shreveport’s Alden Wallace. Wallace shot a final round 2-over 74. Caitlyn Lindell finished in third place, followed by Symran Shah, and Taylor Mieras rounded out the top 5.
In the Boys 14 & Under division, Lane, the Texas State Junior Champion, had two hole outs from roughly 50 yards to have two eagles on his card. He had only three birdies Sunday afternoon, compared to seven in Saturday’s opening round, but those two eagles certainly can make up ground quickly.
Lane’s back-to-back 5-under 67’s allowed him to run away with the Boys 14 & Under division, capturing the title by seven strokes over Flower Mound’s Rohit Madireddi. Plano’s Matthew Comegys, winner of last month’s George Hannon Junior Invitational, shot a final round 2-under 70 to jump into a tie for third place with Andrew Spauling of Spring.
For more information on the North Texas Classic and the Legends Junior Tour, please visit www. TXGA.org
For final results, click here.