Michigan Junior: Ben Smith wins in tight final match
Ben Smith after Michigan Junior State Amateur win <br>(GAM Photo)
Ben Smith after Michigan Junior State Amateur win
(GAM Photo)

BENTON HARBOR, MI (August 25, 2016) -- Just days after competing in the U.S. Amateur, Ben Smith was holding the 38th Michigan Junior State Amateur trophy.

Smith, the 10-seed, completed his run to the title in a close championship match against five-seed Devin Deogun. The match was all-square through 13 holes, until Smith was able to pull away down the stretch at Point O'Woods Golf and Country Club to win 1 up.

“It feels pretty good to win one of these,” Smith, who never trailed in the match said. “It was fun playing Devin. We’re friends so there wasn’t any of that psychological stuff. It was just two good friends out there playing and trying to beat each other.”

Smith took a 2 up lead with a birdie on the 4th and a par on the 6th. Still leading by the same tally, Deogun fought back, winning the 12th hole with a par and then the par-5 13th with a birdie.

The match remained tied until the final hole and after both players missed the fairway right, Deogun flew the green long and when he was unable to get up and down, Smith could claim the title with a two-putt par.

After some easier matches early on, including a 7&5 win in the Round of 32, Smith, a Georgia Tech commit, had to survive a 19 hole match against No. 11 Bradley Smithson in the semifinals. Smith won the 18th hole to extend the match.

Deogun advanced to the finals with a 2&1 win over nine-seed Zachary Rosendale.

The medalist and top-seed was Tony Fuentes who fired rounds of 70-70 to finish two clear of the field.

-The Golf Association of Michigan contributed to this story

ABOUT THE Michigan Junior Amateur

Entries are open to all boys, 18 and under, or have not yet attended college. A 19-year-old that has not yet attended college is eligible to participate. Must be a resident of Michigan or a member of a GAM Member Club at time of entry. Sectional qualifying is required if exemption requirements are not met. Format is 36-holes of stroke play to qualify for a match play bracket of 32 players.

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