Matt NeSmith (WRDW-TV)
Tuesday Ocotober 16 2012
BRASELTON, Ga. – Matthew NeSmith of North Augusta, S.C., has been named a first-team Rolex Junior All-American by the American Junior Golf Association, establishing himself among the top tier of current and former junior golfers from around the world.
In his final junior golf season, NeSmith, 19, won three AJGA Invitationals, competed for the East Team at Wyndham Cup, and earned the No. 1 spot in the Polo Golf Rankings. A victory at the FJ Invitational secured a sponsor’s exemption to the PGA TOUR’s Wyndham Championship, and with wins at the Polo Golf Junior Classic and Rolex Tournament of Champions, the AJGA’s two oldest tournaments, NeSmith became the first boy to win both in the same season. He closed his junior career at Wyndham Cup, where he helped the East Team claim the Cup for the second year in a row. A 2012 graduate of North Augusta High School, NeSmith is currently a freshman at South Carolina.
Introduced by the AJGA in 1978, the Rolex Junior All-America Teams annually recognize players who have proven to be the world’s premier junior golfers. This year’s selections distinguished themselves through their outstanding play in 88 national events, 72 of which were conducted by the AJGA. The Rolex Junior All-America Teams were determined exclusively through the Polo Golf Rankings as of Oct. 9.
The teams are comprised of 96 junior golfers, ages 13-19, from 22 states, Puerto Rico and nine foreign countries (China, Colombia, France, India, Japan, Mexico, South Korea, Sweden and Thailand). These standouts will be honored at the Rolex Junior All-America Awards Banquet, Nov. 18, at PGA National Resort & Spa in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.
Former Rolex Junior All-Americans comprise the top players on the PGA and LPGA Tours. All 12 players on the 2012 U.S. Ryder Cup Team played AJGA tournaments, and eight players earned Rolex Junior All-America recognition during their junior careers: Keegan Bradley, Jim Furyk, Matt Kuchar, Phil Mickelson, Brandt Snedeker, Webb Simpson, Bubba Watson and Tiger Woods.
On the 2011 U.S. Solheim Cup Team, nine of the 12 players competed in AJGA tournaments as teenagers, and seven were named Rolex Junior All-Americans during their careers: Paula Creamer, Vicky Hurst, Cristie Kerr, Christina Kim, Brittany Lang, Brittany Lincicome, and Morgan Pressel.