Top junior boys of 2012: No. 2 Matt NeSmith
From Tianlang Guan's Asia Pacific Amateur victory to Beau Hossler's memorable U.S. Open performance at the Olympic Club, 2012 was a year to remember for boys junior golf.
Over the course of 10 days, we'll bring you the top 10 players of the year starting at No. 10 and ending with the player who we think had the most impressive season.
Who will be No. 1? Who else will make the list? Keep checking back to find out as we continue with No. 2 on our list: Matt NeSmith.
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No. 2: Matt NeSmith
Golfweek/Sagarin ranking: 1*
Credentials: Wyndham Championship (MC); Players Amateur (T-4); Terra Cotta Invitational (fifth); Azalea Invitational (champion); Palmetto Amateur (T-7); Rolex Tournament of Champions (champion); FJ Invitational (champion); Junior Invitational at Sage Valley (T-2); Carolinas Georgia Junior (champion); Wyndham Cup participant; Rolex Player of the Year Award winner.
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The only player on this list who is currently playing in college, Matt NeSmith, comes in at No. 2.
NeSmith, who is now a freshman at South Carolina, was the Rolex Player of the Year. So why was he not No. 1? You’ll find out when we release the top-ranked junior boys golfer of 2012 on Wednesday.
While he wasn’t No. 1, many could argue that NeSmith had the best year despite his junior career ending in August. He won both the Rolex Tournament of Champions and FootJoy Invitational, the latter earning him a spot in the PGA Tour’s Wyndham Championship. He would miss the cut there, but he’s one of only a handful of junior boys to have played in a PGA Tour event in 2012.
His junior season also included a win at the Carolinas Georgia Junior and a T-2 showing at the Junior Invitational at Sage Valley.
NeSmith had a good run on the amateur circuit, as well. He won the Azalea Invitational, was T-4 at the Players Amateur, finished fifth at the Terra Cotta Invitational and had a T-7 showing at the Palmetto Amateur.
Now he’ll try to have a good run for the Gamecocks this spring.
*Ranking at end of junior career