Brandon Smith had been dreaming about his first AJGA victory for a long time, and finally broke through on March 30 at the Under Armour/Hunter Mahan Championship.
Smith is ranked No. 46 in the class of 2015 Golfweek rankings and has given a verbal commitment to attend Texas A&M.
Here are 5 questions with the recent winner:
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1. It’s easy to be nervous going into the final round in contention when you’re trying for your first victory. Were you nervous entering the final day and if so, did starting with three straight birdies help calm you down?
“The final day, I was pretty confident. I’ve been in this situation a lot, two shots back. I just hadn’t been in that situation in an AJGA before. Once I got the first three birdies on my first three holes, that seemed to take the pressure off. I was just trying to go out there and play my game. I knew it was going to be a tough day. Teeing off I knew scores were going to go up. I just tried to go out there and post a score that might have a chance.”
2. How many times did you look at the leaderboard during the final round? Or were you trying to not to think about the competition?
“I talked to the AJGA official on the 18th tee, because I had just let my birdie putt short on 17 and tapped in for par. I told him I was 3 under and asked where that stood. He said so far he had only seen pars on the last hole so I thought I had to birdie 18. I had a good drive, I hit it on the green, I had an eagle putt. I ran my eagle putt about 6 feet past, and missed the putt coming back. I thought I had lost the tournament, but I ended up winning by one. I was really surprised.”
3. What part of your game do you credit your victory to?
“My putting. If it wasn’t for the putter in the beginning and the end of the round, there’s no way I would’ve won the golf tournament. I mean, there were some times where I doubted it. But once i tried to gain my confidence back with my putter mentally, I started making more putts. The one thing that helps me to play good golf is definitely my confidence. When I’m not mentally engaged, and I’m not believing in myself and my ability, I’m struggling.”
4. Your first AJGA victory. What does that mean to you?
“It means a lot. It’s what I’ve been dreaming of for the last few years. I always knew golf was going to be a great sport for me. I always played it. I just never thought it’d be something I’d end up doing in high school or college, or professionally. But now that’s really one of the few things I care about. Being able to win an AJGA after coming from where I’ve been the last three or four years, it really means a lot.”
5. You’re verbally committed to play college golf at Texas A&M. Tell us a little about that choice. Did being from Texas influence that at all?
“I lived down there for [two years], so I knew what it was like there. I always loved it. My mom went to school there, so I’ve always been wearing the Aggie shirts to school all of the time. It’s kind of my dream school. It’s awesome being able to be a part of such a great program.”