Amateur: 'I think I can beat (McIlroy) at his worst'

Benjamin Smith fell short of becoming the first amateur to win the New Jersey Open two straight years Thursday.

Smith shot a third-round 4-over 75 to go from leading after the second round to finishing three shots back of winner Frank Esposito Jr.

But it's what Smith said Wednesday that caught the attention of Golfweek.

“It’s fun for me to compete,” said the 26-year-old Voorhees, N.J., native. “I have never had the goal of being a professional golfer and doing it as a living. I don’t know if I am good enough actually.

"Obviously if I play my best and Rory McIlroy plays his worst, I think I can beat him at his worst. But day in and day out, obviously, I don’t think I can do it.”

OK, so it wasn't a challenge to the World No. 2, but it's still an interesting statement coming from a mid-amateur at a state open.

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