Benjamin Baxter plans big year before joining SMU
Benjamin Baxter will hit the SMU campus in the fall, but has a lot of plans between now and then.
The senior out of Flower Mound, Texas, said that he plans on heaping his plate full of amateur tournaments this year, including the Texas Amateur, Northern Amateur and the Texas State Open. He's also accepted a spot in the Junior Invitational at Sage Valley Golf Club.
Baxter, who said he, "(thrives) on accurate driving ... and solid iron play," is listed as the No. 29 junior in the Golfweek/Sagarin Rankings. He's one of the headliners that will play at the Under Armour/Hunter Mahan Championship in Frisco, Texas March 28-30.
Here's 5 Questions with Baxter about his future:
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What's in store for your senior year in high school?
"This year I'm not going to play as many junior events. I want to establish a World Amateur Golf rank. To do that, my first tournament was March 10-11 and I got into Sage Valley. I have a couple of amateur tournaments this summer. That will help me test my game and prepare me for my first semester at SMU."
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What's the biggest difference between junior and amateur tournaments for you?
"When you're at an amateur tournament, no matter if they're 40 or 15, it seems everyone has a better strategy and they're not going to make as many mental errors. But, pretty much, everyone hits the ball the same. It's about short game and your course management."
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What have you seen at SMU and what will you add when you get there?
"I absolutely love coach (Josh) Gregory. He was very proven at Augusta State, where he won two national championships. He'll let me take my game to the next level and he's just a very supportive guy. I played with a few guys on the team – Bryson Dechambeau, he's an awesome golfer and helps me out a lot. I feel like I can help the team out just being a hard worker and pushing everyone on the team."
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How has Bryson helped you?
"He's opened me eyes to how big the game of golf is, experimenting with short-game shots and the best way to get the ball in the hole. Even if it might not look best, you have to get the ball in the hole in as few spots as possible."
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As a Texas golfer, are there bragging rights at stake at the Hunter Mahan Championship?
"Pretty much any tournament in Texas nowadays has awesome players and the Hunter Mahan is not an exception to that. It will be good to get my season going a bit."