Smith finishes Top 10 at Future Masters
Rising LaFayette High School senior golfer Gage Smith is having himself one memorable summer on the links.
Smith, who placed eighth individually at the Class AAAA state tournament in Columbus in May with an even-par round of 71 – helping the Ramblers to a fourthplace finish – shot backto-back rounds of 70 at the 81st Chicken Dinner Tournament at the LaFayette Golf Course on June 10-11 to place fifth overall in the championships flight.
One day later, he won the Boys’ 16-18 year-old division of the Chattanooga District Golf Association Junior Tour event at Windstone in Ringgold with a dazzling 7-under par 65 and followed up seven days later by shooting a 3-under 69 to win the CDGA Junior Tour event at Moccasin Bend.
This past weekend, he headed south to Dothan, Alabama to compete in the prestigious Future Masters tournament and tied for eighth overall in the Boys’ 15-18 division, which included nearly 230 other golfers from all over the United States and Canada.
He opened with a 3-over par 73 on Thursday, but shot a 4-under 66 on Friday to make the cut. He closed out with a 1-over 71 on Saturday to finish at even par (210). The 66 tied for the lowest round of the tournament.
Smith was eight shots back of 16-yearold Thomas Ponder of Dothan, who finished at 8-under with scores of 68, 67 and 67 (202) at the Dothan Country Club. Another 16-year-old, Thomas Hogan of St. Simons Island, Ga., was second, two shots back (204).
Rising Gordon Lee junior Tucker Windham also competed in the tournament. Windham shot on 82 on Thursday, but rebounded with a solid round of 70 on Day 2. However, Windham ended up missing the cut as only the top 108 advanced to Saturday’s final round.
The Future Masters began in 1950. Among those who have competed in the tournament over the years are past U.S. Open champions Hubert Green and Jerry Pate, Masters winner Larry Mize, PGA Championship winners Bob Tway, Mark Brooks and Shawn Micheel and British Open winner Ben Curtis.
Other golfing greats who have played in the event include LaFayette native Andy Bean, Bruce Leitzke, Hal Sutton, Chip Beck, Curtis Strange, David Duval, Stewart Cink and Charles Howell III.