The Norman Transcript

National Sports

July 11, 2013

Smith could repeat

ORADELL, N.J. — Benjamin Smith is on the verge of making history in the New Jersey Open.

Smith took a major step toward becoming the first amateur to win the state’s biggest golf tournament in consecutive years on Wednesday, shooting his second straight 4-under 67 to grab a four-shot lead after two rounds of the 54-hole event at the Hackensack Golf Club.

The 26-old Voorhees resident had a two-shot lead going into the final round of last year’s event, and he recalled being confident the night before his first major win in the state.

“I was sitting in a friend’s house in Brick and I remember sleeping on the lead, and I was with him and his dad in the house and I’m saying: ‘I’m going to win tomorrow,”’ Smith recalled. “I was like I have gotten second a couple of times and tomorrow I’m winning. I guess my mindset should be I’m going to win tomorrow.”

Smith had six birdies, including three in a row on the back nine, in opening a big lead over Graham Dendler, a 41-year-old assistant pro at Trenton Country Club whose biggest win was the Philadelphia Open in 2005.

“It’s fun for me to compete,” said Smith, who has a 36-hole total of 8-under 134, just one 11 scores under par. “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.”

Dendler, who is playing in his first state Open after seven years at Trenton, had a second-round 68.

— AP

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
National Sports
  • Popovich wins Coach of the Year

    The San Antonio Spurs, the model for stability and sustained success in the modern NBA, were still a shaken team when they showed up for training camp in October, less than four months after a devastating loss to Miami in the NBA Finals. ...

    April 23, 2014

  • Tony Allen’s hounding defense a challenge, even for Durant

    OKLAHOMA CITY — Kevin Durant is tired of hearing about Tony Allen’s defense....

    April 23, 2014

  • Albert Pujols hits 500th HR of major league career

    WASHINGTON — Albert Pujols reached 500 homers in a hurry....

    April 23, 2014

  • Lawmakers seek change in MLB Cuban player policy

    TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Two Florida lawmakers motivated by Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Yasiel Puig’s dangerous escape from Cuba are trying to change the way Major League Baseball treats Cuban players and are willing to tie state money for ...

    April 23, 2014

  • Physical stars ruffling Ducks’ feathers

    DALLAS — Anaheim captain Ryan Getzlaf was asked about the Dallas Stars trying to get under his skin or into his head with their physical play in Game 3. “Trying to hit my head how about?” the already stitched-up and visor-protected ...

    April 23, 2014

  • Pacers need statement game to stay afloat in series with Hawks

    INDIANAPOLIS — Indiana’s next game is the most important of the season. If the top-seeded Pacers can’t protect their home court Tuesday night, they’ll be down 2-0 heading to Atlanta — where they have only won twice since December 2006....

    April 22, 2014

  • Dwyane Wade looks like his old self, again

    MIAMI — Dwyane Wade is not planning on missing any more games this season, and that means life on the Miami Heat equipment room staff is going to get considerably more demanding....

    April 22, 2014

  • American wins first Boston Marathon after bombing

    BOSTON — “The Star-Spangled Banner” played over Boylston Street in honor of an American winner of the Boston Marathon....

    April 22, 2014

  • St. Louis falls again

    NEW YORK — Jenrry Mejia pitched four-hit ball into the seventh inning, David Wright delivered another key hit and the New York Mets beat the St. Louis Cardinals 2-0 Monday night....

    April 22, 2014

  • Portland’s Aldridge primed for Game 2

    HOUSTON — A day after etching his name in Portland’s record books with a franchise playoff-record 46 points in Game 1 of the first-round playoff series against Houston, LaMarcus Aldridge was already looking forward....

    April 22, 2014