The Norman Transcript

Breaking News

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
  • Sooners advance to Super Six

    BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — Oklahoma, Georgia and LSU advanced to the Super Six of the NCAA women’s gymnastics championships....

    April 19, 2014

  • Can the Heat flip the switch?

    MIAMI — LeBron James was walking down the hallway that the Miami Heat call “Championship Alley” a few minutes after last season’s NBA Finals, when he decided the time was right to send a message. It wasn’t for his fans....

    April 19, 2014

  • No April, May or June Madness in NBA

    AP National Writer ATLANTA — If the playoff-bound Atlanta Hawks were in any other sport, they might have a glimmer of hope for winning a championship. The NBA? No way....

    April 19, 2014

  • Warriors and Clippers take mutual dislike into playoff series

    LOS ANGELES — As much as the Los Angeles Clippers and Golden State Warriors don’t like each other, they’re a lot alike in some ways....

    April 19, 2014

  • Fieger leads Senior PGA

    PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. — Gene Fieger shot a 3-under 69 in windy conditions Thursday to take a four-stroke lead in the Senior PGA Professional National Championship....

    April 18, 2014

  • Kuchar builds on momentum

    HILTON HEAD ISLAND, S.C. — There were no major letdowns for Masters contenders Matt Kuchar and Jordan Spieth at the RBC Heritage on Thursday. Kuchar, who tied for fifth at Augusta National, shot a bogey-free 5-under 66 to share the ...

    April 18, 2014

  • Angel Jimenez set for Champions Tour debut

    DULUTH, Ga. — Miguel Angel Jimenez’s starring role in the best Masters ever for players 50 and over was the perfect lead-in for his Champions Tour debut....

    April 18, 2014

  • Puig focuses on baseball despite issues

    SAN FRANCISCO — Yasiel Puig believes he has the support from his Los Angeles Dodgers teammates and the club to help him keep his focus on baseball despite challenges off the field....

    April 18, 2014

  • Wainwright two-hits Nats

    WASHINGTON — Adam Wainwright threw a two-hitter Thursday night for his seventh career shutout, chipped in at the plate with a double and single, and St. Louis benefited from four errors by Washington in the Cardinals’ 8-0 victory....

    April 18, 2014

  • Rangers edge M’s

    ARLINGTON, Texas — When Kevin Kouzmanoff was riding the buses in Double-A two seasons ago, he kept his focus on returning to the majors and providing the kind of production that he is now delivering for the Texas Rangers....

    April 18, 2014