Smith begins preparations for U.S. Junior Amatuer

The most used cliche, and truest, in the sports world, is “to be the best you have to beat the best.”

That’s what Ware County’s Lee Smith will have to do to win the 73rd USGA Junior Amateur Championship to be held July 19-24 in Pinehurst, N.C.

Smith is one of 264 golfers in the field looking to join the likes of Johnny Miller (1964), Gary Koch (1970), Willie Wood (1977), David Duval (1989), Tiger Woods (1991- 93), Hunter Mahan (1999), Brian Harman (2003), Kevin Tway (2005), Jordan Spieth (2009, 2011), Scottie Scheffler (2013) and Will Zalatoris (2014) as winners of the event.

“I’m going there with the mindset of winning,” said Smith as he took a break from practicing at the Okefenokee Country Club. “This is a life-long dream … I’m not going there just to say I’m there.”

Smith’s confidence is high after shooting a career-best six-under-par 66 during a qualifier held at the Golf Club at Briar’s Creek 6,886-yard layout in John’s Creek Monday, June 14.

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