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Georgia College golfers earn all-region honors

COVINGTON -- Former Eastside and Georgia College junior golfer Taylor Smith and fellow Bobcat Patrick Garrett of Kennesaw were recently named to the Division II Ping All-Southeast Region Team by the Golf Coaches Association of America (GCAA), the first all-region honors of their careers.

Smith is hoping to ride the momentum of a stellar season as he tries to earn a trip to the 87th U.S. Amateur Public Links Championship at Soldier Hollow Golf Course in Midway, Utah, starting on July 9.

In order to do that, he will have to win one of three slots available in the 36-hole qualifier on Monday at the 6,677-yard, par-71 Mystery Valley Golf Club in Lithonia with a 9:40 tee time.

He was the low medalist last year, winning the qualifier at the Woodmont Golf and Country Club by shooting a 68 and 69 (137) at the 6,830-yard, par-72 course.

At the U.S. Amateur Public Links Championship at Brandon Dunes Golf Resort in Brandon, Utah, last year, Smith advanced to the first round of match play. He shot a pair of 74s before losing 4 & 3 in match play to Herbie Aikens of Pembroke, Mass.

Smith, an All-Peach Belt Conference (PBC) Second Team selection member, played in 11 tournaments this season, posting a 73.1 stroke average. He had one top-five finish among his three top-10s on the year. In the NCAA South/Southeast SuperRegional, Smith helped lead the Bobcats to the victory, taking second overall at five-under par, one stroke behind medalist honors.

The Bobcats had a phenomenal 2011-12 campaign, winning an NCAA South/Southeast SuperRegional Championship without the benefit of a single senior. The squad advanced to the NCAA Quarterfinals as well. The region title was just the second in school history and the Bobcats put three on the All-PBC teams, adding two all-region honors as well.