Story by Mallory Tucker, Staff writer
Led by All-OVC senior golfer Jordan Smith, the Racers jumped from seventh place to claim a share of second from 14 shots back. Despite six of the last seven holes being the most difficult, Smith and junior Brock Simmons carded scores of 71 during the last round, tying for the third day in a row and sharing the eighth place spot overall.
Smith attributes the Racers’ swift improvement to the team as a whole and their ability to support each other’s higher rounds.
“We had been having where everybody would just have one bad round all at the same time,” Smith said. “We kind of picked up whoever was playing bad that round. We didn’t have two people play really bad at the same time, which helped out.”
The last day didn’t provide a perfect start, however, as Smith struggled at first.
“I couldn’t get anything going,” Smith said.
After a bad drive into the bunker before chipping it in to hole six, Smith found his stride and birdied the next three holes.
“For those four holes, it was pretty fun,” Smith said.
Smith was unaware of the team’s standing until hole 13 when he saw Head Coach Eddie Hunt. Hunt, who calls Smith the hardest worker he’s ever coached, told Smith how well the team had done on the front nine.
Carding the best team score of the day at four-under-par, Smith isn’t disappointed in the team’s finish during his last event with Murray State.
“The way we played that last round, we couldn’t have played much better,” Smith said. “I couldn’t be more proud of that round.”
As the lone senior, Smith leads the Racers on and off the field, but he admits it hasn’t always been easy.
“I struggled with that, because I’m not really a natural leader,” Smith said. “Mostly I try to lead by example. We had some team meetings, and I just basically told them how much it mattered to me.”
Playing since around age three, golf is now going by the wayside for Smith, who has accepted a job in the telecommunications field after graduation in May. Smith’s main priority, however, is his upcoming wedding in October.
As his collegiate career comes to an end and he moves on to new ventures, Smith hopes to leave a legacy of hard work and constant improvement throughout his four years, a legacy that is backed by Hunt’s opinion of him.
“Everyday I’ve woken up just trying to get better at golf,” Smith said. “That’s just the attitude I’ve had since I was probably 12 years old.”