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Nov. 25, 2011

PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. — South Carolina men’s golf signee Matt NeSmith won the prestigious Polo Golf Junior Classic on Friday at PGA National Resort & Spa.

NeSmith, a native of North Augusta, S.C., never trailed in the championship match on his way to defeating his opponent 4 and 3 to claim his first American Junior Golf Association Invitational victory. After making the turn at 1-up, he pushed his lead to 4-up with a birdie on hole No. 14 and closed out the match with a par on No. 15.

NeSmith, who fought through 36 holes of stroke play qualifying and five rounds of match play, defeated four Junior All-Americans on his way to the title.

The North Augusta High School product adds to his already impressive junior résumé, as the Polo Golf Junior Classic is one of the top junior events in the world. The 78-player field is made up of golfers from 27 states, Puerto Rico and 12 countries.

NeSmith is currently ranked No. 3 in the Golfweek junior rankings and No. 5 in the Polo Golf rankings. He is one of two student-athletes who signed with the Gamecocks during the early signing period, joining Will Starke of Chapin, S.C. Starke also had a strong showing at the Polo Golf Junior Classic, finishing in a tie for 13th in the stroke play qualifying before falling in the first round of match play.