GAM PLAYER OF THE YEAR – Bradley Smithson of Grand Rapids Tops Junior Boys Honor Roll
FARMINGTON HILLS – Bradley Smithson of Grand Rapids found the right combination.
“I finally put everything together that I have been working on with my coach Brandon Roby and showed I can do it and win,” he said.
Smithson, who recently turned 18, is the 2018 Golf Association of Michigan Junior Boy’s Player of the Year, Kyle Wolfe, director of handicap and competitions, announced today.
“Bradley had a great year,” Wolfe said. “His ball-striking is great and he can make putts. He’s more than just a guy who can hit the ball a long way.”
GAM Players of the Year are determined by the GAM Honor Roll points system. Point totals can be found under the Championships tab at gam.org. Over the next few weeks the GAM will announce more Players of the Year in gender and age categories.
Previously, Alex Scott of Traverse City was named the Men’s Player of the Year, Kerri Parks of Flushing was named the Women’s Player of the Year, Mitch Wilson of Portage was named the Senior Men’s Player of the Year, Julie Massa of Holt was named the Senior Women’s Player of the Year and Mike Fedewa of Canton was named the Super Senior Player of the Year.
Smithson, a GAM member through Quail Ridge Golf Club where his father Gary is the head golf professional, topped the Honor Roll with 905 points. He won three significant events, including the GAM Junior Invitational, the Michigan PGA Junior Championship, the Michigan State Pro-Am Championship with his father. He was also the stroke play portion medalist at the Michigan Junior State Amateur Championship.
Nick Krueger of Spring Lake Country Club, who scored points in nine tournaments, was second with 868. Colin Sikkenga of Kalamazoo and a member through his high school team at Kalamazoo Christian, played well in the U.S. Junior Amateur and finished third with 853. Patrick Sullivan of Grosse Pointe, the Michigan Junior State Amateur Champion, who had 805 points, and Charles DeLong of DeWitt and a member through his DeWitt High School team, who had 613 points, rounded out the top five.
Smithson, who has signed a national letter of intent to join the Michigan State University golf program, said he is honored and happy about the award.
“It feels satisfying I think because of all the hard work I put in the past two summers and the last two years working up to this summer,” he said.
He said winning the State Pro-Am was the best and coolest golf accomplishment he has had.
“Winning with my dad was great,” he said. “Beating professionals and the best amateurs from the clubs they work at was just amazing.”
Smithson said he hopes to repeat with a great summer in 2019, attempt to play on the national stage in the U.S. Amateur and the U.S. Junior Amateur and then be a contributor on the Michigan State golf team in the fall.
“I want to be Big Ten Freshman of the Year, and that’s what I will shoot for,” he said. “I want to get to Michigan State, play a role on the team and help out each week.”
Wolfe said it’s not a surprise that Smithson had multiple college golf choices.
“He is a complete player and can shoot low numbers,” he said. “He has a lot of playing experience, too. I’m sure his father Gary has taught him a lot through the years, but also taught him how to handle himself and about attitude on the golf course. Bradley doesn’t get visibly frustrated very often and he is great at managing his way around the golf course.”
via Greg Johnson