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Smith trusts his swing to take amateur title

September 12, 2005|by TIM KOELBLE

koelble@herald-mail.com

Kenny Smith withstood an unexpected challenger to win the Black Rock Miller Lite Amateur on Sunday.

Smith, of Waynesboro, Pa., fired a second straight 3-under-par 69 to finish at 6-under 138 to beat unknown Bernie Deane, of Frederick, Md., by two shots for the title and a $500 first-place certificate.

Deane, who plays out of VFW in Frederick, started the day 2-over and played two holes ahead of Smith. He launched a 5-under 31 on the front nine to make the turn at 3-under, one stroke behind Smith.

Smith answered with a birdie on the par-4 11th to gain a two-shot margin. Deane birdied the par-3 12th to get one shot back and Smith followed with birdies on the par-4 13th and par-5 14th to get to 6-under. Deane had birdied 15 to get to 5-under but a bogey on the par-3 17th hole gave Smith a two-stroke margin again.

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Deane watched as Smith two-putted for par for the win on 18 before the two introduced themselves to one another.

"I never knew who (Deane) was," said Smith, who won his first stroke play tournament of the year. "He played solid ... 31 on the front nine is something."

Smith, who at 5-foot-6 is known for launching a tee ball at great distance with a powerful swing speed, actually felt nervous in the latter stages.

"For the first time I can remember, I was actually a little nervous," said Smith. "On 14, I really didn't know where I stood with him ahead of me."

Smith's birdie on 14 was key after his second shot was two feet near the lip of the bunker in front of the green. He smoothly launched the ball to within six feet of the cup for his birdie try.

"I played solid golf ... my bogies (on 2 and 9) were front bad swings," said Smith.

Deane, a guidance counselor at Thomas Johnson High School, played Black Rock for the first time since 1990.

Veteran Chuck Ingram had a closing 68 to finish third with a 142 and Andy Grove was fourth with a 143 after a 69.

Jason Carbaugh won the first flight with a 155 following his 76 on Sunday and Don Tapley won the second flight with a 163, shooting 76 in the second round.

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