The rise and rise of Mount Maunganui golfer Bailey Smith continued in style when he won the prestigious Golf South Australia Junior Amateur Champs played at the Kooyonga and North Adelaide Golf Clubs.
The 17-year-old prevailed in tough playing conditions to win one of the major Australian junior boys' and girls' ranking events by two shots on Tuesday from Australia's No1 ranked junior golfer Blake Proverbs.
Smith had a superb final round of 68, which was five shots better than Proverbs' 73 and the only round under 70 from a top class field.
Last year Smith became the Mount Maunganui club's youngest senior champion and he hopes to gain a scholarship to play golf and study at an American college this year as he pursues his goal of playing as a professional.
Smith's coach is Robert Rookes from the Mount Maunganui club, who is delighted with his young charge's progress.
"He texted me to tell me he won and played great down the stretch," Rookes said.
"He showed some signs at the beginning of last year. He did well at the New Zealand Amateur and a number of tournaments, and attended some national training camps.
"The basic feedback was he needed to tidy up his basic technique a lot more and he has worked really hard on getting his technique tighter.
"He has relied heavily on his short game over the years so he has worked extremely hard on getting his long game to match his short game.
"Now he has his technique and lines pretty much where we want them. I always thought it was just a matter of time before he turned a good performance into a win.
"His size has always hindered him but as he has got physically stronger he can now support the stresses of the swing and his swing has become a lot more solid."
Smith is straight back into action today when he tees it up at the highly regarded Golf South Australia Junior Masters at Royal Adelaide Golf Club.