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Smith competes in NCAA tournament
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Former Eastside golfer Taylor Smith completed his junior season with a bang Thursday finishing as one of the top golfers in Division II and helping Georgia College place fifth in the NCAA tournament.

The Bobcats totaled 2-under par 216 behind a 1-under par performance by Smith.

Chico State, California captured first place with 13-under. Nova Southeastern took second with 9-under, Central Oklahoma third with 8-under and CSU-Stanislaus fifth with 6-under.

Smith finished tied for 15 with 1-under par 215. He shot par 72 during each of the first two rounds, before shooting 1-under on Thursday.

"Everybody is so good in college it just matters who has the game on that particular day or that particular weekend," Eastside coach Jay Cawthon said. "I know his game is as good as anybody's so it just comes down to who is putting the best."

Cawthon coached Smith while he was at Eastside in 2007 starting the first of the Eagles' five straight state championship appearances.
While at Eastside, Smith put in the hard work which helped lead him to be one of Division II's best golfers.

"First and foremost is his work ethic, which was tremendous in high school and I can only imagine how it is in college," Cawthon said. "He had great upbringing and a great family and it just carried onto the golf course. His personality on the golf course was one of his best traits."

That personality is what makes him play without letting a bad day, a bad round or a bad shot bother him, and carry him through the NCAA tournament held at Cardinal Club Golf Course in Simpsonville, Ky.

Smith was also named Georgia College's Bobcats Athlete of the Week after leading Georgia College the second NCAA Regional Championship in school history with a 5-under par 211, one stroke out of second place.

The award not only speaks of Smith's record on the golf course during the weekends but also his attitude throughout the rest of the week.

"(While at Eastside) he was always the first one there and the last one to leave," Cawthon said. "He was always on the driving range, where he would bang balls and bang balls. He was one of those you never had to tell to work.

"He had that drive, he knew where he wanted to go with his game, and it's nice to see it all come to fruition."

Smith tied for 15th with three other players, who shot 1-under par in Marcelo Huarte of Barry, Cy Moritz of Central Missouri and Kevin Rei of Chico State, California.

Josh Creel of Central Oklahoma and Jim Knous of Colorado School of Mines tied for the position of medalist, each with a score of 10-under par.