A 36-hole showdown between former teammates and roommates resulted in a Kansas State Amateur championship for Overland Park's Kyle Smell.
Smell defeated fellow Kansas State Wildcat Ben Juffer 2-up on Sunday at Sand Creek Station Golf Course in Newton after being down 3 holes with 11 holes remaining.
On those next 11 holes, Smell picked up 7 birdies and took a 3 hole advantage on the 15th green, while Juffer's birdie attempts were missing by the slightest of margins.
"I knew I had to make all those birdies coming down to it. So once you start making them, you don't even think about," he said. "With how good Ben is, I knew birdies were going to be the only way to make up ground and I made a few, made some pars. But for the most part, I just kept trucking."
Smell was on the opposite end of last year's State Am finals, placing second. Regardless of being a 2007 junior amateur champion and four-ball champion, this title has been elusive.
"I can't really explain how I feel just because I knew this was the only tournament I haven't won as a junior and as an amateur, so winning this was huge. And after how close I came last year, this is exactly what I wanted to do so I'm glad I got to do it," said Smell.
The recent Wildcat graduate will now travel to Denver to compete in the U.S. Amateur from August 13th to 19th at Cherry Hills Country Club.