Spencer Smith unleashed a stellar summer of golf and now he’s notching some solid rounds with his Mercer Island High School squad.
At one of his summer junior tournaments in Encinitas, California, the Islander amassed a career-best nine birdies during one 18-hole round en route to a fourth-place finish out of 63 players. He was the top-placing American in the three-day tourney, which featured a plethora of international golfers at the Pala Mesa Resort Golf Course.
Also over the summer, he shot a 2-under-par to win a one-day 18-hole Washington Junior Golf Association sub-district tournament at Jefferson Golf Course in Seattle.
“I had a lot of momentum. I definitely wanted this to be my best high school season ever,” said Smith, who rebounded from a broken collarbone the previous summer to shine this time out. “The summer kind of opened my eyes to my potential and I think I have the most confidence in my game I’ve ever had at this point. I’m kind of just rolling and trying to do the best I can right now and it’s paying off.”
The Islander senior captain’s goals for this season are delivering an under-par scoring average throughout the entire campaign, repeating as 3A state champions with his teammates and earning first team all-KingCo honors.
At press time, the Islanders were 5-1 overall in nine-hole competitions, with Smith medaling three times and scoring 2-under-par twice.
Over two 18-hole rounds at state in May, the Islanders finished first with 569 points and Mead took second with 585 at Liberty Lake Golf Course. Smith took third with a 66-72-138 and holed eight birdies during the first round.
Other top returners for the Islanders this season are senior Evan Otte and juniors Wonjoon Seo, Elliott Hoang and Brian Murdoch. Graduate Ethan Evans placed second at state and is now golfing at Duke University.
The Reporter asked Smith a series of questions to get a behind-the-scenes glimpse into his life:
What’s the best piece of advice that you’ve ever been given?
Probably just the old ‘hard work pays off.’ That’s really shown true to me through my golf career, because I started late. I first picked up a club when I was 13, so I’ve kind of had to catch up to a lot of kids who have been playing their whole lives. So I’ve just had to work twice as hard as they have to get to where I am now, but I’ve seen it pay off on the golf course, which is nice.
What’s your favorite subject or subjects in school?
I would say PE, but I’m probably the best at math.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
I want to be running my own company or business, something I’m super passionate about. I just really want to be into what I’m doing with work. I want to probably live in a place where I can have a lot of fun outside of work, like Seattle where I can ski and golf. (On the potential business front, right now he’s interested in renewable energy.)
What skill would you like to learn?
I’d like to be able to play the piano.
What’s your biggest pet peeve?
When people eat and drink really loudly.
What’s your most binge-worthy TV series?
My favorite show is “The Office,” I just love the dry humor.
If you could go to dinner with one person, who would that be?
I’d like to go to dinner with Michael Jordan. Hopefully at his private golf course in Florida.
You could show him a thing or two on the course.
I don’t know, he’s pretty good. Rumor has it he set up that course to play perfectly to his style, so he always beats people.