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Brian Wierima / Forum News Service, Published August 06 2013

DL grad Smith fares well in Pine to Palm qualifying

DETROIT LAKES, Minn. – When recent Detroit Lakes High School graduate Karter Smith finished his first round of qualifying for the 81st Pine to Palm Golf Tournament at the Detroit Country Club on Tuesday, Laker assistant coach Vern Schnathorst asked how he did.

“I did OK,” was Smith’s reply.

“What you shoot?” Schnathorst asked.

“Shot a 69.”

“Yeah, not too bad,” Schnathorst said.

The humble attitude of Smith is apparent after each round he plays, bad or good. It’s hard to guess how Smith shot with his consistent even-keel demeanor.

Smith’s 2-under-par 69 is just three shots off the lead for Pine to Palm medalist honors, while having more than an inside track of qualifying for the 64-man field for match play, which starts Thursday.

“I felt I played pretty well and was 2 under after nine, but shot some bogeys on the back nine,” Smith said. “But I made a 25-foot birdie putt on 18 to end the round well.”

Smith graduated from DL after making his mark on the Lakers boys golf program by playing in four state tournaments, winning a pair of Class 2A championships and finishing as state runner-up twice individually.

But his success didn’t stop with DL’s state team runner-up finish in this year’s Class 2A meet. In fact, it happened to get better.

Smith won the Junior PGA’s Boys Championship Match Play earlier this summer, after beating Ted Urch of Owatonna in the title match 1-up at Dacotah Ridge Golf Course in Morton.

He also clinched the Section Junior PGA Players’ Tour Series “A” points race, after outpacing the competition in five tournaments, two of which he won.

Smith’s trek through the 64-man field during the Junior PGA’s Match Play Championship was rugged. He played six matches in three days, with three of them going 18 holes and one 21 holes.

“That was a grind for him,” said Kris Smith, Karter’s father and owner of Ironman Golf Course in Detroit Lakes. “He was the cardiac kid in that tourney.”

Wierima is the sports editor for the Detroit Lakes Tribune