Sedona Red Rock High School golfers Neil Smith and Seth Farmer were recognized for their performances during the 2017 season in which the team ended with a 20-5 record and a third place finish at the Arizona Interscholastic Association Division III State Championship.
Smith, a 2017 graduate, received First Team All-Section V as did Farmer, a senior-to-be who also received Second Team All-Division III.
However, neither were satisfied with their respective seasons.
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“I’m surprised I got it the way I played this year,” Smith said. “To be honest I’m not really happy with the way I played. It’s a good feeling to know I made it with that average.”
Smith, who finished tied for 28th at the state tournament with a 155 [79-76], averaged 40.31 strokes per nine holes while Farmer ended at 38.39.
Farmer tied for seventh overall at the final tournament of the year with a 142 after going out in a 1-under 69 after day one and a 1-over 73 on the final day. Day one was played on the Randolph Dell Urich course [par 70] and day two was on Randolph North [par 72] in Tucson.
According to Smith, distractions away from the golf course affected his play. Graduation kept him from practicing as much as he normally had.
Playing year round from the time he was a ninth-grader caused him to get burnt out as well, so he took a break heading into the school year. He said lack of practice caught up to him; his junior season he averaged 39.67 strokes per round.
“I definitely could have done better, there were a lot of distractions,” Smith said “I mean, I played better my junior year than I did this year.”
The future Sun Devil, who intends on studying business with a concentration in communication, had his best nine-hole round on March 7 at Oakcreek Country Club when he shot a 3-under 33.
“I had that one good round at Oakcreek where I shot three under and I went down from there,” Smith said. “I should’ve put in a little more work, but I didn’t, I was trying to just graduate ... I was more worried about graduating with honors.”
Smith said that when he did play well, it was when he focused on his round and practiced his game before each round, namely putting.
Smith began playing when he was 5 years old, learning from Gary Pearce, former head golf professional at Sedona Golf Resort. He played for about two-and-a-half years, then left the game until joining the Scorpions squad his freshman year in 2014.
Moving on from his prep career, Smith said that he will most miss his teammates. His fondest memory on the links was when we won the Wrangler Invitational in 2016.
After beginning his studies at Arizona State University, Smith may try to walk on to the golf team.
Farmer’s 2017 average was the team’s best, third best amongst all juniors in program history and the fifth-best individual average of all time. He shot an even 36 on five occasions at four different courses, including once at Sedona Golf Resort, once at Seven Canyons and twice at Verde Santa Fe Golf Course.
His round on day one of the state championship tied for the 11th-best 18-hole score in program history as well.
Despite the success on paper Farmer was still displeased with how the season went.
“Disappointed, very disappointed. Freshman year I was averaging 36.5 or right around there, and it’s just been downhill from there,” Farmer said.
Farmer began playing at 2 years old and has not stopped since, learning from his father and Micah Filice, a Scorpions assistant coach and head golf professional at Sedona Golf Resort.
Farmer said that he will play in American Junior Golf Association tournaments during the summer and in the Pepsi Tour in July. Down the line he hopes to turn professional.