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“A shot in the arm,” is what David Glenz called it. He is Smith’s coach and was his caddie that day. “The self-belief this kid has is infectious. I finally saw what I knew was in him. …

“I’ll be honest. I almost expected more sooner, because he has plenty of talent. But considering Jesse’s background, maybe that’s where the lack of experience comes in. Winning at any level has a memory to it. We’ll see if this sticks,” he said.

It might be too much to expect a guy with such a thin resume to make it into the weekend. If so, the small gallery that accompanied Smith around Wednesday _ Glenz was back on the bag, and a handful of Guy Smith’s old UNH hockey pals were escorting Lynn Smith from hole to hole _ was determined to wring as much satisfaction as possible from every moment.

On one of the tees, a reporter pulled Smith over to one side and asked him whether there were any questions he’d missed. Smith thought about it for a moment, asked this question and then answered it without waiting for a reply:

“Am I half crazy?” he laughed. “I think everybody that does this for a living has to be at least half crazy.

“But what keeps me coming back is that the game is a lot like life. Everybody is faced with adversity, in different ways and different times, but what you end up with,” he said finally, “is usually a good reflection of how you dealt with it.”

Down the fairway, Lynn Smith watched her son settle over an approach shot and smiled one more time.

“See the logo?” she said, pointing to her son’s cap. “That’s a dream catcher.

“He’s already won,” she said, “just by being here.”


Jim Litke is a national sports columnist for The Associated Press. Write to him at jlitke(at) and follow him at