Camden Smith of Ponte Vedra battles to the end before finishing second in Western Junior Amateur

Brock Blais of Ponte Vedra Beach tied for 23rd in the 104 Western Junior Championship.  He was one of four area players to compete in the nation's oldest junior championship.

A Ponte Vedra Beach invasion of the 104th Western Junior Championship almost resulted in the championship trophy coming to the First Coast.

Camden Smith, a recent transfer to Ponte Vedra High School, shot 66 in the final round on Thursday at the Naperville (Ill.) Country Club to force a playoff with Eduardo Derbez Torres of Monterrey, Mexico. But Torres got up-and-down for birdie at the par-5 18th, the first hole of sudden death, and defeated Smith after a 36-hole final day.

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Both players finished at 8-under-par 280.

Smith, who will transfer to Ponte Vedra High from Orlando Circle Christian, began the final round eight shots behind Torres, who was cruising at 10-under through 54 holes, with a four-shot lead over William Love of Atlanta. Starting his round nearly two hours before Torres, Smith birdied four of his first eight holes, then added three more at Nos. 12, 14 and 16.

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