Former Cavs player J.R. Smith makes college golf debut

Sports

GREENSBORO, N.C. (AP/WJW) — Former Cavs guard J.R. Smith made his debut as a golfer for North Carolina A&T today.

Yet his first outing probably didn’t go as well as he’d hoped, as he shot 12-over-par 83 in Round 1 and then a 7-over 78 in Round 2.

“I was nervous, I was,” Smith told reporters. “I didn’t really know what to expect.”

The Phoenix Invitational tournament, taking place at the Alamance Country Club golf course, is running through Tuesday.

Prior to the tournament, A&T men’s golf coach Richard Watkins said Smith was good enough to contribute to the team.

“But this is what I tell people. If you want to find out how good a golfer really is, put the word tournament or money in front of the round,” Watkins said previously. “Playing when there is nothing on the line is one thing. But, put meaning to it, and the heart rate changes. The grip on the club changes, and we get to see who you really are.”

All team golfers must qualify for each tournament in practice unless he has finished first or second in the previous tournament. Smith qualified for the Phoenix Invitational by one stroke.

Smith enrolled at N.C. A&T over the summer after 16 seasons in the NBA.

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