Martin wins Kentucky Jr. Amateur Championship

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By Paul Gable

Every now and then, Jeremy Martin finds a way of surprising himself on the golf course.

As a sophomore member of the Grant County High School boys' golf team, Martin finished third at the 9th Region Tournament. He followed that performance up with a runner-up spot as a junior and this past season, Martin broke through and won the title, firing a one-over 72 and becoming the first Grant County High School regional medalist since 1995.

Recently, Martin, who devoted his spring to being the high school baseball team's catcher, shook off the rust and captured the 16-18 year-old division Northern Kentucky Junior Amateur championship at Hickory Sticks Golf Course.

"It feels really good. I havent played well in that tournament the last two or three years, and I didn't play my best again this year, but I won," Martin said.

Martin, who has already signed a National Letter of Intent to play at Northern Kentucky University, had to come from behind to earn the victory, firing back-to-back rounds of 73, and besting first-round leader Kyrk Davis in a playoff. Sean Burke, who is also headed to Northern Kentucky University, finished third, while defending Northern Kentucky Junior Amateur champ Steve Rickels placed fourth and two-time defending Northern Kentucky 7-Up Junior Golf Tour champion Sean O'Daniel and Andrew Desmarais finished fifth.

"I didn't play but two or three times during baseball season. I surprised myself because I didn't have a lot of practice time, and I exceeded my expectations," Martin said of the tournament.

Martin said one reason for the success in this year's tournament is because he has grown as a player.

"My mental game was there. I have grown up a lot, and I was able to stay even keeled and not worry about bad shots. This win gives me a lot of confidence, and it shows me that I belong and can play with those guys," Martin said.

With the tournament behind him, Martin will play a few other tournaments while turning his attention to college golf at NKU.

"My dream was to play college golf, and now I'll be doing it," said Martin, who also drew attention from Transylvania College and the University of the Cumberlands.