Since 1998, only one golfer from the entire area has played for the Augusta State Jaguars.
That hometown boy, Vaughn Taylor, went on to become a professional on the PGA Tour. After two PGA Tour wins and a No. 36 ranking on the PGA money list, Taylor has earned the right to compete in the Masters Tournament in April.
After a signing ceremony Nov. 23 at Champions Retreat, Augusta State has a new hometown boy.
Carter Newman, a home-schooled senior from Evans, signed with Augusta State to become the first area golfer to join the Jaguars since the Vaughn Taylor era ended eight years ago.
"Somebody pointed that out to me," Newman said. "I don't know much about Vaughn, but I think it will be good to be the home boy on the team."
Although Taylor's legacy is strong at Augusta State, there's another former Jaguar whom Newman hopes to emulate.
Carter's father, Dean Newman, played and lettered on the men's Jaguar golf team from 1978-80.
"It's good to see they'll have an Augusta boy on the team again," Dean Newman said.
The signing comes after an already successful prep career that included a ninth-place finish in a Southern Junior Tournament in Orlando, Fla., last summer and a second-place finish in an American Junior Golf Association tournament.
As Newman traveled around the Southeast during the past three years, he said that deciding to keep his college career close to home wasn't easy.
"I kind of wanted to go off like most high school seniors, but this was the best program to give me an offer," Newman said.
Mercer University and Georgia Southern University also made an effort to recruit him.
In the end, Augusta State men's golf coach Josh Gregory convinced Newman to become a Jaguar.
"One of the key reasons is coach Gregory," Newman said. "He's a great guy. I feel blessed to have the opportunity to play at ASU."
He will join a Jaguar squad ranked as high as No. 26 in the NCAA Division 1 polls. Through all the team's success, only four of the 11 members of the Augusta State team are from Georgia.
"There's only been a few in my three years here that have been worthy of playing at this level," Gregory said. "Carter fit that mold."
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