Sixth grader Justus Jones shot an 82 at districts Oct. 12 to become the first boy ever to qualify for regionals with the Seahawk boys golf team.
At the regionals last week at the Sandestin Links course, Jones, who is homeschooled, shot an 88, tying for 16th place while besting 31 others.
“The course played long and tight with the wind blowing hard to the Choctawhatchee Bay,” said coach David Walker. “Numerous holes played right on the bay or between canals and townhouses where the property line made it out of bounds. This caused many penalty strokes for any ball hit slightly offline. Some entire teams were over 100 with a worst score 155. Justus' 88 would be his worst two nine holes of the season but, still not bad!”
Jones started with consecutive pars on holes #1 and #2, but on #3 he missed a short putt for par. On #4, he got up and down out of a greenside bunker for a par, but he bogeyed #5.
One the next four-hole stretch, he had a double bogey on #6, followed by another on #7, then a bogey on #8, and finished the front nine with a triple bogey 8, for a 46.
He continued the bad play with a three-putt for double on #10, but finished off the round with admirable play and was just four-over the rest of the way., for a 42.
“His father Billy Jones and I were very proud of how he played and especially the manner he conducted himself through the rough spots,” said Walker.
At districts, freshman Tyler Rainwater scored 91, freshman Cale Barber 92, and freshman Tommy Gragg struggled in with a season-worst 114 and freshman Schuyler Donahoe at 120.
“The Southwood course was set up long and the greens were extremely difficult,” said Walker. “I am very proud of all the district competitors for hanging in there with a great attitude. All of them and their parents should be proud for the way they performed in the inaugural season. We finished the season with 19 wins in all matches and tournaments with a total of 18 defeats.
“All the boys are willing to work on conditioning in the off season when not participating in other sports,” said the coach. “Hopefully we can get them involved in junior golf events to keep competing and practicing.”