The weekend rains that softened the greens made the Turtle Hill Golf Course in Muenster defenseless against Drew Jones.
With his eagle on 18 Monday, the Decatur sophomore completed a masterful round of 10-under-par 62 en route to his second straight District 9-3A title.
“I knew I was 5-under through five, and I kept trying to give myself looks for birdie,” Jones said about his career-best round. “With four holes left, the goal I set was to get 10. It’s fun to play like that.
“When it’s like this, really wet, you can get more aggressive with your approach shots.”
Jones finished with a 10-under 134 over the two-round event and won the individual title by 26 strokes over Bridgeport’s Ty Reed and Decatur’s Cade Lamirand, who tied at 160. Reed took the second-place medal on the third hole of a playoff with Lamirand.
From the opening tee, Jones attacked the course with his long drives and perfect touch around the greens. He birdied the first five holes to get to 5-under, which included a 30-foot putt on the second hole.
“The first five holes I didn’t feel like I could miss a putt,” Jones said. “Every putt I was making. I just tried to hit the green and get a good look at birdie. I knew the putter was working.”
Jones shot par on the final four holes of the front nine to reach the turn at 31.
After opening the back nine with a pair of pars, he birdied the 12th hole to get to 6-under. He made it 7-under with a birdie on the 461-yard, par-5 15th.
Jones’ lone errant shot of the day came off the tee on 16. On the 322-yard par 4, he pulled the ball into the woods 70 yards to the right of the green.
“On that tee shot, I looked up walking to the green and thought I had a better angle to the green,” Jones explained. “I saw if I drew it around the corner I may be able to run it up to the edge of the green and have a chip up for eagle. I pulled it too hard. I took a provisional and pulled that one too hard, too. Luckily I found my first.”
Then from the deep rough, Jones pulled off a near-impossible shot, hitting the green and getting the ball to come to a rest just feet off it. Two shots later he saved par.
After that save, Jones cut the hard dogleg on the par-4 17 and drove the ball onto the green and gave himself a 12-foot putt for eagle. He missed the eagle putt but made his birdie to reach 8-under with a hole to play.
Jones crushed his tee shot on the 473-yard, No. 18. After a 350-yard drive, he faced only a 120-yard approach shot. He hit the ball over the hole but it had enough backspin to scoot back to within 10 feet.
“I thought it was long. It was, but it spun back. I was trying to give myself a chance for eagle and to break 63,” Jones said.
He quickly made the putt to complete the round of 62.