SPORTS HEADLINES

Jones ties for third at tourney; Decatur High School junior earns AJGA exemption

By Richard Greene | Published Saturday, July 19, 2014

Drew Jones continued his hot streak through the summer, posting another top-10 finish.

SEARCHING FOR BIRDIES – Decatur’s Drew Jones hits a shot from the fairway during the Bob Estes Junior Tournament in Abilene Thursday. Jones finished tied for third. Photo courtesy Tommy Metthe/Abilene Reporter-News

The Decatur junior followed up his second-place finish at the Texas-Oklahoma Junior Golf Tournament and the sixth-place showing at the Byron Nelson Junior Championship with a tie for third Thursday at the American Junior Golf Association’s Bob Estes Abilene Junior event.

Jones shot a 3-under par 172 in the rain-shortened 45-hole event. Heavy rains washed out half of Thursday’s third round. After an eight-hour delay, Jones shot a 36 on the final nine holes.

“Today was really wet. You had to be careful where you placed the ball,” Jones said. “I kept three putting and even had a four putt.”

Jones tied Fernando Lopez Butron and Carson Seals for third. Jose Cervantes of Jalisco, Mexico, won the tournament with a 9-under par 166. McClure Meissner of San Antonio was second with a 169.

The third-place finish gives Jones an exemption into any AJGA event.

“I’m happy where I finished and got the exemption,” Jones said. “In the back of my head I know I could’ve been better.”

Jones opened the tournament with a 1-under 69. In the second round, he shot a 67.

He said he drove the ball well throughout the tournament and just needed to make a few more putts.

“I played good. The putting was the only thing in my game that was struggling,” Jones said.

He added that he thought he was close to “turning on the switch” and putting together a complete round.

“I’ve still got things to work on,” Jones said.

But he was back on the course Friday for the first of three rounds at the West Texas Amateur at Wichita Falls Country Club.

“I’ve never done back-to-back tournaments. I think it’ll be easier,” Jones said. “I’ve got a lot of confidence going into the tournament.”

Jones finished tied for fifth at the University Interscholastic League Class 3A tournament in the spring. The University of Texas commitment has qualified for state twice.

He won the 9-3A district title and finished second at the Class 3A Region II tournament.

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