VILLAGE OF PINEHURST – Word can travel fast on a golf course, especially in a competitive setting.
Sometimes, though, like fish stories, you have to wonder whether you can trust it.
For Tyler Jones, resting on his putter on the 18th green of Pinehurst No. 8, he had an idea where he stood in the championship. But he was also facing a 30-foot putt from the fringe, and from there anything could happen. In the back of his mind, though, he kept hearing what he had been told – the leader of the 40th Boys’ North & South Junior Championship was in the clubhouse at even par for the championship.
Jones was 1 under.
“I knew I just needed to 2-putt,” Jones said, who played in the final group. “But I also had to hope I had the right information.”
It was right, but there was the matter of that 2-putt to take care of. Jones settled his lag to about 3 feet.
“It wasn’t too much stress,” Jones said.
Apparently not, and after making that tester, Jones got the official word – he had won the North & South Junior with a three-day total of 1-under-par 213, good enough to clip Holden Grigg, of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, and Tianju Wu, of Howey in the Hills, Florida, by one shot.
“It just feels amazing,” said Jones, who will play his senior year at Worthington Christian High School in Westerville, Ohio, next year before playing collegiately at Marshall. “It’s hard to describe the feeling, just that it feels great to win such a great event at a place with so much history and tradition like Pinehurst. It’s humbling.”
The championship was contested on two of Pinehurst’s nine courses, with the first round on Pinehurst No. 8, the second on storied Pinehurst No. 2 and the final round on No. 8. Jones was remarkably consistent across the two courses, shooting rounds of 70-71-72.