Jones Scrambles To Section 10 Golf Championship
BY DAVE SHEA
There are many ways to win a golf championship and Canton Central freshman Ryan Jones used a series of them to capture the 2021 Section 10 Individual Championship on Saturday in a roller coaster ride at the Potsdam Town and Country Club.
He opened a four-stroke with birdies on the ninth and 10th holes but eventually needed to rely his composure, his short game and scrambling ability to gain up and downs from the fringe to gain a one-stroke win over Gouverneur senior Dylan Farr.
Jones finished at 160 with an 82 on Saturday following a 78 he posted on Friday leading Canton to the team title by a one stroke margin over Massena. Farr shot Sunday's best round at 78 following an 83 on Friday.
"I was really proud of how Ryan showed so much composure today when he wasn't having a great day. He just had to grind and he did that," said Jones' dad and Madrid-Waddington Golf Coach Aaron Jones.
"But it was nerve-wracking. It is much tougher to be a father of golfer than it is to play or coach the game."
Jones entered Saturday's second round with a two-stroke lead over Salmon River sophomore Evan Collette and a three-stroke margin over Massena freshman Colin Patterson in what was most likely the youngest final group in the history of the championship.
Collette and Patterson struggled to front nines of 51 and 50 while Gouverneur's Dylan Farr, playing in the second from last group, closed the gap on the lead from five to two strokes with a 38 on the front nine. Jones used exquisite wedge shots to set up birdie fours on the ninth and 10th holes to regain a four-stroke lead.
Both Jones and Farr had to navigate their way through trouble on back nine starting on 12 where Jones took a triple bogey seven and Farr took a double bogey. Jones restored a four-stroke lead with a par on the 16th hole while Farr three putted for a double bogey. But drama and tension returned over the final two holes.
Farr parred the 17th hole while Jones needed a clutch putt for a bogey after finding a hazard with his drive. Farr then rolled in a birdie putt on the 18th hole where Jones needed to manipulate a punch-out to the fringe of the green after his drive settled behind a tree to set up a tap-in bogey to clinch the title.
"It turned into a tough day for me off the tee. My three-wood carried me along with my chipping and putting. But I won, we (Canton) won the team title and three of us made the top nine. I really didn't know a lot about what Dylan Farr was doing. After I got that triple bogey on 12 and I just concentrated on trying to par out" said Jones.
"I got to play with Colin Patterson in the final group. We are friends and this was the first time we had ever played together. He struggled on the front but it was nice to see him bounce back on the back nine."
Jones will begin his junior golf season on Saturday in Raddison, N.Y. playing in a qualifier for the Optimist International Junior Golf Tournament in the Doral Resort in Miami, Fla. Two summers ago Jones qualified for the finals and he and his dad, Aaron Jones, won the Father-Sun Tournament. The tournament was not held last summer.
There will be no New York State High School Championship this season because of the COVID-19 pandemic but Section 10 honored the top nine finishers at Saturday's tournament who would have moved on to the states in a normal year. The top nine received tee-shirts provided by Morley's American Grill in Massena and QT Laser Design of Ogdensburg.
Joining Jones and Farr in top nine were: Jace Dutch (Norwood-Norfolk) 87-83-170,
Sam Sieminski (Canton) 86-85-171, Ethan Bouchard (OFA) 89-84-173, John O'Neill (Canton) 89-84-173, Colin Patterson (Mass) 81-94-175, Nick McRoberts (OFA) 86-90-176 and
Evan Collette (Salmon River) 80-97-177. See photo below.
"I really felt good that I was able to finish at par-birdie and make it close," said Farr who plans to play collegiate golf at Clarkson University in the fall.
Other Second Day Qualifiers at the sectional tournament were: Raine Rumble (G) 88-91-179, Billy LaPierre (C-P) 85-96-181, Tim McLellan (OFA) 92-89-191, Matt Daniels (C-F) 91-92-183, Dawson Miletech (Mal) 95-96-181, Adam MacKenzie (Mass) 92-100-192, Christos Theodore (Pot) 102-90-192, Jack Mills (OFA) 98-95-193, Jack Monette (Mal) 93-101-194, Kevin Perry (Mass) 93-103-196, Carter Johnson (SR) 94-102-196, Cayden Cady (Can) 98-99-197, Shea Scully (Mass) 98-99-197, Drew Harmer (M-W) 102-95-197, Ryley Ashley (N-N) 102-105-207, Evan Miller (Mal) 101-109-210, Gavin Cook-Avery (SR) 97-117-214.