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2A-10 boys golf: Freedom's Jones wins title

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Tue. October 18, 2011 | Joey Knight | Email

2A-10 boys golf: Freedom's Jones wins title

RIVERVIEW -- The closer Tuesday's gluttony of gray skies drew toward Riverview, the more confident Jimmy Jones grew of his Class 2A, District 10 title chances.

"I wanted to play today because I heard a couple of guys in the clubhouse before the round complaining about the weather and how bad it was," the Freedom sophomore said, moments after turning in a soggy scorecard revealing an even-par 71 at Summerfield Crossings.

"When you hear people complaining, they're not thinking about their next shot, they're thinking about how bad the rain is and how wet their grips are. I was just thinking about mechanics and stuff like that. Staying positive."

That mental rigidity, on a day of whirling gusts and steady -- if not severe -- rainfall, helped Jones prevail by three strokes over Newsome freshman Tyler Bakich.

Newsome, which fell to Wharton by a stroke at last year's tournament, sloshed its way to redemption with an eight-stroke win for the team title. The top three teams, and top three individuals not on those teams, qualified for Monday's Region 5 tournament in Tarpon Springs.

For Jones, son of 25-year LPGA veteran Dawn Coe-Jones, the triumph continued an improbable golf evolution. A lifelong hockey player who led his Ellenton-based age-group team to a national title in 2008, he took up golf seriously only a year and a half ago.

On Tuesday, he was even at the turn, when the rains commenced. Still, he stayed even until the par-4 14th, when the wind grew so strong it rerouted his club on his follow through, resulting in bogey. He atoned on the 381-yard par-4 16th, hitting a wedge to within 4 feet of the cup.

"I think I got more focused (when the rain arrived), and the putting definitely (improved)," Jones said. "I think I had four less putts on the back than I did on the front."

Newsome, region runnerup last season, put three players in the top 10, including juniors Brian Allen (75) and Colin Julian (77). Steinbrenner finished third despite a miserable round from senior No. 1 player Trevor Joseph (80). Nik Kalolo's 77 led the Warriors.

Reigning district and region champ Wharton finished fifth, but 2010 district runnerup Jorge Junquera shot 76 to qualify for the region tournament as an individual.

"I was 1 under through 12 and later it started pouring, so all my clubs got wet and I tried my best not to screw up," said Junquera, a native of Madrid. "I tried to finish strong but I didn't have my best back nine."

Class 2A, District 10
(at Riverview)

Top 3 boys teams
Newsome (307): Tyler Bakich 74, Brian Allen 75, Colin Julian 77, John Coultas 81
Freedom (315): Jimmy Jones 71, Matt Eisner, 81, Chandler Howe 84, Corey Gassaway 87
Steinbrenner (319): Nik Kalolo 77, Trevor Joseph 80, Patrick Reed 81, Kevin Merrell 81

Region-qualifying individuals
Jorge Junquera, Wharton 76; Chase Levesque, Durant 76; Tyler Miller, Bloomingdale 77

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