Vail Valley golfer wins Junior Golf Alliance of Colorado Tournament
EAGLE — Is it golf season yet?
Of course, it is, but it isn’t. Eagle’s Barrett Jones has been lighting it up on the links this summer as he works toward his senior high school season of golf with Eagle Valley High School next month.
Jones’ latest coup was winning Junior Golf Alliance of Colorado Tournament earlier this week at Gypsum Creek and Eagle Ranch. He shot a 3-under 69 at the Pete Dye design, followed by a slick 71 at Arnold Palmer’s layout. He’s also qualified for Colorado Golf Association Amateur Championship at Sonnenalp next month.
Grinding out pars (and birdies)
Jones started with a birdie on his opening hole, the par-5 seventh, on Monday at Gypsum Creek. A 65-yard hole out on the par-5 13th for eagle never hurts anyone.
The Eagle Valley senior gave back a stroke on No. 2 when he couldn’t get up and down in regulation.
“I kept thinking I wanted to get to 3-under,” Jones said.
While his general strategy was to grind out pars, and let the rest of the field falter, a strategy that worked since he took a four-stroke lead into Tuesday’s round at Eagle Ranch, grinding out pars can lead to birdie opportunities.
On his final hole, the par-4 sixth, he ripped a 160-yard, 9-iron from the fairway to within a few feet of the cup and finished with a tweeter.
Playing from the gold tees in the final group of the day at Eagle Ranch on Tuesday, Jones kept grinding out pars, no small feat given a 7,151-yard loop with a slope rating of 135. Jones’ 71 expanded his margin of victory to seven strokes over Micah Stangebye, of Montrose.
Monday’s and Tuesday’s tournament was one of many in which Jones has been competing this summer. He took fourth at the CGA Western Chapter Championship down at Tiara Rado earlier this month to qualify for the Colorado Amateur, where he’ll be playing against college-level players and higher.
“I believe I can compete with them,” Jones said. “My goal is to make the cut.”
And then there is the high school season. As a junior, he finished tied for seventh at the 4A state tournament, the highest finish by any golfer from any of Eagle County’s four high schools.
With another year under his belt, Jones believes the sky’s the limit.
“I believe I’m one of the better golfers in the Western Slope,” he said. “My goal for the regular season is to shoot some low scores. Hopefully, I’ll win most of them. State is a big goal of mine. It’s my senior year, and I hope to do well in that as well.”
Sports Editor Chris Freud can be reached at 970-748-2934, email@example.com and @cfreud.
Rita’s two closest peers have climbed the 8,850-meter (29,035-foot) peak 21 times each, but both of them have retired from mountain climbing.