Jones rallies for second Junior crown

Published 12:00 am Friday, August 3, 2001

One year ago, Lee Jones made history by becoming the youngest Natchez Junior Golf Champion at the age of 13. On Friday, he made history again.

Jones made up for an inconsistent first round on Thursday in which he shot an 82 with a two-over-par 73 on Friday for a two-day score of 155 to win the Natchez Junior Golf Championships for the second year in a row at the Duncan Park Golf Course.

Jones, playing in the 15-18 age group despite being 14-years-old, became only the second player to repeat as champion. Chandler Russ won the championship in 1986 and 1987.

&uot;It’s nice,&uot; said Jones about winning his second straight title.

He also said winning this year’s title was tougher than it was last year for one reason: &uot;I wasn’t leading after the first day.&uot;

Jones had four birdies during his round on Friday.

&uot;Chipping and putting was the difference,&uot; he said. &uot;I made a lot more putts today.&uot;

Danny Barlow, the first-round leader with an 81, had an 83 on Friday to finish at 164 and nine shots behind Jones.

&uot;It was bad,&uot; said Barlow of his final-round play. &uot;I couldn’t hit my irons. I wasn’t putting well either.&uot;

When asked whether Jones’s tournament experience was a big factor in the final round, Barlow said, &uot;It wasn’t that big of a factor. We were both hoping to play well today. He played well today and I didn’t.&uot;

Akeem West shot a final-round 83 to finish at 187 for third place.

In the boys 12-14 age group, Jon Davis King had a 48 on the back nine to finish with an 89 and a three-shot win over Jake Kaiser, who shot a back-nine 47 to finish at 92. This was the second year in a row that King, 13, won the 12-14 age group. He also won the 11-and-under age group in 1999.

About his play on the back nine, King said, &uot;It started off pretty good. It got a little shaky later on, but I held my temper.&uot;

In the boys 11-and-under age group, which was played in seven holes each day, 11-year-old Geoffrey Martin had a 54 on Friday to finish at 109, 30 shots better than William Wilson.

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&uot;I had some good holes and some bad holes,&uot; Martin said. &uot;I had fun. I’m happy.&uot;