Tyler Jones (WC ’19) rallies from slow start to tie for first in the U.S. Amateur Qualifier at Ohio State
By Paul Batterson, Contributing Writer
As a golfer, Worthington Christian graduate Tyler Jones (WC ’19) must be pretty good at fractions and probability. After double bogeying the fourth hole of the two-round U.S. Amateur Qualifier at Ohio State’s Scarlet Course, Jones found himself two strokes over par and facing a tough road ahead of him.
Rather than panic, Jones did the math.
“I realized that I’ve just played four holes. I still have 32 left,” Jones said. “That’s plenty of time to turn things around. I just need to make some birdies to get back into it.”
Jones shot a two-under 69 in the first round and an even-par 71 to tie Belgium’s Giovanni Tadiotto for first overall with 140. The finish qualified the Marshall University freshman for the 119thannual U.S. Amateur tournament held this week, August 12-18.
In his march back, Jones hit five birdies in the first round and added two more in the second to become the first Marshall player to qualify for the U.S. Amateurs since 2015.
Pressure moments have never seemed to bother Jones. At the Division III state championship tournament at NorthStar last fall, Jones was down three strokes after the first round but shot a 70 in the second round to finish first with a 145. Brookfield’s Conner Stevens (147) and The Wellington School’s Aidan Schumer (149) were second and third respectively.
Last summer, Jones sank a crucial putt on the 18thhole to win the 40thannual Boys’ North & South Junior Championship at Pinehurst Resort in North Carolina.
“Slow starts don’t really bother me,” Jones said. “It happens a lot when you play. You get used to it and bounce back from it. I try not to let it affect me.”
Sometimes course familiarity can help a golfer. For example, Jones helped lead the Warriors to a state title in 2017 on Ohio State’s Scarlet course. Jones shot a 152 to tie for fifth and earned all-state honors as Worthington Christian finished with a 623 to place first.
“Scarlet is a pretty tough course. If you’re off your game, it will punish you a lot,” Jones said. “I was able to take advantage of some things. If you put your balls in play and take advantage of it, you get some birdies.”
Jones returns to Pinehurst this week, August 12-17 for the U.S. Amateur tournament. Jones will play on the No. 2 course, which he shot a 70 on last year, and on the No. 4, which he didn’t play on during the Boys’ North & South Junior Championship.