In May, Jonathan Parker was part of Columbus’ push at Columbus Country Club that helped the team win its second straight state title. This week, Parker returned to the course and put up similar results.
Parker posted the lowest score in the Haskins Junior Invitational, a two-day Georgia PGA Junior Tour event held in Columbus. Parker shot a 69 in the opening round Tuesday then came back Wednesday with a 72.
Parker topped Mike Leanos of Kennesaw by five strokes. Though he played well at his home course, Parker said he could have had an exceptional two rounds if not for one disastrous hole on Wednesday.
“I had the chance to have a really great tournament, specifically if I did not have a nine on the second hole,” Parker said. “I pulled my drive left against the fence, and from there my only option was to punch it out backwards. I had 116 yards from the rough on my third shot, and I caught a flier and hit it over the green in the bushes. I couldn’t take the ball as unplayable unless I went back to where I hit it originally, so I whiffed my first shot in the bushes and barely hit the next one.
“I then finally got it out of the bushes, chipped my next shot on the green and two putted.”
Columbus High School’s golfers’ expertise of playing their home course showed. Rudy Pearson finished six strokes behind Parker for third place among all the boys. John Calhoun placed fourth with a two-day 148.
Parker said his high school teammates’ familiarity with the course made the tournament a much easier challenge.
“It makes a big difference, especially when putting on the greens,” Parker said. “You almost know the line of the putt before you even read it.”
Those three Blue Devils were just a few of several local golfers. In all, 10 male and two female participants in the field listed Columbus as their hometown.
Rising Brookstone freshman Bo Blanchard took sixth with a 9-over-par 153, while fellow Brookstone Cougar William Sluder tied for ninth. Sackett Carr, the younger brother of Columbus’ Ben Carr, shot 10-over and tied for 12th with four other golfers, including Blue Devil John Runyon.
Brookstone rising freshman Carson Marchetti took 18th, while another Cougar — Charles Waldrep — took 24th. Glenwood’s Mason McLaney finished 27th, while Northside’s Josh Braaten claimed 29th.
Among the four girls in the field, three were from the Columbus area. McClain Ward took second shot 16-over-par, Madeleine Krueger carded a 24-over for third and Boyd Bickerstaff ended at 28-over to finish fourth.
Top 5 Boys
1. Jonathan Parker (Columbus) 141; 2. Mike Leanos (Kennesaw) 146; 3. Rudy Pearson (Columbus) 147; 4. John Calhoun (Columbus) 148; 5. Marcus Reynolds (Milledgeville) 150
Girls Complete Results
1. Katherine Densmore (Fairmount) 173; 2. McClain Ward (Columbus) 175; 3. Madeleine Krueger (Columbus) 184; 4. Boyd Bickerstaff (Columbus) 194
Jordan D. Hill: 770-894-9818, @lesports