A season has come and gone for the Oakdale High golf team, but Mustang senior Ryan Jones won’t soon forget it.
Jones qualified for Monday’s NorCal Championships at the Butte Creek Golf Course by claiming the fifth best score of any golfer at the Sac-Joaquin Section Masters Championships on May 14.
At NorCals, Jones ended 13th among 22 SJS qualifiers and 37th among a field of 95 of the best golfers in the state.
His 77 stroke finish was just five swings shy of a playoff for the ninth and final advancement to the state meet. He birdied his last hole.
“My goal from the start was to make it to NorCals and I did that,” Jones said Monday during his trip home from the Chico course. “It was a sort of reach-out goal that I didn’t really expect to get.
“I’m glad I was able to finish high school in a way that I will never forget.”
Jones was coincidently featured on the cover of the SJS handbook for Masters and divisional formats. He exploded onto the Masters scene with six birdies for a tremendous 70-stroke round that sealed his trip to the next level of the postseason.
A week later he carded three birdies at NorCals, but failed to make a cut that ultimately included SJS champion, Granite Bay, which finished third as a team. The SJS was responsible for five of the nine individual advancements, including Armijo’s Aaron Beverly, who tied Jones with a 70 at Masters and won a three-way playoff to claim a NorCal title with 68 strokes.
Jones was able to deliver a solid individual effort at NorCals, one last punctuation on a terrific Oakdale golf season that garnered sole rights to the Valley Oak League title and a Division IV banner.
“We were proud of Jonesy,” Oakdale assistant golf coach Tim Meyer said on Monday. “He did a great job and fought all the way to the end.
“We are proud of all our kids. They did very well all year and Jonesy carried it on to NorCals for a once-in-a-lifetime experience.”