McClintock digesting state golf title
Jack McClintock said he never felt nerves at a golf tournament like he did last week at his final high school go-round. The nerves proved of the good kind as they kept him honest and in the moment of what turned into a five-stroke win for the Class B state title.
The nerves didn’t exactly subside on the ride home, during the fire department escort into Rugby or as he remembered specific shots a week later.
“It still hadn’t set in,” said McClintock, who will continue his career at St. Cloud State in Minnesota. “I was still in shock. I was thinking of it as a normal golf tournament, but the fact that it was the state tournament didn’t set in until after.”?And McClintock’s dominating performance was not normal. He can count handfuls of individual medalist honors from his regular season career, but the big win eluded him despite playing at the top level through high school. The senior won his second Region 4 title last month, but he played in one of the strongest regions in the state and often finished second to Northern Lights rival Nick Myhre.
“You’re gonna have those setbacks and deal with all the bad play you have when you play that much golf,” he said. “It just kind of helps you realize, I’m gonna have those bad days, you’re gonna have to deal with them, and at the same time, you’re gonna have those good days and that’s what you play for.”
The two-day tournament included two of those good days. McClintock opened the tournament with an even front 9 at Rose Creek Golf Course in Fargo. He felt he was scrambling to get par early and then the back 9 sent a clear message that McClintock was the man to beat.
“Right off the bat on the back 9, on 10,11 and 12, I went birdie, birdie, eagle,” he said, “so I was 4 under from there. After those holes I just played pretty solid golf and I got another birdie on 16. I had a lot of other birdie shots on the back, but they were lipping out on the cup.”
McClintock finished the round with a 66 and held a two-stroke over Myhre heading into the final day. The stellar sequence to open the back 9 began with a 15-foot birdie putt followed by a 10-foot birdie on the short par-3 Hole 11.
On Hole 12, players played from a shorter tee on the par-5 and McClintock hit within seven feet of the cup on his second shot.
“I was just like, ‘All right, 4 under, that’s pretty good.’ I just gotta keep playing and keep steady because I don’t want to blow that lead away,” McClintock said.
McClintock and the Panthers wanted to make use of a hot tub at the hotel the first night, but RHS coach Gary Myhre (no relation) nixed the idea.
“He didn’t want us tired out,” McClintock said. “Good thing he didn’t let us go in there because it turned out pretty good.”
McClintock shot a 71 on the second day, but started round two strong and led by seven strokes with five holes left in the tournament. He finished with a two-day score of 137 and Nick Myhre finished second at 142. The pair played their final round with fellow Region 4 standout Hunter Braaten of Westhope-Newburg. Braaten finished sixth overall and third-place Willie Jahner of Dickinson Trinity rounded out the top foursome.
“That’s what we thought (could happen) going into state,” McClintock said. “Me, Nick and Hunter were talking about it’d be pretty sweet and we knew Willie had a pretty good game and could be there.”
Please Enter Your Facebook App ID. Required for FB Comments. Click here for FB Comments Settings page