Fields' Season Off to Fast Start
So far, so good in Jack Fields’ second season as a professional golfer. In fact, it’s better than good. It’s about as exciting as you can get without winning.
Fields, the Southern Pines native who spent three years playing golf for the University of North Carolina before turning professional, enjoyed a stellar amateur career, with wins at the 2011 North & South Amateur, the 2011 Carolinas Open, the 2009 Carolinas Amateur, and the 2008 North Carolina Amateur, prior to turning professional in the fall of 2011.
Although failing to advance from the second stage of the PGA Tour Qualifying School last fall, Fields has shown he has what it takes to win against quality players on strong golf courses.
The 22-year-old Fields is coming off a sound rookie year on the eGolf Tour, where he made the most of two top-10 finishes, winning the Columbia Open in May and posting a tie for second in the Cabarrus Classic in September.
Brent Witcher of Atlanta won last week’s eGolf Oldfield Open in Okatie, S.C., shooting 11-under-par 66-67-72—205 in an event shortened to 54 holes by inclement weather. But Fields finished only a stroke back, shooting 69-69-68—206 and earning $8,000.
Fields had a rocky start but a brilliant finish on Friday, posting a bogey and four pars through his first five holes to fall to 5-under-par for the week, at the time six shots off the lead.
But Fields, who has always shown an ability to catch fire during a round, found the magic after the bogey at No. 5. He proceeded to make birdies at 6 and 8 to turn at 1-under 35, 7-under overall. At the reachable par-4 12th, Fields laced a driver to the front left corner of the green, just eight feet from the hole, and made the putt for an eagle that pushed him to 3-under par on his round and 9-under for the tournament.
Pars on 13 through 17 led to a closing birdie at the 18th, which temporarily put Fields in a tie for the lead at 10-under par, forcing Witcher to birdie the final hole for the win
Fields has played well so far this year, finishing second at an NGA Tour event last month at Myrtle Beach’s Barefoot-Dye course. A couple of weeks earlier he shot a 63 en route to tie for 12th at the Citrus Open at Rio Pinar Country Club in Orlando, Fla.
The eGolf Tour is at the Club at Irish Creek in Kannapolis beginning Wednesday.
James Dockery of Southern Pines was delighted with his flight victory on the Senior Amateur Tour a few weeks ago. But he feels he should have had a lot more titles.
“Thanks for the write-up pertaining to my win at Legacy Golf Links,” he wrote. “The truth is, I’m in contention in every event. It’s the mental mistakes that I make that take away any chance of winning.
“Through 15 holes, I was 5-over-par. At the par-3 fifth hole, I hit what appeared to be a good shot underneath the back left pin position (keep in mind that the greens are super fast), and the shot landed on the green but did not stop until it was off the green and down the hill. I was unable to get it up and in and walked away with a double bogey 5.
“The next hole, the par-5 sixth, I missed a four-foot birdie attempt. The next hole, the par-4 seventh, which was our finishing hole, I hit my drive exactly where it needed to be. Had 136 yards to the back left pin position.
“From that distance, it’s an 8-iron for me. But because of the strong wind coming in, I hit my 6-iron. It was still not enough and landed short of the green. Instead of pitching it, I chose to use my putter and left it about 20 feet short of the hole. The end result; a double-bogey 6.
Again, with three holes left to play, I make two double-bogeys. Instead of a 77 or 79, it’s an 81. I really wanted to break 80. I just wanted you to know the full story about the win.”
That’s golf in a nutshell, and Dockery knows he isn’t the only one who falls victim to the cruel fates of the game.
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