Warriors Athlete of Week: Golfer has stellar start to season
Whether Jack Evans is grasping a hockey stick or a golf club, he's one of the Brainerd Warriors' leading scorers.
This past hockey season, Evans led Brainerd in scoring with 35 points and helped the Warriors to the Section 8-2A semifinals.
From April 17-20, Evans enjoyed a productive first week of the boys golf season, capturing medalist honors in two meets (one was a 2-day event) and finishing third in the other. His scores ranged from 72 to 77 and he helped Brainerd win two of its first three meets.
Tuesday, Evans finished second in a Central Lakes Conference meet at Territory Golf Club in St. Cloud. After three meets, he leads all CLC golfers with a 74.3 average.
"He actually has a higher intensity than I've ever seen," Warriors coach Brian Wallace said. "He's absolutely focused on every shot and that level of concentration is coming through with his scores.
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- Sport: Golf
- Year: Junior
- Age: 17
- Height: 5-11
- Career highlight: Qualifying for 2015 Class 3A state golf tournament
- Other sports: Hockey
- Grade-point average: 3.5
- Favorite class: AP U.S. History
- Favorite food: Pizza
- Favorite movie: "Miracle On Ice"
- Favorite website: Twitter, SnapChat
- Hobbies: Playing hockey, golfing
- Favorite golfer: Jordan Spieth
- Parents: Don and Dawn Evans
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"It's been an unbelievable year for him so far. It was an amazing week. I don't know if I've ever had a golfer do that well four rounds in a row. A 77 was his highest score on a nasty, cold day, on a course where he wasn't medalist and he was third. That was an off-day for him for Pete's sake.
"He hits the ball a mile off the tee. He absolutely crushes it most of the time and has such good control with his iron shots. His iron play is just stellar right now."
Evans secured medalist honors April 21 in the Pequot Lakes Invite at Cragun's Legacy Courses with a 75-71--146. He finished Day One six shots behind the leader, Hunter Moen of West Fargo, who blistered a 3-under-par 69 on Dutch's Course.
"My short game wasn't there the first day. It was average," Evans said. "I had a stretch early on the back nine where three holes in a row hurt me. I think I went bogey, bogey, double-bogey. Two of those holes the tees were up a little bit from where I usually play them so it was a little bit different tee shot than I'm used to. I think that had something to do with (his score) but I made four birdies to help keep that round together."
On Day Two, Evans rallied to make up six strokes and finish at 2-under-par 71 on Bobby's Course to earn the individual title. Evans thought it helped him to play with Moen although it wasn't a head-to-head competition because there were other golfers he had to pass.
"I figured if I could catch him I would have as good a chance to win as possible," Evans said. "I started off strong. The first three holes are the toughest three on the front nine. I started birdie and ended up getting through those holes even-par. The last six holes were more gettable and I was able to make two more birdies to finish the nine at 2-under."
Evans began the back nine four shots behind Moen.
"On the back nine, he started to struggle a little bit more and I was able to keep it together," Evans said. "Our team was trailing Moorhead after the first day by 15 strokes. I knew if we had a chance to come back it would help to put up a low number. It wasn't just catching one kid, it also was getting a good round for our team score at the end of the day."
In the season opener April 17 during a CLC meet at Cragun's, Evans garnered medalist honors with an even-par-72 on Dutch's.
"I didn't hit the ball anything special that day," he said. "Around the greens, I was able to chip and putt better than I normally do which helped me save a lot of pars. When I had opportunities to make birdies, I capitalized on them for the most part."
Evans burst on the varsity golf scene his freshman year, qualifying for the Class 3A tournament at Bunker Hills Golf Course in Coon Rapids where he tied for 67th place. Last spring, he finished a disappointing 12th in the Section 8-3A tournament and missed the cut to advance to state after shooting 80--77-157.
The junior said that finish provided motivation this spring.
"I started the season—I'm not going to say angry—but I feel like I have something to prove that my freshman year wasn't a fluke," Evans said, "and so far it's been good. I want to be keep it going the whole season.
"Last year, I played pretty good but I had a low spot at the end of the season. Then I struggled the first day at sections. For sure, I've got something I need to take care of this year."
Evans wants not only to return to state as an individual. He would like to help the Warriors capture their first section team championship. Brainerd hopes to make that happen May 31-June 1 when it hosts the section tournament at The Preserve in Pequot Lakes.
"The course there is relatively gettable. It's not overly challenging," Evans said. "The difference there is the greens. They're hard to putt on. I know our team, for sure, will be out there as much as we can in our off time. We can only have so many team practices out there. (Teammate) Danny Olson and I both work there. We get to play there for free so we play there a lot.
"We just have to get to know the greens better than any team. That's the one thing that will dictate who goes to state this year from our section and who doesn't is how well we know the greens and how well we can putt."
Other notable efforts:
• Julia Wallace, girls golf, was medalist in a CLC Meet at Territory Golf Club.
• Jeff Spieker, boys track and field, won the 110 and 300 hurdles at the Sartell Quadrangular.
• Tanner Lundberg, boys tennis, is 7-0 at No. 1 singles.
• Lexi Roby, softball, finished 6-for-11 with two doubles, a triple, three RBIs and four runs scored in the Brainerd Invite.
• Kylie Lange, softball, finished 5-10 with two doubles, a home run, three RBIs and five runs scored in the Brainerd Invite.