PREP GOLF

Barons' Jones takes next step with Wofford

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Wilson Hall's Walker Jones took another step on his journey with the sport of golf. It's just a step though, not what he wants to be the final destination.

"My goal is to play professionally," Jones said after signing to play collegiately with Wofford College on Thursday at Nash Student Center. "And I feel like the best way to achieve that is by playing at the college level."

Jones first started playing golf when he "was 4 or 5," and he started playing with the Wilson Hall varsity when he was in the sixth grade. And he has steadily brought his scoring average down throughout his career.

As an all-region performer in the eighth grade, Jones had an 18-hole average of 79.40. He was again all-region as a freshman in 2015 on Wilson Hall's SCISA 3A state championship team with an average of 76.40.

The Barons defended their title in '16 and Jones was all-state with a 75.40 average. As a junior, Jones had an average of 74.22, sixth on the school's all-time list. WH finished third and he again made all-state.

He was selected to represent SCISA in the Southeastern Commission of Independent Schools. He finished second individually and made a birdie on a playoff hole to give SCISA the victory over Georgia, Alabama and Mississippi.

And while those numbers are outstanding, Wilson Hall athletic director and former boys golf head coach Glen Rector said that is not what really stands out with Jones.

"You don't know how hard he's worked to get to this point," Rector said. "Walker has played in 28 (weekend South Carolina Junior Golf Association) tournaments since this time last year. That doesn't include all of the time on the putting greens, the practices. He's really put in the time to achieve this."

Along with Wofford, Jones also had offers from fellow Southern Conference school Furman, Sun Belt Conference school Coastal Carolina and Big South Conference school Winthrop. Jones said there were a couple of reasons he decided to sign with the Terriers.

"I always knew Wofford was a good academic fit for me," Jones said. "I really like the coach, Alex Hamilton. it's his first year and I've always heard good things about him. Also, there are some guys on the team who have been my teammates before. It just seemed right for me."

Jones is the fifth-ranked player in the state, according to the SCJGA. Of the 28 tournaments he's played in in the last year, 15 saw Jones grab a top 10 finish. He won two of the tournaments and finished second in two others.