The words “dangerous feeling” were used by assistant coach Justin Smith to describe Gophers junior Peter Jones’ attitude.
Jones added another top-10 to his resume this year at the Alister MacKenzie Invitational at Meadow Club in Fairfax, California, which was his second top-10 finish in as many tournaments. Jones shot seven under, which was eight shots off the lead and five off of the top five. The Gophers finished 11th as a team in a field that had five teams in the Golfweek’s top 50.
“[Jones] has that kind of it factor right now and when he tees it up he knows he is going to play well,” Smith said. “He knows if he plays well he has a chance to win and that is a dangerous feeling.”
After Jones, Angus Flanagan shot three over for the tournament and senior Runar Arnorsson shooting five over. Riley Johnson rounded out the Gophers squad with a nine-over finish. University of California-Berkeley won the event shooting 41-under par. Cal's K.K. Limbhaust finished at 15-under to capture the title.
“It wasn’t the best week on the greens, but guys put themselves in positions to score well,” Smith said. “They played their hearts out and ball striking, they were solid and that’s all we can ask.
Jones said it has been the putter that has been the Achilles heel to him in the past, but he has a new confidence in that part of his game and his overall game. He credits his mentality heading into tournaments along with better putting that has helped propel him into new heights.
“I think in the past ... I would go into tournaments knowing there is a lot of good players in the field and not setting the bar very hard,” Jones said. “Now it has been like who is going to stop me from shooting low and going into tournaments thinking I can win and should win and walking with that swagger.”
Gophers freshman Evan Long qualified to travel and play in this tournament last week after beating everyone in qualifying by eight strokes. He finished third amongst Gophers in his first action as a part of the team of five.
“He doesn’t play like a freshman, he plays like a senior out there and it is a testament to what his scores are like because he is a very consistent player,” Smith said. “He is someone that will play a lot for us in the future.”