E.A. Sports Today

Travis remains on a roll

Dustin Travis (L) points out his winning score after Tour director Marcus Harrell posted it Monday. In the main photo, Harrell is flanked by winners (from left) Coleman Hayes, Travis, Raegan Thompson and Tucker Pearson.

Dustin Travis (L) points out his winning score after Tour director Marcus Harrell posted it Monday. In the main photo, Harrell is flanked by winners (from left) Coleman Hayes, Travis, Raegan Thompson and Tucker Pearson.

By Al Muskewitz
East Alabama Sports Today

OXFORD — They didn’t give out a Player of the Year Award on the Future Champions Junior Golf Tour this year, but if they had, it clearly would have gone to Dustin Travis.

The rising White Plains senior has had the most consistent summer of his career this year – and it’s still not over.

On Monday, he won for the fourth time in six starts on this year’s tour, shooting a 1-over-par 73 at the season-ending event at Cider Ridge Golf Club. He also has won at Silver Lakes, Anniston Country Club and Oxmoor Valley.

“Compared to last year I’ve improved a lot,” Travis said. “I had a round under par and didn’t have any above 75. It’s gotten a lot more consistent compared to last summer.”

And with that consistency comes confidence, which is a good thing with two more tournaments coming up over the next 10 days, including the State Junior at Gadsden Country Club.

His best round on the Future Champions Tour this year was the 67 he fired last week at Silver Lakes. He birdied the last two holes on his front nine and then played the Backbreaker nine in 4-under. He finished second in the event Pine Hill by a shot, barely missing an eagle putt on his last hole that would’ve forced a playoff, and placed third in an AJGO tournament in Selma.

“The main thing about Dustin is consistency,” Tour director and White Plains golf coach Marcus Harrell said. “We’ve had several kids shoot good numbers at a few tournaments, but he’s shot good numbers in every tournament.

“Part of the reason is he’s been playing a lot more tournaments. The pressure doesn’t get to him as much as it used to. He’s always been a good player, but now he’s a good consistent player.”

The tour crowned winners in four other divisions in addition to Travis Monday. Coleman Hayes won the second flight (97). Tucker Pearson won the third flight (90). Raegan Thompson, just back from a mission trip to Nicaragua, won the girls division (87). Baylie Webb won in 10-and-under (46).

Approximately 50 juniors participated in the program this summer – the Tour’s second year of operation — with each of the seven events drawing about 35 players.

With Harrell also in charge of the White Plains golf program one would expect his players to be heavily involved – and they are – but the Tour also drew players from Alexandria, Pleasant Valley, Oxford and Jacksonville.

“We’ve had a lot more younger kids this year, which I think is great,” he said. “Not only is it going to help the Tour, but it’s going to help the county in years to come.

“Our goal is to make golf in the county a lot better for juniors and for high school players. I think within a year or two it’s going to be really, really good.”

Next year, he said, the plan is to bring back a player points system to put more emphasis on playing every tournament and being more consistent in them.

Al Muskewitz is Content Editor/Senior Writer of East Alabama Sports Today. He can be reached at musky@wrightmediacorp.com and followed on Twitter @easportstoday1.



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