By Rob Kiser
WEST MIDDLETOWN — Newton senior Brock Jamison could only laugh after making an eight on the first-hole of a playoff for medalist honors with Southeastern’s Avery Green at the D-III district golf tournament at Weatherwax Golf Course.
After all, the senior had already punched his ticket to next week’s state golf tournament on Friday and Saturday at Ohio State University’s Scarlet Course.
Jamison and Green had both carded one-over par 73s on the Meadows and Valley View nines and Green had advanced with his team to next week’s state tournament. They were simply playing to see who took home a gold medal and who received a silver one.
“It doesn’t really matter to me what color medal they give me,” Jamison said. “I already knew I was going to state, so it is (a little tough to focus on the playoff hole).”
It was the only slip-up for Jamison all day as he earned a well-deserved trip to Columbus to finish his career at the state tournament.
“I don’t know if I would say it was a dream,” Jamison said. “It was always a goal. I always hoped it would happen.”
And the third time to district proved to be the charm.
Jamison had shot 84 at district as a sophomore and 86 as a junior.
“I just felt more confident this year,” Jamison said. “I played well this year. I didn’t play well down here the last two years. I felt like I could do this.”
Just as excited as Jamison was his coach/father Randall Jamison.
“Sometimes, it is hard to balance being a coach and being a father,” Randall Jamison said afterwards. “Brock (Jamison) has worked really hard and his hard work paid off. I am probably more nervous than him. I would rather be out there playing, than watching.”
Jamison’s hard work began in the summer.
“He played in a lot of Southern Ohio (Junior PGA Tour) events,” Randall Jamison said. “That is really good for improving your game. He came down on Sunday on his own (for a practice round) and the team came down Tuesday. And it was good weather all three days. I think that was good for him — playing Sunday, Tuesday, Thursday.”
Starting on the Valley View nine, Jamison caught fire midway through his opening nine.
After birdieing the 541-yard par-5 fourth hole, he followed with another birdie at the 366-yard par-4 fifth hole.
“The birdie on four was a tap in,” Jamison said. “I was chipping for eagle. The putt on five was about 10-feet.”
Then came the pivotal point in the round for Newton’s first state qualifier since Kyler Booher.
After bogeying hte 134-yard, par-3 sixth hole, he answered with another birdie on the 396-yard par-4 seventh hole.
“That one felt great,” Jamison said. “Because, I was about 160 yards out and stuffed it (a 9-iron) to two feet.”
He finished with two parts for a two-under par 34.
“It was a little bit of both,” Jamison said about taking the pressure off and adding pressure. “I started thinking about state a little bit. I knew I still needed to play another good nine.”
At the same time, Randall Jamison was doing what he always does with Brock.
“I didn’t say anything,” he said. “I never have to say anything to Brock (Jamison) when he is out there playing.”
Things started to get interesting on the Meadows nine when he doubled bogeyed his 13th hole, a 550-yard par 5 and followed it with a bogey on a 188-yard par-3.
“I was (thinking about not making a big number),” Jamison said. “Then I had a seven and a bogey. I kind of got it back together after that.”
In the end, he knew his 39 on the back would probably be good enough.
“I was thinking as long as he kept it under 40, he would be in good shape,” Randall Jamison said.
And the playoff did nothing to change that.
It was a good day for the Newton team as well.
The Indians had the same score as third-place Seven Hills, taking fourth on the fifth-man tiebreaker.
Freshman Chet Jamison — Brock’s brother — had an 84, followed by Milan Bess 91, Wade Ferrell 93 and Drew Thiesing 106.
“For us to come down here and tie for third, that is incredible,” Randall Jamison said. “Hopefully, we can get some more kids interested in the sport at Newton.”
Russia finished sixth with a 346 total.
The Raiders scores were Zach Sherman 83, Jonah Counts 83, Connor Monnin 85, Dylan Cordonnier 95 and Jack Dapore 96.
Lehman’s Tyler Lachat was in contention to go to state after carding a 37 on the Valley View nine. Lachat came in with a 44 on Meadows for an 81. Covington’s Levi Winn shot 89 and Bradford’s Alex Swabb had a 102.
In Division II action, Miami East’s Kley Karadak had his season end after carding an 85.
For the Jamison family, a dream that started long ago will be realized next week.
“I have always played golf,” Randall Jamison said. “He (Brock) would be out in the yard when he was little with plastic clubs and balls. I think golf is an amazing game. I can’t imagine why anyone wouldn’t love the game.”
And next week, it will give the Jamison family a memory of a lifetime.
Rob Kiser is Sports Editor for the Daily Call. He can be reached at (937) 451-3334.