07/08/18 — 2018 WCMA: Jones, Sutton in position to defend respective division titles

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2018 WCMA: Jones, Sutton in position to defend respective division titles

By News-Argus Staff
Published in Sports on July 8, 2018 3:11 AM



Nothing seemed to bother Dane Jones during the second round of the Wayne County Men's Amateur.

He certainly doesn't mind being the 'hunted.'

"Since I gained my first title last year going into this year I know what to expect, and I know how to handle it," Jones said. "If I play like I have been playing, hopefully good things will come."

"Usually when the rain comes people get flustered and off their game. You just have to remember everybody is playing in the same conditions, I just plugged along and kept playing my game."

Jones' bid to become the first back-to-back Open Division champ since Clark Rose in 2012 and 2013 is close. He shot a 71 on Friday and added a 68 on Saturday, which gives him a nice lead heading into today's final round at Southern Wayne Country Club.

"When the rain started I knew I had to stay patient," said Jones. "I was extremely pleased with my round today."

Several other golfers are knocking at the title door.

"Being close to the lead I don't feel any pressure yet," Eric Williams said. "Maybe by tomorrow I will feel it. The layout was good, and the greens were better than I expected."

"I don't want to play unless I have a chance to win," said Jonathan Burke, a five-time Open Division champion.

Golfers are aware the Amateur can't be won on the first day, but it's easy to lose at the same time.

Lane Tree is a lush, but tough par-72 course that poses a problem on every shot. There are five holes bordered by the Little River and 15 ponds on the course. The poor weather added an extra challenge.

"Lane Tree is not that long," said Lionel Sutton, who is in position to win his third straight Senior Division title. "You don't want to be tempted into doing something crazy. You just try wedge distances in and hit good shots. Lane Tree is a great course.

"The rain yesterday really softened it up, made it play a little bit longer. Overall the course held up really well."

Jamie Martin trails Sutton.

"It was challenging today," he said. "A lot of tough holes today, because some them were directly into the wind. Lionel is one of the best players in Wayne County. He's the one we're all chasing.

"I've played a lot of golf with Lionel and day in, day out he's as consistent as anybody that we play with."

The three-day, 54-hole tournament isn't done.

Golfers have struggled with SWCC in recent years and have not been able to avoid the big numbers. But if anyone hopes to catch Jones and Sutton, they'll need to do so.

"I think it'll be shootout tomorrow," Jones said. "There's a handful guys who can post a good number at Southern Wayne."

Hopefully the Golf Gods will let the weather cooperate.