Rick StiebelThe Chronicle
Although Dallas Jones didn’t start to take golf seriously until he was 15, his collegiate season is off to a seriously good start.
The Vancouver Island University student took the overall title at the first PACWEST tournament of the season, shooting a 68 and 71 for a one stroke win at the Ledgeview golf course in Abbotsford on Sept. 11. The 21-year-old Ladysmith resident was the only player to finish under par at the 36-hole event.
Kevin Oates, head golf coach at Vancouver Island University for the past 14 years, said Jones’ victory in the opening tournament was “unexpected and expected.”
“Any time you see a freshman win it’s unexpected,” Oates explained. “But we knew Dallas was capable of doing that so it was expected, and we’re super happy for him.”
“His on-course demeanor is that of a senior,” he continued. “He’s very stable, plays it one shot at a time.”
The fact Jones led the tournament in birdies and shots to the green is impressive as well, Oates added.
“Those are major components of his game and signs of a bright future,” he said. “From a golfing standpoint, Dallas seems mature beyond his years. We’re really pleased to see how he has fit in so well with the rest of the team. The guys have meshed really well with him and vice versa.”
Jones grew up playing baseball and hockey, and only started playing golf in a junior program when he was 11.
“I left it for a few years but took it up again when I was 15 and started playing with some friends,” said Jones, who is taking electrician classes at VIU. “I knew VIU had a good golf team, so I tried out and made it at 19. Being around the team really motivates me. Everyone wants to improve their game, and we all work together.”
Jones has qualified for the Canadian Amateur Championship the past two years, but was disappointed with his play this past weekend at Westwood Plateau in Coquitlam, where he shot a 72 and 73.
“I hit the ball well enough to be under par both days but made some sloppy mistakes,” he admitted. “I hope to do better next time.”
He’ll get that opportunity this weekend in another tournament on the Mainland against Douglas College.
Jones has been a big Tiger Woods fan for many years because of his competitive nature and the way he dominated the sport for so long.
He plans to pursue golf and see how far it will take him.
“A friend of mine is playing on a European mini-tour,” he explained. “It would be pretty cool to give that a shot when I finish school.”
Jones credits his parents for their encouragement throughout the years for all the sports he’s played.
“My dad loves golf,” he said. “I’ve been beating him consistently for a few years, but he enjoys the competition and takes it in stride. He’s always been super supportive.”