Despite final found delay, Tiger senior stayed focused
BY DAVE PEDERSEN
SUN PRESS NEWSPAPERS
The weather at last week’s state golf tournament was representative of how the season has gone for Delano’s Jordan Peters, as was his play in winning the State Class AA title last week.
Making his third trip to state, Peters shot a 27-hole score of four under par 104. In the first round of 18 holes, the senior shot a three under par 69 to be on top of the leader board. Peters recorded a one under-par 35 over a final nine holes following a long rain delay.
“The weather was really crazy all year with meets canceled or delayed,” said Peters. “Playing spring golf in Minnesota is something you learn to deal with and get used to. It got a bit crazy at state when waiting seven hours to tee off the second day.”
Despite the late start to spring and playing in wet, cold conditions, Peters has been in control all season. He won several tournaments including the Wright County Conference and section meets.
“Last year I was second after the first day at state and finished fourth,” recalls Peters, noting how he typically struggles a little more on the front nine the second day at state. “This year I could sleep as the leader entering the second day. I also have played on the course a couple other times, which helped me to be more comfortable and less nervous.”
Peters started strong the first day, sinking three birdie putts on the first three holes. He had six birdies and three bogies on day one and one birdie and eight pars on day two, which was cut to nine holes after the delay.
“Once I am confident over the ball and am hitting my lines, it has a snow ball effect,” said Peters about two of the early tourney birdies recorded on putts of 20 and 25 yards out. “Hitting those birdies early gave me a good boost. It helps to have a little confidence.”
The Tiger senior said he always works on his short game, spending hours on the practice greens.
“I definitely tribute most of my success to the putter, it is how you win tournament,” adds Peters. “You can’t discredit your driver, but it comes down to the flat stick.”
Coach Jon Moen said Peters is an outstanding putter and he is able to remain calm and be focused.
“The weather day proved to be very challenging mentally,” said Moen. “But after getting back on the course Jordan settled in and played very confidently, making some very good shots and putts throughout the round.”
During the long wait to get the final nine holes started, Peters had breakfast and lunch at the golf club house. He laid his head down to get some rest, looked at the weather radar and watched the rain come down in sheets.
The main result of the wet conditions are embedded balls on the fairway and getting mud on the ball, which does not roll well on the fairways.
“It is hard to stay in the moment after the seven-hour delay,” adds Peters. “I tried to refocus and get back into my routine, making it feel like I just got there. I like to practice putting just prior to tee-time to get a better feel of the greens at the time.”
Peters used to play baseball until after sixth grade when he switched to focus on golf. His dad would bring him to the golf course when he was 10, plus he enjoyed the driving range. Peters would practice every day in the summer.
In recent years Peters played in several summer tournaments, including at big time stages against top players in his age group. When he got to high school he did not feel as nervous in pressure situations.
One highlight was qualifying for the American Junior Golf Association national tournament in Missouri last summer, placing 15th in a field of 80 that included players from around the world.
Peters entered golf tournaments on his way with his dad Sid to visit some colleges. Last fall he settled on attending Division 1 Southern Illinois in Evansville. The only D-1 program in Minnesota is the U of M. He signed a letter of intent early to take himself off the market so he would not have to worry about where to go for college and could play up to his full ability.
Over the winter Peters worked on getting a lot stronger, increasing the distance on his drives by 15-20 yards. It also provided more enduring physical fitness needed for college when playing 26 holes in two days.
“Winning a state title makes me feel that my aspirations to play golf for a Division 1 school were correct,” adds Peters. “Now I feel I can go and have an impact on my team.”
This summer Peters will play in several tournaments to qualify for bigger events such as the US and Minnesota Amateur Opens. He also was selected to play in the Minnesota-Wisconsin challenge, featuring the top high school golfers from the two states.