J.B. Williams really could not have asked for a better start to his golf season.
The Danville junior started the season with a third-place finish at the Ashland/Russell Invitational at Bellefonte Country Club. Then Williams had perhaps het best match ever by shooting a 68 and winning the Tates Creek Invitational late last month.
“I’ve started out the season good at Bellefonte (with an even par 72). I’ve built on the confidence from a couple of weeks ago at Tates Creek,” Williams said. “It was great, the way I closed. I closed with four birdies in a row to win by four. It’s going to help me out with the rest of the season.”
And he hopes that means improving on the 82 he shot the first day of the state tournament last year when he missed the cut.
“It was definitely eye-opening. Once I got there, I didn’t play as I had hoped. I parred the first hole and got an eight on the second hole and I rushed the whole day and wasn’t myself out there,” he said. “I definitely have improved all aspects of my game this year after going to state. I have a different approach. My game’s really done a 180-degree turn from this point last year.”
Williams played on the Musselman-Dunne Junior Golf Tour and played in USGA¿qualifiers and a Kentucky Open qualifier this summer. All of which, he said, made him get better.
“I racked up a couple of (junior golf) wins, which is helpful. And just playing against competition like that really helps,” he said.
Williams shot a 4-over par 41 Thursday in Danville’s 166-175 win over Boyle County at Danville Country Club. But even that score, he said, was a good learning experience.
“This is really the first match I’ve played this poorly, but it is going to serve as a little awakening that it’s not always going to go well,” he said.
It was a wet, cold and sloppy day on the same course the Region 4 Tournament will be played later this month. The course could be in the same shape it was Thursday, so Williams said learning to play on the course in that condition helps.
“Sure it does.¿We even had practice yesterday in the spitting rain to be prepared for anything because you enver know,”¿he said.
Now Williams is just ready for another trip to state, and he hopes he can take his teammates with him this time.
“I’m just going to keep playing the way I have and keep carrying the confidence from that Tates Creek win into the region. We have big goals as a team,” he said.
Andrew McKinney shot a 1-over par 37 to lead all scorers in the Admirals’ win.
“I had a triple bogey on my last hole. I was 2-under going into the last hole and four-putted,”¿McKinney said. “But I played well through eight holes.”
Boyle was led by Dakota Jarman’s 39, while Ben Banks had a 43.
At Danville C.C.
Danville 166, Boyle County 179
DANVILLE — Andrew McKinney 37, J.B. Williams 41, Spencer McKinney 43, Jonathan Beto 45, Jared Southerland 51, Nick Serey 51.
BOYLE¿— Dakota Jarman 39, Ben Banks 43, Ben Kendrick 45, Tim Pianovski 48, Zak Pruitt 63, Nick Banks 47.