By Dave Wagner
All it took was a phone call to extend the college career of former Clovis High golf standout Jimmy Jameson.
During his two years at New Mexico Junior College in Hobbs, Jameson rarely played in tournaments at one of the nation’s stronger junior college programs. But he knew he didn’t want to give up the sport at the college level.
He got in touch with West Texas A&M coach Brad Borden, who gave him an opportunity to make the squad. It turned out to be a good decision for Jameson.
“I just called up the coach,” he said, about trying to land a scholarship at a four-year school. “I didn’t travel much (at NMJC), and I didn’t have any scholarship offers lined up. I came up (to WT) and played with the team over the summer. It was a last-minute thing.”
Now a junior at WT, Jameson is preparing for the three-day NCAA Division II South/Southcentral Super Regional, scheduled for today through Wednesday at Turtle Point Country Club in Florence, Ala.
While the Buffaloes did not qualify as a team, Jameson is one of 46 individual players to make it to the NCAA Division II regionals.
Jameson, who holds the 18-hole record at Clovis Municipal Golf Course with a 62 in the 2001 City Championship, said getting to play regularly at WT helped him improve.
“I’ve gotten a chance to get out there, and my game’s gotten a lot better,” he said. “When you’re getting to play, it helps so much.”
NMJC is a perennial contender in the National Junior College Athletic Association tournament, and last spring finished third in the nationals at Scottsdale, Ariz.
By contrast, WT is in just its second season of fielding a program. With the Buffs, Jameson has posted five top five finishes for the year, including two events — the Oklahoma Panhandle State Invitational at Guymon in October and Texas A&M-Commerce’s Crawford-Wade Invitational in March — where he tied for second place.
In the Lone Star Conference Championship April 20-22, Jameson finished in a three-way tie for 10th place with a 54-hole score of 5-over-par 221.
“We’ve had absolutely unbelievable weather all spring long,” Jameson said. “It seems like the wind has always been blowing 50 miles an hour. It was nice to finally get some good weather at the conference tournament.”
At CHS, Jameson qualified for state as both a junior and a senior, finishing fourth in the 2000 Class 5A state tournament. He was all-District 4-5A and all-state as a senior.
The top 10 teams plus the top 10 individuals in the regional at Florence advance to the NCAA Division II national tournament, scheduled for May 20-23 at Crosswater Golf Club in Sunriver, Ore. Jameson believes he will have to shoot around even-par to advance.
Borden could not be reached for comment.