Prep Golf: Danville's J.B. Williams hopes his dedication to golf continues to pay off
Danville senior J.B. Williams says his decision to concentrate solely on golf this past year has paid off with an All ¿A¿¿Classic title and his third straight trip to the boys state tournament. (Hal Morris / October 3, 2012)
The move has paid off as the Danville senior won the All “A” Classic title, earned his third straight trip to this week’s state tournament in Bowling Green and earned a Division I scholarship.
“I just think the results that I’ve had, I got the state championship win that I was so dearly looking for, and I think I’m third or fourth in all-state points now. I think from a personal standpoint, I’ve gotten better in all aspects of the game,”¿Williams said after placing second in the 4th Region Tournament last week. “Which is what I made the sacrifice for, and I’m happy.”
Not that dropping baseball and spending more time on the course was easy. But now that he has achieved his goals, he may give his other sports a final try before heading off the college.
“This past year has been really hard not seeing my friends and guys out there playing sports that I used to love so much. But since golf is the first sport I do, I would do it again,”¿he said. “So I’m leaving the door open for sure.
“This spring I may try baseball, and I may try basketball and lace them up on the hardwood again. I played my freshman year, and I’ve missed it ever since. Those are two sports I’ve left the door open for.”
But those decisions can wait until next week. Williams would like to add another title to the All “A”¿medalist award he earned last month when he plays Friday at Bowling Green County Club.
Williams tees off on the front nine at 1:09 p.m. Friday and will play with Noah Combs of Pikeville and Clayton Bradshaw of Hickman County. Boyle County’s Dakota Jarman tees off one group in front of Williams at 1 p.m.
Williams tied for ninth at last year’s state tournament and was five strokes off the lead. Playing for a third straight year should give him an edge, but Williams said it actually gets tougher each time.
“The more experience helps. Playing at state is always a tough experience. It’s tough to win, it’s tough to play well,” he said. “And it seems like the course gets harder every year, and they get the grass longer and the greens faster and harder. But I’m looking forward to it.”
Williams had already been playing well before the All “A”¿in Somerset. But that win was a good springboard to finish his season strong.
“The All ‘A’ was a goal a the beginning of the year and high school-long goal to win a state championship. And to do that it made the year a lot better,”¿Williams said. “I had a lot of golf left to go after the All “A,” so it’s a good little state championship to have and it was just really, really good to win, really comforting.”
His good play got the attention of Akron coach David Trainor, a former assistant at Kentucky. Williams has verbally committed to play for the Zips after taking an unofficial visit last spring and will take his official visit later this month. Williams expects to sign with the school during the early signing period beginning Nov. 14.
Williams said he liked everything about the Akron program.
“It’s a great program. They play a great course (Firestone Country Club), they play a great schedule. They went down to Kiawah Island and played the Ocean Course. They play against the big boys and they play a big-boy course, so I’m really looking forward to it,”¿Williams said.
Trainer’s Kentucky connection definitely helped get Williams noticed.
“I guess he knew about me from playing around the state, and recruiting around the state. But I think Ben Fuqua (from Danville) also helped because he was on the UK team when he was a coach,”¿Williams said.