Isaiah Jackson (photo courtesy of Isaiah Jackson)
The Mississippi State Amateur was highly contested and came down to the final nine holes.
Holding a two-shot lead heading into Sunday, Memphis senior Isaiah Jackson stayed consistent en route to his first Mississippi State Amateur win.
“I knew there were a lot of guys and a lot of talent behind me that could catch me,” Jackson told AmateurGolf.com. “I knew that there was a possibility that someone would go low and catch up to me.”
Jackson knew where he stood heading into the day but once on the course, he did not look at the leaderboard until the back nine.
“When I got to the back nine I said ‘I might as well know’,” Jackson said. “Regardless of what it says I’m going to stick to my gameplan and just see what happens.”
With previous champs Joseph Deraney (2019) and Wilson Furr (2018) gaining ground, Jackson buckled down to maintain his lead. Playing consistently and not attacking pins when he did not need to, Jackson built upon his front nine 35, adding birdies on No. 11 and No. 17 for a closing 34, bookending his tournament with a pair of 69s. Tapping in for par on 18, Jackson secured a four-stroke victory.
“I gave myself a lot of opportunities and made it really hard to make bogeys,” Jackson said. “I don’t know, I just put myself in good positions.”
Attacking when he saw appropriate, going for par-5s in two when he could, and making putts all week, Jackson simply said his game was in a “good spot” all week. Going 72 holes without a three-putt or anything worse than a bogey, Jackson was impressed with himself since he has not played competitively since March.
A senior this past season, Jackson cannot wait to take advantage of the NCAA allowing him another year of eligibility due to COVID-19.
“We had a good enough team to win conference [this past season],” said Jackson. “I feel like with everybody coming back this year, we’ll be able to do something special.”
With the win, Jackson earned himself his first PGA Tour start at the Sanderson Farms Championship, which will be held Oct. 1-4 at the Country Club of Jackson.
ABOUT THE Mississippi State Amateur
Format: The tournament is scheduled for 72 holes of
stroke play with a cut to the low 60(+ties) after 36
holes of play. Field size is limited to 120 players.
Qualifiers will be held for the State Amateur,
including an Open Qualifier, the week of the event.
Each is scheduled for 18 holes of stroke play. The
number of players to advance will be determined by
the number of entries for each qualifier and the
number available in the field after the exempt
players have reserved their place. The same
percentage from each qualifier will advance to the
Eligibility: The Amateur Championship is open to
male amateurs who are bona fide residents of the
state of Mississippi for at least 60 days prior to the
first round of the tournament. Participants must
conform with the USGA Rules of Amateur Status. All
participants in Mississippi Golf Association State
Championships are required to have an active GHIN
Handicap through a USGA Licensed Mississippi Club.
View Complete Tournament Information