Colton Danks’ great run of three consecutive victories on the Tarheel Youth Golf Association tour came to an end on Monday when he finished in a tie for third place at Cary’s famed Prestonwood Country Club.
Despite a good ball striking round, a few bad holes plagued Danks into a 7-over-par 77, which was still good enough for the top-3 finish.
Danks made three birdies on the round, including a near ace on the par-three 7th. Danks hit a lob wedge from 88 yards on the short hole to about two feet to a tucked hole location behind the front bunker. The shot, along with a birdie on the first par three on the course as well, helped Danks settle into his round, after being 4-over through the first four holes.
A birdie on the par-5 13th hole helped Danks get things back to three over on the round. Unfortunately, he would catch a flyer lie on the 17th hole and make bogey, and draw a tough lie in the bunker on the 18th hole. Danks would make a triple bogey on the hole, which in the grand scheme of things, didn’t hurt him too much, as the winner of the event shot 72 and second place shot 73. The finisher did however leave a sour taste in Danks’ mouth.
“When I saw the lie I had in the bunker, I started to get a little upset then,” said the 13 year old. “The ball was in the back of a shoeprint that was unraked, and it was just a tough break. When I didn’t get it out of the bunker, I completely lost focus and three putted. Had I got it up and down for bogey, I would have probably felt much better about the round, because I really thought that I hit the ball good.”
As for lessons learned, Danks admitted that the 18th hole itself can help him in future tournaments.
“That final hole, and that way it all kind of started to derail, it has already taught me that I need to do a better job of keeping my focus and my cool when things get tough on the course.”
After coming up just short of his fourth straight tour victory, Danks was being a little tough on himself, considering he shot 77 on a course at which the Senior PGA Tour hosts an event — a score many would love to shoot on that caliber of a course.
Next up for Danks on the TYGA Tour is an event at Coharie Country Club in Clinton at the end of the week. Although a tie for third isn’t so bad, he’ll be looking for win number four on the year come Friday.