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Red Bay’s Isaiah Jackson continues to thrive playing University of Memphis golf

To say golf has been good to Isaiah Jackson would be an understatement.

Jackson, a Red Bay High School graduate, was one of the top high school golfers in the state of Alabama. Upon graduation he attended Meridian Community College in Mississippi, which boasted one of the top junior college golf programs in the nation. At Meridian he earned the distinction of being the topranked golfer in NJCAA Division II. Also at Meridian, Jackson was named a 2016-17 First Team All-American and to the NJCAA Freshman All-American team.

“Things at Memphis have been great,” said the rising collegiate senior. “It has helped me mature not only as a golfer but as a man. With the help of my coaches, my game is reaching levels I’ve never reached before. They have really opened my eyes and helped me become a better player.”

Jackson signed with the University of Memphis golf team and made an immediate impact on the Tigers. According to the team’s 2018-19 stats, Jackson is one of the team’s top golfers with an average score of 72.61, a low score of 66 and six top-20 finishes.

Jackson won the Kiawah Collegiate Classic at the Turtle Point Golf Club on Kiawah, S.C., in November, and he won the Patriot All-America Tournament in December. He helped lead Memphis to the American Athletic Conference Championship and a berth into the NCAA Regionals.

“I faced a pretty inconsistent spring after having a really good fall,” Jackson explained. “I finished 2018 with a big win at the Patriot, but I began doubting myself and almost burned out in a way because I couldn’t reach the level I wanted to reach. But my faith in God and my family kept me strong, and that gave me the strength to break through.”

Jackson said he has faced some bumps in the road but has been able to keep his focus and overcome the adversity.

“I’ve learned that organization is key,” explained Jackson. “Believing in yourself is the most important part of a person’s golf game. Unfortunately, I had not learned that organization was so vital to success until we missed regionals. It was frustrating playing as bad as I did and knowing I had not worked on my game like I could have and should have.

“My coaches sat me down, and we had a good talk about what the next step looked like. Since then, I’ve been more disciplined and really honed in on the parts of my game that needed work, like wedges.”

Jackson said he keeps himself busy during the summer months playing an amateur tournament schedule. Last week he shot 68-69-68-63 and finished second out of 120 golfers in the Dogwood Invitational in Atlanta. He is ranked 134 in the Scratch Player World Amateur Rankings and ranked 438 in the World Amateur Golf Rankings. Both of these rankings rank approximately 12,000 amateur golfers.

“This summer is going to be a busy one,” said Jackson. “But I think it will be the best one as far as golf is concerned. I look forward to competing with some of the best amateurs in the country and world. It’s a schedule I’ve never had and one I’m looking forward to taking on.”

Jackson is playing at the Sunnehanna Amateur in Pennsylvania this week.