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Swinging from the top: Jones excelling in his final season for Danville boys golf

Danville senior Peyton Jones swung to the top of the boys golf team lineup his senior season. (Photo by Dave Gansert)

By Mike Beas

High school golfers who ascend to the top spot of their team’s varsity lineup usually do so in a gradual fashion.

Someone who plays No. 5 one season might be No. 3 the next, and so on.

Then there’s the somewhat unique case of Danville senior Peyton Jones who is going all 0 to 60 in his final season playing his favorite sport.

Jones, who wasn’t part of the Warriors postseason lineup when they took fifth at both the 2018 and 2019 Martinsville sectionals, is enjoying being the team’s No. 1 this season (there was no 2020 season).

Danville, which also features senior Braden Walliser, the team’s No. 2 golfer, has produced some impressive outings, the majority of which had Jones posting the low score for the Warriors. There was the career-best 81 he shot in leading Danville to 10th-place out of 21 teams at the Danville Invitational; Jones has carded 38 in a couple of the team’s nine-hole dual matches.

“Peyton is an amazing young man,” said Warriors coach Carl Teague. “He probably would have been our fifth or sixth player last season, but as a testament to him, he really worked on his game. Peyton really impressed me with his swing and his attitude. You could tell he had improved.

“He has a real calming effect on the rest of the team.”

In the winter, Jones helped Danville’s boys basketball squad piece together a 15-5 season, averaging just under three points a game. He poured in a career-high 17 points in a loss to Avon late in the regular season

Jones did a Q&A with ICON:

Q: How old were you when you first became interested in playing golf?

A: My dad always played when I was young, and he’s the one who got me into it. He bought me a five-set club in the fourth grade. I’ve loved it ever since. My friends all played it, so I took a shot at it and it just sort of clicked. I also play basketball and was one of the players off the bench, but I like golf more.

Q: Before this season, you had never been Danville’s No. 1 player. What, if any, pressure do you feel in that role.

A: My freshman and sophomore years, I was either the seventh or eighth player because we had a lot of good seniors. It’s fun because I get to play against other players with the same skillset as mine.

Q: You’re a good student (3.3 grade-point average), so what are your plans after graduating from high school?

A: I’m going to Purdue University. I’m not sure what I’m going to major in, but I would like to play intramurals in basketball and golf if they offer them. I might play in some golf tournaments over the summer, too. Any chance to get, I’ll be out on the course.

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