SOUTHERN PINES, N.C. (WNCN) – Pinecrest High School senior Jackson Van Paris went out with a bang.
“To know that my had work is paying off it’s amazing,” he said.
Van Paris recently won the 4A individual state high school championship. And even better, according the Patriots star, his team claimed a title, as well.
“To come here and play with arguably one of the best teams in all of high school golf was so much fun,” Van Paris said. “This is even more special since last year was canceled.”
Van Paris is ranked No. 2 in the American Junior Golf Association rankings. He transferred to Pinecrest from the O’Neill School in Southern Pines his junior year expecting to win a state title right away, only to see the golf season canceled due to the pandemic.
That disappointment pushed Van Paris even harder to win this title. Golf may be an individual sport, but being a part of a team championship is special.
“Commitment and desire to win deep inside,” said Pinecrest head coach Lynne Beechler. “He puts in the hard work and he produces. He’s a really good player.”
His resume speaks for itself. Van Paris and the legendary Bobby Jones are the only 14-year-old golfers to win a match in the history of the U.S. Amateur. Recently, Van Paris was one of only five golfers to receive the Byron Nelson International Junior Golf Award.
Soon, Van Paris will head off to college. He will play at Vanderbilt, hoping to fine tune his game and one day make his ultimate dream come true.
“It’s just so hard,” Van Paris said. “You can see by how many guys make it on the PGA Tour. It’s just really, really hard.”