Sports

Arroyo Grande High School’s Jack Avrit named The Tribune’s Golfer of the Year

Arroyo Grande High School’s Jack Avrit tees off on the third hole against San Luis Obispo in their season finale in April at the San Luis Obispo Country Club.
Arroyo Grande High School’s Jack Avrit tees off on the third hole against San Luis Obispo in their season finale in April at the San Luis Obispo Country Club. jjohnston@thetribunenews.com

Things might have been different for Arroyo Grande High School golfer Jack Avrit if it wasn’t for a bizarre mixup at the CIF SoCal Regional Boys Golf Championship in May.

Sitting at 2-over, Avrit hit his tee shot on the Par 3, 157-yard 13th hole at Brookside Golf Club. He watched as the ball sailed over the tree that blocked the back left of the green. He didn’t see it land, but he figured he was in good shape.

When Avrit approached the green, he found a TaylorMade No. 3, just like the one he was playing. Avrit’s playing partner also happened to be playing a TaylorMade 3, but his competitor had red circles around the number, while Avrit’s ball had dots. The ball Avrit found had no circle.

“That kid was walking to a ball that was way left, which I didn’t think I hit it anywhere near, so he told me to go ahead,” Avrit said. “I hit the shot, and once he got over to that ball, he’s like, ‘This isn’t my ball.’”

Avrit was assessed a two-stroke penalty for hitting the wrong ball. He ended up missing the cut for the CIF State Tournament by one stroke.

“The mark on his ball had faded during the round, so I hit the wrong ball. That cost me the spot,” Avrit said. “Five different things had to go wrong for that to happen, and they all went wrong.”

Avrit was able to rally and birdie four of the final six holes to finish with a 1-over 73, but his season was over after finishing with a share of 14th place.

“I felt like I gave it my all, and sometimes you get unlucky. That’s golf,” Avrit said.

Making his own luck

Most of the season, Avrit avoided bad luck. He — along with his freshman brother Owen Avrit — led the Arroyo Grande golf team to an undefeated league season and the team’s fourth straight PAC 8 title.

Avrit shot a 2-over 74 in the CIF-Southern Section Central Coast Division Championships at Cypress Ridge, and the next week he placed first with a 2-under 69 at the CIF-Southern Section Northern Regional Individual tournament.

“That round was a lot of fun,” Avrit said of the first-place finish. “I started taking on pins and was a little more aggressive with my putting because I felt like I was going to make everything. When you get in one of those zones, it’s really nice to ride that momentum.”

Coming into the season, Avrit said he wasn’t as confident. But slowly his course management skills matured.

“I thought I progressively did a better job of making the right decisions at the right times and not putting too much pressure on myself,” Avrit said. “I felt like I ended the season pretty well.”

Next up

As the high school season ends, the more intense summer junior season kicks of.

“It’s a pretty big tournament schedule,” Avrit said. “I’m not home too much.”

On Friday, Avrit boarded a plane in San Francisco and headed east to play in the Western Junior Championship in Royal Oak, Michigan. He will follow that up with the USGA Junior Amateur Qualifier at Stanford Golf Course and a number of other big-time junior events.

But heading into next season, Avrit, who is verbally committed to Santa Clara, will begin to step it up.

“I will progress out of junior events and start playing in more amateur events to prepare myself for college golf,” Avrit said. “I’m looking forward to getting into those and seeing how my game transfers from the junior events to playing against the higher level players.”

Next season, Avrit will likely have competition from Owen to repeat as The Tribune’s player of the year. Combined, the pair will look to lead Arroyo Grande to its fifth straight league title.

“I want to end on a high note with the team and individually,” Avrit said.

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