ALEXANDRIA — Rochester’s Nick Jarrett was walking the 18th fairway at Alexandria Golf Club during the week-long Resorters Tournament when he gazed at the gallery of golf carts surrounding the green and took a moment to appreciate what he was a part of.
Jarrett was in the middle of his final match on August 6 in the men’s championship division. He was coming off a 17th hole where he had a rare three-putt and fell one hole behind Zak Jones, a college golfer from the University of Texas at Arlington.
Many golfers could be stewing over that missed putt on the 17th that forced Jarrett into an inescapable situation on the 18th hole if he wanted to extend the playoff game. Jarrett himself may have dwelt on it as a youth, but he took a second to enjoy this walk down the final fairway in what has been a great week of golf for the 33-year-old.
“I felt like this week I had a really good attitude about the whole thing, and it’s been a really fun tournament,” Jarrett said after dropping 2-up in the championship game against Jones. . “I like to compete, but it just helps me make sure I’m having fun. That’s the point. I was telling my wife who was a caddy, descendant 18 being a descendant, I said, ‘It’s fun. That’s why we train and play to be in this position.
Jarrett and his wife, Molly, own Quarry Hill Family Dental in Rochester. They created the company 5 years ago. Molly takes care of the dentistry and Nick handles the business side of things.
The Jarretts are at a very different place in their lives than many of the 32 golfers who qualify for the championship steal in the men’s championship division at the Resorters tournament.
The couple have four young children and full-time jobs outside of golf. Most of this division is filled with college-age golfers who have been off the tee for a long time and who train and play competitively more frequently than guys like Jarrett can find the time.
Jarrett, who golfed at Concordia-St. Paul until he graduates in 2011, has a way of staying sharp. The family made an extension to the second floor of their house a few years ago. The area includes a net to hit into, a carpeted putting green and a small simulator that allows the whole family to pass the time in the winter.
Jarrett plays in as many Minnesota Golf Association events as possible, now including at the mid-amateur level. He felt good about the way he played coming into the Resorters, and his run through four match play wins certainly adds to his confidence.
“(This week) has been huge for me. With what the Resorters have done over the last few years, you have to play well to get through qualifying,” Jarrett said. “You can’t just hit the ball OK. you have to play well, and then once you’re in, it’s not an easy game. We’re a handful of semi-amateurs, but most of the time you’re playing against a Division I college player or a good one. Division II or III college player. It’s fun to see that I can compete with that.
Jarrett qualified as the eighth seed in the championship flight shooting a par 141 3-under through 36 holes. He moved on to match play and won 3-2 in his first game.
Jarrett then beat Iowa Hawkeyes sophomore Ian Meyer of Deephaven in 20 holes before downing North Dakota State University teammates Nate Deziel and Gavin Cronkhite to reach the final.
Jarrett was called up in their 4-3 win over Deziel in the quarter-finals on August 5. He finished his round at 6 under par over 15 holes, winning the 15th par four with a birdie to put the game away.
“It was probably my best run of the year,” Jarrett said. “He played solid too, but it was like, ‘My best can match his best.’ “That day, I think my best could have matched anybody. You gotta have that here, which is fun. You gotta be able to get low and keep going. That’s what these youngsters do.” They continue right after that. They get to the back nine, and they think 3, 3, 3 out of 10, 11, and 12. It’s funny that they keep pushing you.
Jarrett defeated Cronkhite, an NDSU junior who qualified by shooting 7 under at the Resorters, in a 4-3 game on the morning of August 6. This afternoon in the final, Jones and Jarrett were both tied for the top nine as they entered the all-square corner.
Jones took holes 10 and 11 with a birdie. Jarrett matched a birdie putt from Jones on the par-five 12th hole that kicked it off. He won holes 13, 14 and 15 with two birdies and a par to go 1-up. Jones made a nice approach shot on the par four 16th from about eight feet to take the hole with a birdie.
The hole Jarrett wishes he could find came on the par three 17th.
Both guys had short putts for par. Jarrett missed his just right of the cut before Jones sank his to go 1-up. It was actually the birdie putt where Jarrett failed after having to go through a fringe area on the Texas-shaped green that left him disappointed.
“The par putt, I hit it exactly where I wanted. It didn’t break,” Jarrett said. “I played him maybe a cup and he moved half a cup. It was rather the first. I hit the putt I wanted, but didn’t think about what to do. It was more the plan, not the execution. That’s part of it too. Sometimes it’s the plan, sometimes it’s the execution.
Jarrett came back at 18 and hit a drive all the way down the fairway. He said his execution failed him on an approach shot he mis-hit that went over the green.
“That approach shot, I just couldn’t get comfortable,” Jarrett said. “I didn’t really engage and let the distractions get to me.”
Jones nearly drove the green to the 18th, sitting just off the tee. He chipped within five feet of the cut. Jarrett was unable to participate in the birdie. He conceded the holeshot to Jones as the two shook hands to a gallery of applause.
Jarrett and his family stayed around the AGC clubhouse for the entire awards ceremony which lasted about an hour after their match ended. Years ago, arriving just before the championship may have had a longer impact on him.
At 33 with a young family, he was able to appreciate what he had accomplished all Resorters week rather than dwelling on the last two holes.
“It gave me a different perspective on golf and I’m having more fun with it,” Jarrett said. “This week my family was great, they all just pitched in and helped watch the kids. My eldest (son) caddy for me one day and I did 20 holes. He did all 20 holes. It was awesome. I always like to just compete. It’s fun to come here and play with the college kids. They’re here grinding and they’re keeping me sharp.