This week's Athlete of the Week is Auburn High's Morgan Jones, a sophomore on the Tigers' golf team.
Auburn Villager: How did you get your start playing golf?
Morgan Jones: My brother and my dad would always play growing up, and so would always go out with them and hit some balls, and they put me in lessons when I was around 3.
AV: What do you enjoy most about playing?
MJ: I really enjoy the fact that even though it's an individual sport, you get to play and meet many wonderful, great golfers and people, so I really enjoy talking to them and getting to know them as I play.
AV: What's the most challenging aspect of playing?
MJ: I guess the most challenging part is when you hit a bad shot and ... you do something you didn't plan to do or you miss another shot, and you try to keep and stay within yourself and know you're not going to do it next time and that you can keep going.
AV: How tough is the mental part of the game?
MJ: It is really challenging because it's real slow paced and you get to think and you can over-think things, and so I really try to stay within myself and just focus shot for shot and not look down the line at the holes to come.
AV: What part of your game is the strongest?
MJ: Recently, I've really been working on my pitching and the shorter pitches, so that's been a really great addition to my game recently.
AV: What part of your game needs the most work?
MJ: I'm really working on getting my up-and-downs ratio, chipping and putting. I'm try to get those scores low.
AV: Did you have any role models in golf?
MJ: I always loved Jason Day. I like his philosophies about things and hard work. I think there's a quote that I love, and it's basically, "No one's going to outwork me," so I model my practice after that and know that I'm going to do all I can on the practice green so when it's time for the game I'm the most prepared I can be.
AV: What does your practice regimen look like?
MJ: I try to spend twice as much time as I do on the range as I do on the short game and putting. That's really the biggest thing that I like to do because I don't want to spend so much time on bombing drives and hitting shots on the range and forgetting about where most of your strokes are, which is putting and chipping.
AV: How is the season going for you?
MJ: The season's been going great. We qualified for state this week, so that will be coming Monday and Tuesday. I'm really pumped about that. (Note: The Tigers won their second-straight 7A state title Tuesday.)
AV: What do you want to accomplish at state?
MJ: Personally, I want to finish top-five individually, and then as a team I hope we can pull off a win again this year. (Note: Jones finished second individually.)
AV: What is your best round?
MJ: I've shot 70 twice. I had like three birdies in a row. It was just a really good round. I was on fire; my approaches were great. It's a really fun round to play when you're hitting everything.
AV: Do you have any hobbies outside of sports?
MJ: I recently went on a trip to Hawaii, and I got to learn hot to play the ukulele, so I bought one down there so I've been playing that when I'm not on the golf course.
Interview by Brian Woodham