A legend always needs a good story.
That's one reason why the name of Nick Jarrett will have a place in Woodbury history for a long time.
After years of working on the cart staff and in the pro shop at Woodbury's Prestwick Golf Club, Jarrett set the course record with a 60 on Sunday, July 10, to win The Prestwick Classic. The score broke the previous record of 64, held by Minnesota Golf Hall of Fame member and PGA tour player Dave Tentis, and earned Jarrett a plaque on the wall of his hometown course.
"It's fun to realize I have the course record at Prestwick and that's it's going to be hard to beat," Jarrett, 22, said. "It's fun, because I grew up playing that course and have worked there since my sophomore year of high school. I know a lot of the people around there and have gotten a lot of nice congratulations from the members and the staff. It's nice that it happened in my hometown and at my home course. It's something that I'll hopefully have for a long time."
Tentis' record was at least 15 years old according to Prestwick Golf Club head professional Tom Wahl.
"That's an incredible score," Wahl said. "Not too many guys on the tour have shot 60. It was awesome. To have someone shoot that at one of our tournaments shoot that is a great deal."
Jarrett, a 2007 Woodbury High School graduate, is only the fourth Minnesota golfer to shoot 60 on a course with a par of 72 or higher -- and the others are all in the Minnesota Golf Hall of Fame: Tentis, who did it on a par-73 (Minnesota Valley), Ron Benson and Steve Johnson.
Only two players have ever shot lower in Minnesota. Jon Chaffee, a former PGA Tour player from Austin, was the first one to break 60. He shot 59 at the par-70 Phalen Golf Course in the St. Paul Open in July of 1988. In 2007, Chad Muth, who was then an assistant pro at Hastings Country Club, torched his home course with a 13-under-par 59.
"It didn't hit me for a couple days what I actually shot," Jarrett said. "I didn't get my head wrapped around shooting a 60. But, there are only a few who have shot that on a Minnesota course. It's helped me realize that I can shoot low numbers and when I have everything going and I'm focused, what I can do."
Working at Prestwick allowed Jarrett to play the course for free. He said the club has also always had a very good junior program with low rates to help get kids on the course.
"My friends and I were always up there whenever we could be," Jarrett said. "For the past eight years I've spent three-fourths of my summers at the course. I feel comfortable enough out there. There's certain areas you can't get too aggressive. But, I just kept attacking. Playing at my home course I know where I can hit it and where I want to hit it."
Jarrett, who recently graduated from Concordia University of St. Paul (after making it to the NCAA Division II Regional), played three years of varsity golf for Woodbury and also played varsity hockey for the Royals. In college, Jarrett, a finance major and math minor, was a two-time All-Conference honorable mention golfer in the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference and was honored as the male Honor Athlete at Concordia University for athletics, academics and community service this past year. His previous low score was a 66 in the spring of 2010 as a junior for Concordia in a tournament in Phoenix, Ariz.
"It shows that all my hard work in college is paying off," Jarrett said. "I really put a lot of effort into it the last four years to see how good I can get. My 66 in college last summer wasn't my best round. I can keep getting better. It's been a boost of confidence, but has also motivated me even more."
Record round began 6-under through six
During the second round of the Prestwick Classic, Jarrett was 6-under-par after six holes. That's when he started thinking about shooting a 59.
"I got under par pretty quickly," he said. "I was 6-under without thinking about my score too much. I was just trying to make birdies on every hole without thinking about what I could shoot. But, after six I knew that if I kept playing well I had an opportunity to get really low. From that point on I had it in my head that I wanted to shoot a 59."
To start the round, Jarrett scored a birdie on No. 1, birdied No. 3, eagled No. 4 and then birdied No. 5 and No. 6.
"I was hitting the ball well and I knew I could take advantage of a bunch of holes from playing there so many times over the last 10 years," Jarrett said. "There were a few key holes to get through and make pars, but otherwise I was thinking about birdies on every hole. I wasn't going to be complacent with being 7, 8 or 9-under, I wanted to get to 13-under."
After a bogie on 17, Jarrett needed an eagle on the par-5 No. 18 to break 60. He still had a legitimate chance for 59, though, because the 506-yard 18th is reachable in two, and Jarrett hit about a 330-yard drive, giving him roughly180 yards to the green.
He hit an eight iron almost exactly pin high, 35 feet from the cup, giving him a shot at an eagle. However, his eagle putt ended up grazing the cup and sliding four feet past. He then made the four footer for his birdie -- and 60.
"His putt just missed," Wahl said. "It was pretty exciting. It was fun because it was a big event and a lot of the members were watching from the patio overlooking the green. Everyone was really excited for him."
Jarrett also recently finished in tie for 21st at the 108th MGA Amateur Championship July 20 at the White Bear Yacht Club in Dellwood, shooting a three-round, 5-over-par 218. Jarrett shot rounds of 75, 71 and 72 in the prestigious 160-player tournament.
With a degree from Concordia and a round of 60 in his pocket, Jarrett would now like to coach college golf and he is trying to find an assistant coaching job as soon as possible.
"I've always enjoyed coaching and enjoyed that aspect of the game -- not only golf, but in the other sports I've played, too," Jarrett said. "It's great to play, but I really enjoy the coaching aspect of it and that's where I'd like to go with my career."
MINNESOTA'S LOWEST SCORES*
-- 59 (11-under) -- Jon Chaffee, Phalen GC, July 1988
-- 59 (13-under) -- Chad Muth, Hastings CC, April 2007
-- 60 (13-under) -- Dave Tentis, Minnesota Valley CC, October 1988
-- 60 (12-under) -- Nick Jarrett, Prestwick GC, July 2011
-- 60 (12-under) -- Ron Benson, Indian Hills CC, July 1996
-- 60 (12-under) -- Steve Johnson, Elk River CC, July 2002
*on a course with a par of 70 or above