IT MIGHT be hard to find a golfer in the history of the Jackson County boys’ program who’s put in more time as a Panther than York Delloyd. There are experienced seniors, and then there’s Delloyd.
The Jackson County standout has been a part of the high school program ever since eighth grade when he began joining the Panthers for practices. Delloyd assumed a spot in the varsity lineup the following year as a freshman and has been firing low rounds ever since.
“York has been with us, even as an eighth grader,” coach Warren Standridge said. “His performances have just been steady for five years now. Without him, we wouldn’t obviously be as good as we are. He’s always consistent.”
And Delloyd has been his consistent self again this spring.
He’s continued to post nine-hole rounds in the mid-to-upper 30s and fired an even-par 72 at the 18-hole Big Red Shootout in Gainesville on March 24, finishing fifth. This past Thursday, he shot a 39 at Double Oaks Golf Club to earn county low-medalist honors as Jackson County won its fourth-straight county championship.
This was Delloyd’s third individual county title in four years, but he was much more interested in keeping the team’s county championship streak intact than individual accolades.
“The end goal is to win the match for our team, and thankfully we’ve won all four years so far, so I’m really happy about that,” he said.
Standridge praises Delloyd’s leadership qualities, pointing out that he’s on the course everyday (he even works at Traditions of Braselton Golf Course) and is always “doing what he’s supposed to be doing.” Delloyd has also been a positive influence on the kids in the middle school program, the coach said.
“He sets a good example for the rest of the team to follow,” Standridge said.
Of course, he sets a good example with his play, too. Delloyd has proven himself as one of the top golfers in the region the past few years, finishing as high as third at the region tournament as a sophomore. His career nine-hole round of 35 is one stroke off the school mark. He’s also been part of every team scoring record that’s been set by the Panthers.
Standridge said Delloyd really doesn’t have any weaknesses in his game.
“Off the tee, he’s very, very strong,” he said. “His short game is really good. He’s maybe not putted as well as he would like to, but his iron play and everything, it’s just solid.”
The coach added that Delloyd, “doesn’t hit a lot of bad shots.”
Delloyd, however, is a bit more critical of his play.
“It’s been up-and-down. I’ve had some good rounds; I’ve had some bad rounds,” Delloyd said. “Hopefully, I’ll get better, and we’ll see what goes on by region and state time. The end goal here is to make it to state like we did last year.”
Last year was a banner year as the Panther team qualified for state and finished fifth in Class AAA. Then, Jackson County graduated five seniors off that squad.
But Delloyd and company have done an impressive job of keeping Jackson County steady in a year of transition.
The Panthers are 6-1 in matches this season and have posted 18-hole tournament scores of 326 and 328. Delloyd lauded the play of teammates Anthony Whobrey and Ian McGaughey, the only other holdovers from last year’s team. Delloyd said Whobrey is much more consistent this year.
“Honestly, sometimes when I play with him, I look up to him and I’m like ‘man, I wish I could do what he’s doing right now,” Delloyd said.
He added that McGaughey “has stepped up in a big way.”
Whether or not Delloyd’s high school career ends with another trip to the state tournament, more golf could be in store for his future. Darton College has expressed interest in Delloyd and Delloyd was scheduled to visit the Albany (Ga.)-based school Tuesday.
Delloyd said he’s at peace with his future whether he receives an offer to play collegiate golf or not.
“It doesn’t really bother me if I play or not,” Delloyd said. “I’m just really ready to get that degree and play golf for fun.”
But he’s certainly interested if a good opportunity comes along.
“If I get the opportunity and all the pieces fall into place, then I’m definitely going to take advantage of playing,” Delloyd said. “I love playing golf.”
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