Golfers of the year

Oak Hall junior J.D. Tomlinson and eighth-grader Lauren Gros are The Gainesville Sun's 2009 High School Golfers of the Year.

Lee Ferinden
Published: Friday, January 1, 2010 at 11:59 p.m.
Last Modified: Friday, January 1, 2010 at 11:59 p.m.


J.D. Tomlinson, Oak Hall


The junior takes home this award for the second consecutive season after owning the area's best nine-hole average of 34.1. Also a starting guard on the Eagles basketball team, he carded a one-under-par 68 as the Eagles placed fifth at the Crutchfield/Hawkins Invitational. Tomlinson tied for second with a one-under-par 71 at the John and Ann Ives Golf Classic and followed by winning the individual District 4-1A championship with a one-under-par 69 to lead the Eagles to the team title as well. He shot a four-over-par 75 at the Region 2-1A tournament to end in a four-way tie for fifth place, but missed qualifying for the FHSAA Class 1A state tournament for the second straight year.

"The entire season I didn't have a (nine or 18-hole) round over par other than the round at regionals," Tomlinson said. "I played really well this year, I just picked the wrong time to play bad."

Personal notes

Tomlinson truly has a home course advantage during matches held at the Gainesville Golf and Country Club. The 10th green is located right behind the Tomlinson house. He has started to receive interest from several Division-I schools including Florida, Michigan, Louisville, Wisconsin and Kentucky. Tomlinson's dad, J.D. Tomlinson II played golf at Southern Illinois.

"It is a privilege to grow up on a golf course. It gives me a great opportunity to get better and develop my game and a lot of people don't have that opportunity," Tomlinson said. "I am going to take advantage of it."


"I think it was tougher to win it (the award) this year, it was the exact same players from last year, just a year older," Tomlinson said. "I'm going to go for the three-peat and I am going to try and make it to state."


Lauren Gros, Oak Hall


The eighth-grader fired a two-over-par 63 to win the Alachua County tournament and lead the Eagles to their third straight championship. At the District 4-1A tournament, she shot an eight-over-par 80 to claim her second district championship in three years. Her performance helped the Eagles to their third consecutive district title. Gros then followed with a 75 to place third at the Region 2-1A tournament as Oak Hall placed second as a team and qualified for the FHSAA Class 1A state tournament for the second straight year. In her final tournament of the season she overcame breaking her driver to post a two-under-par 70 which put her tied for second after the first day of the Class 1A state event. The next day Gros said her front nine was bad and she shot a seven-over-par 79 to finish with a two-day score of 149 and in a five-way tie for 12th place.

"It was one of my goals, to win the golfer of the year award this season," Gros said. "I knew that meant that I would have to play well and win most of my matches. It kind of tied into all of my other goals."

Personal notes

Gros said she likes rock climbing and biking, but added she doesn't get to do that very much. She also said she would love to play golf in college and beyond. While Gros is just an eighth-grader and admittedly excited to have won this award, she still has four years of prep golf left at Oak Hall. Gros said it would be nice to win the award again and she has four more opportunities to possibly become a multiple golfer of the year selection.


"I was happy," said Gros after finding out she won the award. "I wanted to get it last year, so I was really hoping to get it this year. I'm really excited."

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