Grant Sjurson still laughs when he recalls the moment he knew he wanted to pursue golf.
He was 10, and his dad, Jim Sjurson, took him to the L.A. Nickell Golf Course. Neither golfer played especially well that day, except for one hole.
Both players hit decent tee shots on No. 9, with Jim Sjurson’s ball landing in the rough.
Jim Sjurson struck his next shot, however, from about 180 yards out. His son said they both watched as the ball bounced a few times on the green and dropped into the hole for an eagle.
“My dad’s built like Phil Mickelson, so he jumped about two inches off the ground,” Grant Sjurson said, smiling and raising both arms above his head, imitating his father’s reaction.
“He gives me the biggest high five, we run to the cart, drive up to the green, and he picks the ball up out of the hole and kisses it,” he said. “It’s still sittin’ above our fireplace.”
Grant Sjurson said if he ever comes home and brags to his dad about a round of golf, he just silently points to the ball on the fireplace.
“After that, I knew I wanted to play the game of golf. Moments like that make it worthwhile.”
Sjurson, now a junior at Hickman, has continued to improve his golf game since then, and Thursday he had to prove it.
While four of the Kewpie varsity golfers played a practice round at Meadow Lake Acres Country Club, Sjurson competed with teammate Ben Cooper for Hickman’s fifth spot for the district tournament on Monday.
Sjurson beat Cooper by two strokes and will play in his first district tournament.
“I’m not real nervous right now, but I imagine I will be that day,” Sjurson said.
Chris Johnson, Nick Wilson, Chad Goodson and Taylor Cox make up the rest of the Kewpies’ team.
“He’s been real steady, that’s why he’s in the pack,” said Hickman coach Clark Swisher of Sjurson.
Rock Bridge will take Joe Neal, Mark Kollias, John Trecha, Dan Kohnle and Ryan Wilkerson to the tournament.
Districts begin at 9 a.m. Monday at Meadow Lake Acres Country Club in New Bloomfield.