This is one in a series of stories celebrating 100 years of the IHSA Boys Golf State Finals. Click here to view the other stories and here to order commemorative 100-year state final gear and pin flags.
State Championship Reflections from Mason Jacobs:
In 2007, Massac County senior Mason Jacobs became the first golfer in IHSA history to win three individual state titles. Jacobs won twice in Class A, and then closed his career with a Class 2A championship in the inaugural season of three-class golf. He golfed collegiately at the University of Illinois and is currently in PGA Q-School.
Here are his reflections on winning his state titles:
Having played in the State finals all four years of my high school career meant a lot to me. My freshmen year my goal was just to make it to the state tournament. After accomplishing that goal I dedicated myself to getting better so that I could compete for a state title. I always looked at the record books seeing Jay Haas having most of the records and I wanted to see if I could beat them and get my name at the top of that list. I also remember walking past the high school trophy case and seeing only one state champion at Massac County, Matt Armstrong, and I thought then it would be an honor to get my picture in the trophy case forever.
After winning my first state title and setting a state scoring record my sophomore year, I considered that a huge breakout year for me and propelling my golfing career. Not only was winning the state title a great individual accomplishment, but our team along with Coach Mike McDearmon finished runners-up.
My Junior year proved to be a big year. We were coached by JR Conkle and as a team we wanted to better our finish from last year and win a team title. As for me, my goal was to be a back to back state champion. When these goals were met it was a special feeling. Being able to win individually and as a team with some of my closest friends that I have to this day. After winning back to back individual state titles I knew the following year I could accomplish something that had never been done before.
Our Senior year we were moved up to class 2A and played at the Weibring Golf Club in Bloomington. This win was an emotional for me. I became the first 3 time State champion in the history of the IHSA State tournament and my team along with Coach JR Conkle finished runners-up. That will be a day I will never forget having my teammates, friends, and family there to celebrate.
To this day I still run into Coach Conkle, players, and coaches from other schools and we reminisce about the IHSA State Golf Tournament. As for my team, it will be 10 years next year since we won the team title at Prairie Vista Golf course. We are planning a trip up the state of Illinois playing some of the courses we played matches on and eventually ending up in Bloomington at Prairie Vista reliving the glory days. Saying that you can see how much these times meant to me and my teammates. I have memories from the IHSA State tournament for life and will have stories to tell forever.