CEDAR RAPIDS – Jordan Even smiled for parents’ pictures after winning the Rotary-Pribyl Junior Boys Golf on Friday, while also having a hidden meaning behind the smirk.
The Xavier High School senior grinned when he started talking about the local competition he faced throughout the week, knowing all too well he’d be seeing some of the same competitors later in the year.
Even shot a 297 during the four-day tournament, edging out the Kennedy duo of Conner Koberg and Cole Murdock. Koberg started off in third heading into the final round, but after shooting a 70 in the final round, Koberg closed the gap on Even.
“It’s the biggest tournament I golfed in this year,” Even said. “Playing against all of these local kids, and some of them are even going (Division I) in golf, that gives me a lot of confidence that I can go places.”
Koberg and Murdock are part of a returning class of Kennedy golfers, a team that is returning all six of its starting members. Both said they hope to do something special next year.
“It’s kind of like what we did last year,” Murdock said. “I fell out of it early so I was just sitting back, watching those two go at it. Hopefully we can bring home a state title for Kennedy.”
With the two finishing in the top three, and teammate Tanner Stewart finishing sixth, Koberg said he’s got high hopes for what a the Cougars can accomplish.
“It was obviously fun,” Koberg said. “Looking at the high school season, it means we’ll be really good as a team.”
Even, Koberg and Murdock have always been part of the ongoing rivalry between Cedar Rapids high schools which is berthed from their proximities. Even said this year is going to be one of the best yet.
“I feel like it gets stronger and stronger every year,” Even said. “I know all six of these (Kennedy) kids and I’ve played with them all. It’s going to be a fun year; it’s going to be tough.”
Playing throughout the summer, Even said he’s been able to learn a lot about himself. He said he’s learned when he had a bad shot, he needs to put it behind him and move on. In a cliché nature, Even said he’ll just take it one shot at a time from now on.
Even joins elite company by winning the Rotary-Pribyl tournament, as local PGA golfer Zach Johnson claimed the title in 1993.
“That’s really cool. Knowing he came from this town, won here and played here, it’s like I’m trying to follow him and do what he can do,” Even said. “Hopefully, I can make it there someday.”