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Red Bay alum continues to excel at Memphis

University of Memphis golfer Isaiah Jackson, a senior and graduate from Red Bay High School, has been selected to the NCAA Division 1 PING All-America Team.

Jackson was one of 30 golfers chosen honorable mention. He also was one of three American Athletic Conference golfers selected to either the first, second or third teams or honorable mention.

The All-America recognition followed Jackson being named to the 2020 PING All-Region Southeast team earlier this month.

During the season, his second at the University of Memphis, Jackson posted a school-recordsetting stroke average of 70 and had seven Top 20 finishes in as many events.

“We are so proud of Isaiah for being named to the PING All-America Team by the GCAA,” said Memphis coach Blake Smart. “His development since his arrival to the University of Memphis has been extraordinary, and we are excited about his future.”

Jackson had six rounds in the 60s this past season, including a career-low 65 at the Intercollegiate at Innisbrook. He was runnerup at Innisbrook, finishing at 7-under 206.

At the Kiawah Classic he posted a 6-under 210 to finish in a tie for fourth, and at the David Toms Intercollegiate, he ended at 10-under 206 for a tie for seventh.

“It is a huge honor,” said Jackson. “To me, it means the work I’m putting in is worth it. I believe I am at the place God wants me to be. I have great coaches who push me, and they have high expectations. It is very special.”

Like athletes all over the country, Jackson had his season cut short because of the coronavirus, and students on campus were sent home.

“It’s been odd, considering our season was allofasudden over,” Jackson explained. “But it has been a blessing in disguise. I’ve been able to spend more time with my family and go hunting and fishing. This is usually a very busy time of the year with golf, and I don’t get to see my family very much.”

While other sports are still shut down, in essence, golf courses have remained open. Jackson is still able to work on his game.

“I am beginning to practice and play more to get ready for summer amateur events,” he said. “I am trying to shake off the rust and get back to competing.”

Jackson will be taking advantage of an NCAA ruling that let spring sport athletes gain an extra year of eligibility.

“I am going to finish my degree this fall and play college golf one more year since I got the extra year of eligibility,” Jackson said. “Once the season ends next spring, Lord willing, I will turn pro and start a new chapter in the same book of golf.”