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Eye of the Tiger

Senior Jake Littlejohn named First Tee “Player of the Year”

%28COURTESY%2FCOREY+FUKAMAN%29+Littlejohn%2C+the+number+one+player+on+the+varsity+golf+team%2C+hits+a+drive+down+the+fairway+of+the+first+hole+at+Sierra+View+Country+Club.+
(COURTESY/COREY FUKAMAN) Littlejohn, the number one player on the varsity golf team, hits a drive down the fairway of the first hole at Sierra View Country Club.

(COURTESY/COREY FUKAMAN) Littlejohn, the number one player on the varsity golf team, hits a drive down the fairway of the first hole at Sierra View Country Club.

(COURTESY/COREY FUKAMAN) Littlejohn, the number one player on the varsity golf team, hits a drive down the fairway of the first hole at Sierra View Country Club.

JUSTIN VARLAMOV

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(COURTESY/JAKE LITTLEJOHN) Senior Jake Littlejohn holds up his 2016 Player of the Year award plaque, certificate and trophy given to him by the First Tee of Greater Sacramento.

Senior golfer Jake Littlejohn received the First Tee of Greater Sacramento’s 2016 season Player of the Year award for the U16-18 age group after playing in the organization’s final tournament of the season at Timber Creek Golf Course on March 4.

Even though Littlejohn placed third in the last tournament, his finish earned him enough points to remain atop the First Tee’s rankings to conclude the season.

Littlejohn played in 10 tournaments last season and averaged 77.2 strokes per round, just above five strokes over par at most courses. Over the course of the ten tournaments, he sunk 23 birdies, which helped him on his way to the first place finish at the end. Leading up to the season, his mind was already set on the win, as he came up short in the previous season and was hungry for a second chance.

“My goal was to win Player of the Year in the prior season,” Littlejohn said. “I felt I had a pretty good chance of winning it if I practiced and played in more tournaments. It’s pretty awesome to say that I’m one of the first Roseville golfers to do that and one of the first in our area.”

Littlejohn began golfing seriously as a freshman on Roseville High School’s varsity team. Currently beginning his fourth year on varsity, he reflects on how much he has grown since then and is excited to see how good he can be in the future.

“My scores are definitely going down each and every year,” Littlejohn said. “I’ve cut off about five or six strokes from freshman year. I’m definitely looking back to see where I was from now. It’s a huge accomplishment.”

After the tournament, Littlejohn attended a dinner event where he gave a speech addressing golfers of all ages about what the sport means to him and reminded them of the uniqueness and individuality in the sport. He also thanked his family, his coaches, First Tee staff and many others who have influenced his life and golf career.

The golfer’s current focus is on the high school team, and he believes that he will be able to lead the talented group of boys to the postseason this year, an achievement that the team has not reached in years.

“As far as the team goes, if we could just make playoffs that would be pretty cool, and get a league title.” Littlejohn said.

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