Rivals across all sports, the boys golf teams for Olympia and Dr. Phillips took to the course on Sept. 2. It was the Titans that would emerge victorious, 311-359, and leading the way was senior Jackson Burttram. Burttram shot a 5-over-par 77, the high score for Olympia.
How are you and the team feeling after defeating Dr. Phillips?
We’re really pleased — not just about the victory, but more about how we did as a team. We shot 311, which is solid, but I think the scores will only improve from here. For myself, I shot 77, which is, again, solid, but I’m working to get down to even par as the season goes on.
Part of what makes the Dr. Phillips-Olympia rivalry what it is is the familiarity between teams. Do you know any of the golfers for the Panthers?
I do; I’m good friends with Zack Justice, actually. We grew up together, and I know a couple other guys, too.
Looking at the schedule, is there a match, team or event you are particularly excited about?
Next week, we play over in Orlando Country Club, and we really want to win that tournament. I think Bishop Moore shot like a 307 yesterday, so we need to beat them and also Lake Mary — we really need to beat them. We think they’re our main competition.
What’s the ceiling for the team this year?
We definitely expect to win districts, win the region, and I think we will be state (title) contenders if we keep working hard.
Are you playing in other leagues and events outside varsity competition?
Yes, for the past few years I’ve played in the FSGA (Junior) Tour, I’ve played AJGA (American Junior Golf Association) and Hurricane Tour.
What do you enjoy about playing at the varsity level and representing your school?
It’s just a different feeling than being an individual out there. You know that if you’re not playing well, your teammates are out there working hard, and it motivates you to play harder and save your score. Off the course, just hanging out with your teammates — we work out together, we practice together. Those are some of the funniest kids that I know on my team; I love the team thing.
Is there a particular professional golfer you admire?
I’ve always been a Tiger Woods fan, but probably Jordan Spieth right now just because he is so young. I know a lot of people on the team want to be like him.
What element of your game are you most focused on right now?
Putting, definitely. We’re out here learning a putting style right now. It’s definitely the key component, because yesterday, my five strokes from even par came from the putting green.
How old were you when you picked up the game, and at what point did you become serious about it?
So I started playing when I was 4, my dad would take me out. I played my first tournament when I was 9. Just played tournaments until high school, and I just got serious about it.
How fortunate do you feel to live in an area where where golf is so prominent with so many pristine courses nearby?
Oh gosh, I’m so fortunate. I mean, Florida is hot, but you can play all year round, and that’s what’s so great about it. I couldn’t have been blessed with a better family — we all play golf. … Yeah, Florida’s great.
What other sports on campus do you enjoy supporting?
Probably football. We get a big crowd for that. Basketball is always fun, and the volleyball games rank up there.
What are your college prospects?
If the opportunity presents itself, I’ll consider golfing in college. It just depends on how I finish up this season. If I have the chance to, I might take it. But I’m definitely more focused on academics. My top two choices would be the University of Florida and Clemson University.
What’s your favorite sport to watch?
I really like the NFL but I don’t have a favorite team, I’m more of a college guy. (I’m a) Clemson (fan), born and raised.
What’s something about you most people wouldn’t know?
I love to travel — I’ve been traveling my whole life, and I love to take pictures of where I travel. I was recently in northern Minnesota, at the Canadian border, canoeing. I went to Alaska to see the glaciers. We’re actually going to Colorado this weekend.
What are some things about your senior year you are looking forward to?
Before this year, I was definitely looking forward to going to all those games I mentioned and having a good time there. I was looking forward to getting all my college applications in, but that has kind of been a rough task; it’s hard. I’m thinking I might try and pitch for the baseball team this year. I’m just looking forward to keeping in good standing in my classes and building a lot of friendships.