January 20, 2019

Jon Hughes takes a swing at greatness

Webster University senior golfer Jon Hughes is closing out the season with a chance to be the school’s all-time scoring leader.

Coming into the St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SLIAC) tournament, Hughes ranks fourth in school history with a 77.66 scoring average.

Head coach Andrew Belsky said Hughes is not only having a great season this year, but he is having one of the best seasons in school history.

“Jon has had a tremendous career here,” Belsky said. “He has really worked hard and dedicated himself to be a great golfer. He has changed a lot over the course of his career and grown as both as a person and a golfer.”

Webster won the SLIAC tournament and Hughes finished sixth overall. He was named to the SLIAC Second Team All-Conference Team and SLIAC All-Sportsmanship Team.

Hughes said his teammates are very competitive, but also a very supportive group of golfers.

“I think all of the experience I’ve built up over my four years here has really paid off,” Hughes said. “I’ve been through almost all possible conditions, so I’m prepared for whatever comes my way.

Hughes first started playing golf at age six. He first used plastic clubs until his grandmother bought him metal clubs when he was a kid.

Hughes said the individual nature of the game got him hooked since he was an only child. He also credited his father for helping him practice and supporting him.

“He pushed me to hold myself to high standards and taught me to never settle,” Hughes said. To always strive to get better. I would not be where I am today without him.”

Growing up, Tiger Woods was Hughes favorite golfer. He said he is also a fan of Rory McIlroy and Jordan Spieth.

Hughes said the experience of playing in the NCAA National Championship has been the favorite moment of his college career.

“We had so many good stories come out of that week,” Hughes said. “Plus we got to see Tyler make the cut on his own with one of the best pars I’ve ever seen in my life on the last hole. I’m hoping we can get back to the championship this year.”

Teammate Ian Heizer has played with Hughes all four seasons. He said Hughes is always thinking of ways he can better his golf game.

“He showed me how much dedication it takes to be good at this game and still be as good of a student as he is,” Heizer said.

Along with Heizer and Hughes, Webster has three other seniors this season. Hughes said he has become close to his teammates over his four years at Webster.

“We keep each other motivated and do our best to help each other out whenever we can,” Hughes said. “It’s going to be weird not being on a team with them next year since all of us have been together so long.”

Hughes best performance this season happened at the Pinewood Collegiate Invitational where he finished second with an even par.

Belsky said Hughes has put outworked his competition and avoided big mistakes.

“In golf, you are always going to have little mistakes as you go, but he has learned to manage to avoid the big mistakes,” Belsky said.

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