Sparta native wins Big East golf tournament

SPARTA. Jack Simon, playing for St. John’s University, will compete in the NCAA Regional Tournament in Michigan on May 15-17.

Sparta /
| 08 May 2023 | 08:38

Jack Simon, a Sparta native and fifth-year student at St. John’s University, won the Big East individual golf championship April 30 in incredible fashion.

He trailed by a stroke on the 18th hole at Riverton Pointe Golf Club in Hardeeville, S.C.

As he described it, you had to be there to see the kind of shot that landed nearly 10 feet from the pin. He then dialed in and sank the putt to force the playoff.

Simon finished the day 3 under par, making up a lot of ground to force a playoff against Marquette’s Bhoom Sima-Aree after bad weather created a tough non-forgiving course.

The veteran golfer displayed his skill and experience during the playoff against Sima-Aree and became the eighth Red Storm player to win the Big East and the first since 2015.

“It felt really good to go out to my last Big East tournament and end with a bang,” he said.

Simon will play in the NCAA Regional Tournament at Eagle Eye Golf Club in Bath, Mich, on May 15-17. He hopes to perform well there so he can move on to the NCAA Finals at Grayhawk Golf Club in Scottsdale, Ariz., on May 26-31.

After the season, he plans to try to turn pro.

Proud parents

Simon said he felt great to have his parents, Marc and Claudine; his girlfriend, Alexis Faria; and her father, Kevin, there to watch him play in the three-day tournament.

Marc and Claudine both were very proud of their son.

“It’s sorta surreal. I’m super-excited that he’s finishing his college career like this,” Claudine said. “It’s still sinking in for me that he won the Big East.”

Marc added, “It was an unbelievable experience and it was very close, very fun but also very stressful, but at the end, it was a great ending.”

Simon said his talent comes from his parents’ instruction and lots of practice. He played baseball for most of his life until he was 16, when he decided to switch to golf.

He spends his summers in Sparta at the Rockaway River Country Club and his winters in Florida, practicing with old teammates whenever he gets the chance. His favorite golf course to play is Arcola Country Club in Paramus.