Jackson Parrish beat Craig Erickson 6-and-5 to win the 2023 Nevada State Match Play Championship. The finale was scheduled to be a 36-hole match but Parrish closed out the title on the 31st hole. The four-day golf marathon was held June 29-July 2, 2023 at Boulder Creek Golf Club. Both golfers in the finale represented Southern Nevada. –by Bill Bowman, LasVegasGolfInsider.com
Parrish will be entering his second season at Cal Poly, in San Luis Obispo, CA. In his first season he led the team in scoring, averaging 73.1 over 33 rounds. He had three top-10 finishes for the Mustangs.
He also won the 2022 Southern Nevada Amateur Championship.
Now he’s back in the winner’s circle.
“This win feels great,” he said. “This was definitely a strong, strong field and to come out on top and play good golf is really special.”
Over the first 18 holes in the Match Play title round, Jackson turned a one-hole deficit (after the ninth hole) into a three-hole lead by posting birdies on four holes over a six-hole stretch.
Erickson would get back to within one on the 20th hole before Jackson took control with two wins over a four-hole stretch to open a three-hole edge with nine to play.
Jackson won the first three holes of the final nine and a couple of holes later he was holding the trophy.
“I did a good job of driving it in the fairway,” he said. “The course is really straightforward and if you hit fairways, you can score.”
He added his length off the tee added to his edge.
“I’m long enough that I can have a wedge into just about every hole and I did a good job of putting myself in position to score on a lot of holes.”
For the week, Parrish only saw the 18th hole twice: Once in the opening seeding round and at the turn of the 36-hole finale.
“With as much golf as we played, the sooner you can get off the course the better,” he said. “If I would have finished every round, I would have had every round in the 60s and that speaks volumes of how well I was playing. It was a good week to play well.”
And that playing well included a solid effort on the greens.
“It doesn’t matter if you’re playing well tee to green if you’re not taking advantage of that and making putts,” he said. “And this week I made some putts to keep my momentum going.”
Despite the win, he’s still looking to improve his game.
“I had a couple of interesting iron shots,” he said with a laugh. “Just a couple of four-irons that were so far offline it was hard to justify. I think it might be an equipment issue rather than a swing issue. We’ll have to see.”
In the end, it was a victory he won’t soon forget.
“It’s always great to win,” he said. “But it’s a little nicer when it comes against this strong of a field and at an impressive event like this one.”
Andrew Hawk def. Jared Smith, 2&1
Craig Erickson def. Scott Rescigno, 2&1
Jackson Parrish def. Raymond Kim, 3&1
Michael Sarro def. Jacob Nelson, 1-up
Erickson def. Hawk, 1-up
Parrish def. Sarro, 3&2
Parrish def. Erickson, 6&5