Carterville alum, Jake Eklund, prepares for biggest amateur tour - WSIL-TV 3 Southern Illinois

Carterville alum, Jake Eklund, prepares for biggest amateur tournament of his career

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CARTERVILLE - In 1958, Jack Nicklaus won the Trans-Mississippi amateur.   60 years later, former Carterville high school standout Jake Eklund will try to do the same thing.

“Easily probably the biggest tournament I will play in so far, so I’m extremely excited," Eklund explained.  "Obviously I’m out here practicing a little harder and make sure I represent myself well there.”

Eklund qualified for the Trans-Miss after a successful sophomore season at Kansas State.

“I think the big difference from collegiate to junior golf is we work four to five hours every single day whether that be chipping, wedges or putting and I think that’s really made a difference in my game,” said Eklund. 

But Eklund has been working on his game for years.  He started playing at Crab Orchard Golf Club when he was four and his autographed pictures hangs on the clubhouse walls.

Now, 16 years later he’s looking to make a name for himself, the golf club and Southern Illinois.

“A big goal would be to finish in the top five against the best amateurs out there," added Eklund.  "I really feel like that would really put my name out there and let them know a kid from Carbondale Illinois can play some golf.”

The Trans-Mississippi Amateur is a 72-hole tournament with a cut after the second round.  It begins July 10th in Columbus, Ohio. 

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