Golfer looks to continue App State success after fall season


Taylor Ward

COVID-19 senior Jake Lane works on his swing at practice Feb. 21, 2022.

Michael Garrity

Winning a collegiate golf tournament is incredibly hard, something a college golfer would be happy to do in a four year span. Winning a collegiate golf tournament twice, in one semester, is special. 

COVID-19 senior Jake Lane accomplished this in the 2021 fall semester, and he’s looking to continue his momentum to end his App State career on a high note.

Lane achieved his first individual win as a Division I golfer in the 2021 Highlander Invitational, shooting a combined 7-under par over the 36-hole tournament. Lane became the first App State golfer since Tripp Summerlin in 2007 to have a non-shared tournament win.  

A week later, Lane shot a combined 10-under par over 54 holes in the Phoenix Invitational to a tie for first place, giving him back-to-back first place finishes. Lane’s 10-under par score in the tournament was his lowest 54-hole score of his career.

Lane’s scores on the course are a by-product of his off-season training. A typical training day for Lane starts at 5:45 a.m., where he practices with the team for an hour. After classes end around noon, Lane heads right back to the golf course. He found himself practicing for four to six hours nearly every day. 

“I’ve never really believed in an offseason. You’re on-season all the time,” Lane said. 

Senior Jake Lane poses for a photo at App State team’s practice Feb. 21, 2022. (Taylor Ward)

During these practice days, Lane spent the majority of his time working on a specific area of his game. 

“What I’m always working on, and what I believe is most important, is short game. It’s what it takes to get the ball in the hole,” Lane said. 

While in college, he’s focusing on his vision of playing professional golf. 

“I’m going to play in PGA Tour Q-School in March, competing in the MacKenzie Tour in Alabama,” Lane said. “That will be my first step to professional golf. The goal is to get status going into PGA Tour Canada before I leave school.” 

The MacKenzie Tour is an affiliated event with the PGA Tour. If a golfer places high enough in the Order of Merit, a table that tracks your points based on how well you do in events throughout the season, they can qualify for the Korn Ferry Tour. The KFT is a developmental tour to get to the PGA Tour. 

Qualifying to compete on the KFT and finishing inside the Top 25 for that season rewards PGA Tour status and eligibility to compete in PGA Tour events for that year. This is the peak of professional golf, where the Top 100 ranked golfers, according to the Official World Golf Rankings, compete every year.

While pursuing his professional golf career in college, Lane has personal and team goals for the season. With seven upcoming events, Lane and the team have their sights on tournaments they’d like to win. 

“It’d be nice to win our home tournament. We have the talent to do it,” Lane said. “We want a multi-win season. We want to win the conference and get to regionals, then get to the national championship.”

As for Lane’s personal goals, he has high expectations.

“I want a multiple win semester, with the mindset of trying to win every event I go into,” Lane said. “Now, when I go to tournaments, I know I’m one of the few guys in the field that have done it before. It’s very intense. It’s a lot of nerves. Once you’re there, you define the moment. You don’t let it define you.” 

With this semester being Lane’s final ride as a collegiate athlete, he wants to make it memorable and make sure everyone knows one thing. 

“I want it to be after this semester, whenever anyone asks who was the best golfer to ever play at App State, they say Jake Lane.”

The Mountaineers will compete next in the Seahawk Intercollegiate in Wilmington March 27 and 28.