Maybe Roanoker Jack Wilkes just needed to take his game to the courses in adjacent counties to the Roanoke Valley.
It sure worked over the weekend in the 39th edition of the Roanoke Valley Golf Hall of Fame men’s championship.
Wilkes rebounded from a three-shot deficit to two-time defending Hall of Fame champion John Hatcher Ferguson after the first round Friday at Roanoke’s Blue Hills Golf Club to put the pedal down over the weekend for Saturday’s round at Great Oaks Country Club in Floyd and Sunday’s final at Botetourt Golf and Swim Club.
Wilkes flipped the lead Saturday by shooting a sub-par 70 at Great Oaks while Ferguson slipped to a 75, giving Wilkes a two-shot lead heading to the final round in Botetourt County. He kept it going in Sunday’s final round with a sub-par 67, coasting to an 8-shot (68, 70, 67= 205 total) victory over Ferguson (65, 75, 73= 213) and Blacksburg’s Richie Jeter (73, 69, 71=213). Hunting Hills’ Jim Schafer finished fourth at 214.
Wilkes, who will turn 31 in August, is a Cave Spring High School and University of Richmond graduate, who played high school golf for the Knights and was a four-year member of the Richmond Spiders’ golf team from the 2010-11 to the 2013-14 season. Wilkes has been quietly under the radar for years in Roanoke golf circles. He made a run at Ferguson in last year’s Hall of Fame final round at Hanging Rock to close to within 2 shots after ten holes before Ferguson rallied on the inward nine.
Wilkes was a four-year letterman for Cave Spring, playing first or second position all four years. He was a four-time VHSL River Ridge All-District selection and three-time VHSL All-Regional selection. Wilkes finished in the Top-10 twice at the VHSL Group AA State Tournament. At the University of Richmond, he was a standout in numerous college tournaments.
Wilkes has a strong golf family background with his father, John, a member of the University of Virginia golf team from 1980-82.
Also, Sunday, the long-time Queen of Roanoke Valley golf, Dot Bolling, playing out of Hidden Valley Country Club, took home the hardware in the Women’s Division with a six-shot victory (78-78=156 total) over runner-up Kaitlyn Mosdell, (83.79=162) playing out of Roanoke Country Club in the Women’s 36-hole format at Great Oaks and Botetourt Golf and Swim. Bolling won the Women’s Senior Division title in 2021 before moving to the regular Women’s Division this year due to a lack of entries on the lady’s side.