Tyler Junior College sophomore golfer Clayton Keck has a Native American theme to his athletic career.

As a prep star in Tulsa, Oklahoma, he attended Tulsa Union High School. The mascot is Redskins.

As a top Juco golfer in Tyler, he attends TJC. The mascot is Apaches.

As a Division I golfer, Keck will be attending the University of Utah next year. The mascot? -you guessed it - Ute.

It was just a coincidence the mascots were similar. It was just part of the journey to a Division I scholarship.

Keck, along with TJC coach Sandy Terry and a host of family and friends, signed with Utah during a ceremony on Wednesday in the foyer of Wagstaff Gymnasium.

"It is a dream come true. I have dreamt my whole life of playing big D-I golf," Keck said. "It started off rocky with no D-I offers out of high school. … It was the best decision of my life in coming to Tyler. Coach Terry and my teammates have help propel me to the next level.

"Any high school kid out there that wants to play D-I golf and are not having those D-I offers, junior college is a great deal. You get used to the college lifestyle and a lot of junior college athletes are D-I athletes in the making. So you are playing the best week-in and week-out."

Keck was an NJCAA All-American and helped lead the Apaches to a runner-up spot last spring at the national tournament at Goose Pond Colony's Lake Course in Scottsboro, Alabama. He tied for fifth in the medalist race.

He said, "TJC will win the national championship" in 2016.

Keck picked Utah over Mississippi, Central Florida and Grand Canyon University, among others.


Sports Editor

I am a native Tylerite and I grew up reading the Tyler Morning Telegraph and The Tyler Courier-Times. My parents took both the morning and afternoon papers. I came to work here 35 years ago at the age of 23, right after college.

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