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Shawn Jasper returns to amateur ranks with impressive win

By: Warren Mayes

Shawn Jasper at the 2017 Metropolitan Amateur

Priorities have changed for Shawn Jasper. The former professional golfer gave up the sport after seven years chasing that dream. He now is an amateur golfer.

According to Jasper, time moves on and things have changed.

“I still love to compete but my career and family are priorities over golf now,” said Jasper, a Francis Howell and Missouri graduate. “My amateur status was reinstated in November 2016.”

That was two years after his last professional round. Interesting enough, Jasper didn’t twist himself like a pretzel deciding on what to do.

“The decision wasn’t as tough as you might think. I had always had a plan out of college to give it my all for five years and re-evaluate,” Jasper said. “After those five years, I had played a year on the then Nationwide Tour [now Web.com] and really felt like I was improving, so I committed to giving it two more years. I obtained Web.com Tour status again, but lost it in 2014.”

That makes it tougher to play. No card means having to qualify for each event.

“Having no status anywhere at the end of my two-year window, I had to ask myself if I was still enjoying the grind,” Jasper said. “And I didn’t like the thought of playing mini-tour golf in my 30s. I had also met my now wife, Kristen, and priorities were changing, so I decided it was time to settle down if you will.”

Jasper played professionally for seven years. It was a good ride, but it was up and down.

“I played for two-and-a-half years out of college on the Canadian Tour, then a year on various mini-tours in the U.S., The Adams Tour and The Hooters Tour primarily,” Jasper said. “In 2011, I had full status on the Nationwide Tour, which I did not keep my card that year. The last few years, I played on the Adams Tour, Hooters Tour, and Web.com Tour primarily.

“I absolutely enjoyed it. I was able to see a lot of the U.S. over the seven-year period. I think I have been to all but 10 states now. I was able to compete in Canada, Mexico, Panama, Colombia and Peru professionally – all amazing countries. My brother, Kyle, and I drove the first year of the Canadian Tour in 2007, driving from St. Louis to Vancouver for qualifying and then going from coast to coast in Canada playing the schedule that summer. It was quite the road trip for sure.”

Along with the sightseeing, there were some nice moments for Jasper on the links.

“I was able to win a couple Adams Tour events over my professional career [Louisiana and Texas] as well as capture back to back Metropolitan Open titles [2010 and 2011]. In 2010, I was able to get all the way through PGA Tour Qualifying School and had a chance of a PGA Tour card entering the final round of Final Stage, but settled for a full Nationwide Tour card,” Jasper said. “The number of great players at all levels of professional golf was the hardest thing I think. I came out of college after a successful career and thought I was pretty good … I learned quickly [that] in professional golf, par is not a good score.”

Earlier this summer, he made his comeback in the 27th annual Metropolitan Amateur at Norwood Country Club. His three-round score was a 2-over par 215, but he said his “favorite parts of the event weren’t really golf related.” For him it was about family.

“My brother, Kyle, caddied for me all three days, so it was great to walk and spend time with him,” Jasper said. “On Saturday, Kristen, my dad [Karl], Kyle’s wife [Lauren] and my nephew [Keagan] all came out to watch. It was the first time my nephew [age 2] had been on a course and Kristen had never seen me play in contention for an event before, so it was great to have them all there.

“I remember caddying in this event for Roger Null when I was younger and then played a few times in high school and college, but it eluded me. To be able to have my name on the same trophy as Don Bliss and Jim Holtgrieve is very special and something I can cherish forever.”

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