ADA — Both the Ardmore Tigers and the Edmond North Huskies wanted to win the 2010 Tournament of Champions golf tournament, which took place Monday at Oak Hills Golf and Country Club.
The Tigers, the two-time Class 5A defending state champions, had never won the event, while the Huskies were trying for a five-peat of the event (not counting last year’s rainout).
They both got their wish as they tied for the team title at 280.
“We had a couple of hiccups that cost us, and I thought that playing 8-under would win it,” Ardmore coach Steve Ross said. “I didn’t think we’d tie anybody, but that goes to show you how good Edmond North is. There are a couple of holes we’d like to play over. No. 17 was the key — we had an eagle and two birdies on that hole — and that’s what got us to 8-under. We had a lot of looks — and a lot of putts that could have gone, but didn’t — but I’m not going to complain about a 280. I think when I knew I had the best teams here, it got rained out (1997 and 2009). To be co-champs is a neat deal.”
While the five-peat was nice, Edmond North coach Jeff Doherty was just pleased his team improved upon scores his golfers had been recording recently.
“We’re exciting (about sharing first place),” Doherty said. “What I’m more excited about, whether we had won it or not, was that we played a lot better than we have been playing. We really haven’t played really well this year, but this is the first time we’ve thrown out a score in the 70s. We’ve been having to throw out some 80s here lately. I told the boys that I’m more happier with the way we played, wherever we would have finished.”
Jenks was third (282), followed by the host Ada Cougars in fourth (294).
“It feels real good,” Ada coach Robbie Fuller said. “It’s not so much where we finished, but it was the way we played. We got off to kind of a shaky start, and we really could have had things go south on us in a hurry. And it didn’t. They held things together pretty well, and we finished good. My goal for the whole year is try to get better every week, and our scores have come down every week. If we continue to do that, then we have a pretty good shot at being good before it’s all over with.”
Edmond North’s Austin Fuller was the top medalist, carding a 68, edging four other golfers who had 69s.
“It feels pretty good,” Fuller said. “It gives me a lot of confidence. My putter and my irons were working the best, but I didn’t hit my driver too good, though. You didn’t get a lot of roll (since the course was wet due to weekend rains). The ball would hit and just stop, but I was able to overcome that — and it helped that we were playing the ball up. It feels pretty good that we shared the team title. I’m happy.”
Rounding out things for the Huskies, Fuller’s teammate Chase Griggs shot a 69 to be a part of the tie for runner-up, Alex Heinen shot a 74, followed by Caleb Myers (75) and Andrew Cole (78) to help Edmond North achieve its five-peat. Heinen won the longest drive award for the tournament.
Ardmore’s Daniel McMurry was also among the golfers tied for second with a 69. Davis Rison shot a 72, Trey Payne had a 73, Seth Morgan carded a 75 and David McMurry shot a 76 fueled Ardmore’s cause to finally get first place in the annual event.
Among the top 10 medalists were a pair of Cougars, as Adam Gourley and Wyatt Robson tied for ninth with 74s. Gourley was pleased to be among the top individuals, since this was his final Tournament of Champions.
“I feel great,” Gourley said. “I came out and I played well my last time here. I hadn’t been playing well all year, and (on Monday) I played up to par — and played like I need to. I’ve been working more on my mental game. I’ve been losing it after making a couple of bad shots. But (on Monday) I held on, and didn’t shoot anything worse than a bogey. That really made the difference. It feels good to tie (Wyatt Robson). I’ve played with him for five or six years now. I know he’s going to represent Ada well for the next three years to come.”
Robson, too, was glad to be among the group of medalists.
“It feels good to do well on our home course,” Robson said.
“It was rough. The course was wet. It played pretty long. It was special to tie Adam. He’s been playing pretty poorly all year, but he had a great round in a tough tournament.”
As for the rest of the Cougars, Blake Long and Justin Powell (who won the putting championship) shot 80s, while Will Robson shot an 82.
“To do as well as we did, for being as young as we are, is great,” Powell said. “I had a senior (Gourley) shoot a 74, and I had a freshman (Wyatt Robson) shoot a 74. Our highest score was an 82, which we threw out. Early in the year, we were throwing out 96s and 98s, and having to keep 92s and 93s. So, we’ve come a long ways.”
(Ed. Note: For results of the tournament, see Wednesday's edition of the Ada Evening News.)