Advancing to the Class 2A Regional represented another successful step in the career of Pawhuska High School’s No. 1 golfer, junior Reese Collins.
Five members of the PHS Huskies’ team competed in last week’s regional aualifier at Fountainhead Golf Course in Checotah, but only Collins made the cut.
Playing on an unfamiliar course following a last-minute rescheduling due to the recent rains, Collins shot a round of 84 — which tied him for second-best score among the event’s seven individual qualifiers.
Golfers from 22 eastern Oklahoma schools participated in the tourney, with all seeking advancement to the Class 2A Regional to be held Monday, May 1, some 25 miles down the highway at Arrowhead Golf Course in Canadian.
The regional site is one that’s familiar to Collins, who recorded several rounds over the Arrowhead course as a sophomore.
“That’s where they had last year’s state tournament,” said Collins, who was the No. 2 player on the Huskies squad that finished 11th as a team at the 2A championships.
PHS’s other returnee from the state-tournament team, senior John Bighorse, narrowly missed qualifying for the Regional. In last year’s opening round at state, Bighorse fired a 79 that set him up for a 42nd place overall finish — 15 places higher than Collins.
Leading the way for the 2016 Pawhuska squad was Bailey Thompson, who now competes at the collegiate level with Coffeyville (Kan.) Community College.
Other Huskies who competed at Fountainhead included senior Diego Kilpatrick, junior Isaiah Fortney and freshman Tristian McCartney. Also on the local team were juniors Blue Starr and Kienan Cheves. Ben Rawlinson coaches the PHS squad.
Pawhuska’s team score at the Checotah tourney was 451. Advancing teams included Wewoka, with a score of 344, RegentPrep (348), Victory Christian (358), Woodland (369), Henryetta (374) and Pawnee (386).