City golf championship claimed by R.J. Walker

Mike ErwinJournal-Capital
City golf championship claimed by R.J. Walker

Robert James Walker II won the inaugural city golf championship Sunday at Pawhuska Golf & Country Club.

The Osage National Congressman — who is better known as R.J. Walker — posted a first-place score of 143 in the two-day competition on the historic local course. Walker shot a 71 on Saturday to build a three-stroke lead over Kyle Culver and Terry Loftis. He clinched the title with a final round of 72, which defeated runner-up Ben Martin by four strokes.

Martin, the course superintendent, shot an opening round 79 before unleashing the event’s best round — a 68 — on Sunday.

According to Martin, this tournament probably marked the first time for the city golf championship to be decided in a stroke-play format.

“I’ve been around here since the 1960s and it had always been match play,” the superintendent said.

Culver finished with an 81 to claim third place at 155, which was two strokes better than fourth-place Butch Hedgecoth (77-80). Clint Hill and Loftis rounded out the tourney’s championship flight. In all, 29 players entered the two-flight event.

Calvin Easley won the championships’ A Flight with a 82-77, for a 159. He edged runner-up Lee Sellers’ 81-79, 160. Third place went to Dave Williams with a 82-85, 167. Others competing in the A flight included Cameron Rumsey, Mike Walker, Trey Blythe, Nick Rumsey, Chris Rumsey, Mark Manning, Craig Walker, Chris (Bulldog) Blythe and Ruben DeRoin.

Finishing atop the B Flight was James Berrick, who shot a 93-95 total of 188. Second place went to Danny Ferguson with a (94-95) 189, and the third-place finisher was Scott Roughton at (96-94) 190. Additional B flight entries were John T. Manning, Justin Patterson, Bruce Vassen, Shawn Martin, Colton Manning, Kenny Bighorse, Derek Stanton and Steven Ashurst.

Martin said Friday night’s rains delayed Saturday’s start for about an hour.

“Fortunately, the course was dry enough to absorb the water without causing us any problems,” he said.

The local Perry Maxwell-designed course was originally opened in the 1920s. It closed in 2009 following nearly eight decades of operation. John Long purchased the property in 2014 and the course — with a rebuilt clubhouse — was reopened to the public last summer. Temporary greens were used until earlier this year when Martin completed the greens’ rebuilding project.

In-town annual memberships cost $112.50 and an out-of-town membership fee is $75/year.