Huskie golfers No. 11 team at 2A State; Thompson places 19th

Mike ErwinJournal-Capital
Huskie golfers No. 11 team at 2A State; Thompson places 19th

CANADIAN — The Pawhuska High School Huskies’ golf team capped an outstanding season with an 11th-place finish in the Oklahoma Class 2A Golf Tournament, held May 9-10 at Arrowhead Golf Course on Lake Eufaula.

Morning thunderstorms interrupted play shortly after the start of Monday’s opening round, but the five-man Huskie squad returned to the course with a vengeance during the afternoon.

Senior standout Bailey Thompson fired a torrid 75 for the first 18 holes, putting him fifth in the event’s individual scoring. Close behind was the imposing PHS junior, John Bighorse, who blistered the rain-sopped course with an opening 79 round.

“We’ve come to expect great things like that out of Bailey,” said Seth Creamer, the Pawhuska team’s coach. “And, it was just a phenomenal round for John — without a doubt, his best of the year.”

Due to the weather delay, the 36 holes scheduled for opening day of the tourney were pushed back to Tuesday. The Huskies entered Day 2 right in the middle of the 2A team standings, sitting eighth overall at 338, with two-thirds of the holes still to be played.

“All I can say is that it was not a very forgiving course,” Creamer said. “The water altered things and made for some pretty nasty holes, plus the cups were a little different and a lot of out putts lipped out.”

After a long day of golf, PHS squad had combined for a Tuesday score of 735. The Huskies ended up the tournament with a 1,073 total, which left them six strokes behind the 10th-place team — but, still, only 11 shots out of eighth place.

The reliable Thompson continued to leading the way for the Huskies as he tied for 19th place in the medalist standings. After shooting a 166 Tuesday, he came in with a final score of 241 — which was just 10 strokes away from a top-10 medal.

In 2014, Thompson had been 37th overall when he topped PHS individual finishers for a Huskie team that also wound up 11th at the state 2A tourney. Thompson is planning to play golf next season for Coffeyville (Kan.) Community College.

Bighorse concluded the state championship event tied for 42nd place, with a 261 total (79-182). Up-and-coming sophomore Reese Collins was 57th in the individual standings after carding a 92-187 score of 279. Tucker Helmer came in 71st by shooting 92-204 for a 296, which was three strokes better than fellow PHS senior Chanler Collins, who had a 299 (96-203) to finish 72nd.

“It was really a great experience for everybody, me included,” Creamer said. “We went down Sunday to get in a practice round, which I think really helped us have a strong showing on Monday.”

The Mooreland Bearcats repeated as Class 2A’s team champion by scoring a 966, which was a dozen strokes better than the second-place Haworth Lions. The Pawnee Black Bears, who were runnersup for the 2015 team title, finished fifth this year with a score of 1,019.

Winning the 2016 medalist honors was Kason Cook, a senior from Hydro who shot a 69-143 total 212 to win by seven strokes. Cook finished fourth at the 2015 state tourney. Last year’s 2A individual champ, Mooreland senior Blake Murray, finished 13 back and placed fourth. Zak Owens, a junior from Mooreland, tied for second at this season’s event after placing third a year ago.

A Huskies’ golf team that included Jake Brooks and Matt Free finished fifth, overall, in the 2010 Oklahoma 2A tournament — which reportedly was ended after 36 holes because of strong winds. Pawhuska also produced the state high school girls’ champion, Dorothy Campbell, in 1940.