By Ken MacLeod
Hanseung Chang erased a four-shot deficit with a 2-under par final round 69 to edge Jordan Wilson of Edmond by a shot in the Gateway Mortgage Group Tulsa Junior at Oaks Country Cub Thursday.
The competitors played through a driving rain early and most scores soared over previous rounds. Wilson, who shared the lead at 3-under with Jaxon Dowell of Edmond to start the day, bogeyed three of his first six holes before rebounding with birdies on holes seven and eight.
He and Chang, who was playing in the group ahead, were both at 1-under for most of the back nine until Wilson hit his approach shot over the green on the par-4 17th and made bogey. He had a putt from about 15 feet for birdie on the 18th hole to force a tie that narrowly missed, one of many birdie opportunities he had on the back nine that refused to drop.
“I just couldn’t get anything to fall,” said Wilson, who closed with a 3-over 74 to shoot even-par for 54 holes. “On 17, I thought I hit a good solid 6-iron but pulled it just a little and it took off. After that bogey, I knew I needed to birdie 18 and gave myself a pretty good look.”
The second-place finish was his best in four AJGA events this summer. Wilson, the Class 6A champion for Norman North, also won the Oklahoma State Amateur championship over Oklahoma State All-American Austin Eckroat and made the cut in the Junior PGA Championship. Having recently committed to Oklahoma State, he wore an orange OSU shirt in the final round while Cowboy head coach Alan Bratton was among the spectators watching him.
The anticipated Bedlam battle between Wilson and Oklahoma commit Dowell, wearing Sooners garb, didn’t materialize as Dowell, battling his swing all round, made five bogeys on the front nine to fall back to 2-over. He missed short birdie putts on 10 and 12 and then made double bogey on the par-3 14th to drop out of contention, eventually shooting 81 to drop back into a tie for fifth.
“I couldn’t make any putts early and really not much went right today,” Dowell said. “I was hitting everything right and short. It was just one of those days when I didn’t have it. Jordan played great and obviously Hanseung must have as well.”
Nathan Weber of Frisco, Texas, shot a final-round of even-par 71 to move into third at 3-over 216. Brayden Strickland of Broken Arrow took fourth at 219 after a 78. Dowell was tied with Jase Summy of Keller, Texas and William Sides of Tulsa at 220.
Borina Sutikto of Fremont, Calif., breezed to victory in the girls bracket, shooting a final-round 70 to finish at 1-under 212, well ahead of second-place Britta Snyder of Ames, Iowa, who finished at 8-over 221.
Top Oklahoma finishes were by Jenni Roller of Jenks, who closed with a 75 to finish tied for sixth at 225, one shot ahead of Maddi Kamas of Kingfisher, who finished with a 76 and tied for eighth.