By Ken MacLeod
EDMOND – In a rare all-western Oklahoma final, Logan Gore of Elk City put on a shotmaking clinic on the back nine to down powerful Mason Overstreet of Laverne 4 and 3 in the championship match of the Oklahoma Golf Association Junior Championship Thursday at Kickingbird Golf Course.
In the boys 14-15 age group, Lane Wallace of Yukon made his instructor, venerable Lake Hefner professional Alsie Hyden, proud with a 3 and 1 victory over Navid Majidi, younger brother of University of Tulsa golfer Nadia Majidi. In the girls championship, Taylor Dobson of Broken Arrow made four birdies to down Lexi Armon of Owasso 3 and 2.
Overstreet, who often runs the pro shop while practicing at the all-volunteer nine-hole Laverne Country Club, overpowered the field in the stroke play qualifying, shooting rounds of 64-67 for a 9-under total of 131, four shots better than University of Oklahoma commit Thomas Johnson of Norman. He continued to play dominant golf in reaching the finals of match play, but ran into a buzzsaw on the back nine in Gore.
Overstreet left a 5-foot eagle putt one roll short of the center of the cup on the par-5 ninth hole after hitting a wedge in from 140 yards on the 520-yard hole. That left the two tied and gave Gore the reprieve he needed.
In succession, Gore hit his approach about two inches left of the pin on the par-4 10th hole for a short birdie, knocked his tee shot within 6-feet on the 193-yard par-3 11th for another birdie, then made a beautiful chip from behind the green on the par-5 12th hole to salvage a half with a par.
And he was just getting started.
After driving right into trees on the par-4 13th, he punched out to 110 yards and hit a sand wedge that struck the pin and stopped a few feet away. Overstreet was also in the trees to the right, punched a runner that went over the green and could not get up and down, falling three down in the match.
That led to the par-3, 14th, where Gore’s tee shop was long right over the green. He caught his pitch a bit thin, but it hit the pin again. Instead of being likely off the green on the other side, it was a conceded par.
"That was definitely going off the green," Gore said. "But hey, you’d rather be lucky than good. Really my short game was just on today. It hadn’t been that great earlier in the tournament, but it clicked today and I felt like I could make any shot I needed."
That was borne out on the par-5 15th, where Gore pitched his third shot to within a foot for his fourth birdie in seven holes to close out the match.
"I didn’t play great, but he won it," said Overstreet, a rising junior who has committed to the University of Arkansas. Asked what he thought when Gore hit the pin on successive holes, Overstreet just chuckled.
"That’s when you know it’s your day," he said. "I left a couple of putts short on the front nine that would have helped, but he played great on the back nine."
Overstreet had shot rounds of 65-68 the previous week at the OJGT Hudiburg Oklahoma’s Best High School Classic to blow away a talented field that included Johnson and Class 6A state champion Austin Eckroat.
Gore, who will be a senior at Elk City where he finished fourth in Class 4A, has had discussions with several colleges, but said the OGA Junior Amateur Championship was definitely his biggest tournament victory to date. He will now be eligible for the Red River Challenge against the best Texas juniors.
Okla. Golf Association
Junior Boys & Girls Championship
June 2-5, 2014
Kickingbird Golf Club
Match Play Results
Round — (Semifinal)
Lane Wallace, Yukon, Okla. (1) def. Colter Baca, Edmond, Okla. (5), 2 and 1
Navid Majidi, Tulsa, Okla. (6) def. Laken Hinton, Edmond, Okla. ( (2), 21 holes
Lane Wallace, Yukon, Okla. (1) def. Navid Majidi, Tulsa, Okla. (6), 3 and 1
Taylor Dobson, Broken Arrow, Oklahoma (1) def. Lexi Armon, Owasso, Okla. (3), 3 and 2
Mason Overstreet, Laverne, Okla. (1) def. David Trimble, Okla. City, Okla. (4), 2 up
Logan Gore, Elk City, Okla. (6) def. Nick Pierce, Sallisaw, Okla. (10), 2 up
Logan Gore, Elk City, Okla. (6) def. Mason Overstreet, Laverne, Okla. (1), 4 and 3