By Ken MacLeod
Austin Hannah of Jenks had to survive a bizarre five-shot swing in one hole against one of his top pursuers but still went on to defend his Oklahoma Golf Association Mid-Amateur title on his home course at Oaks Country Club Tuesday.
Hannah had to take an eight on the par-5 seventh hole when he played the wrong ball from deep rough left of the green. Mike Hughett of Owasso, playing in the same group, made an eagle on the hole, jumping from four shots down to one shot ahead.
â€œThat was a big momentum swing,â€ Hannah said. â€œThere was a lot of golf left, so I knew that even with the eight I was right there, just a shot or two back.â€
Hannah, who played collegiately at Oral Roberts, rebounded with a birdie at the ninth while Hughett made two consecutive bogeys on holes 8 and 9. Hannah went on to make nine consecutive pars on the back nine en route to a 3-over 74 and a 3-under 139 total.
â€œI had the lead going into the back and just hung on,â€ Hannah said. â€œI wasnâ€™t playing my best, but Iâ€™m proud of the way I hung in there. I just feel really comfortable on this golf course. I feel it suits my game real well. It has small greens and requires a lot of touch shots.â€
Rob Laird of Tulsa, playing in the group ahead, birdied two of the first four holes on the back nine and had birdie putts of 7 feet on 17 and 12 feet on 18 but missed both. He did pull into second alone at 1-under 141, two shots behind Hannah. Laird was runner-up to Hannah in this event in 2015 as well and has now finished second in five OGA events, including two Stroke Play Championships and one Junior Amateur.
Long-hitting Kacey Threet of Grove finished alone in third at 143 after rounds of 67-76. Hughett, the Senior Stroke Play champion who has won 19 OGA events, battled a balky putter all day and shot 75 to wind up tied for fourth with Brian Birchell of Edmond and Patrick West of Jenks at 2-over 144.
Hannah, who recently ran away with the club championship at The Oaks, will take his momentum off the two victories into qualifying for the U.S. Mid-Amateur Championship at The Blessings in northwest Arkansas. He has twice qualified for the national championship but has yet to reach match play.
â€œI feel like with the two wins in the last two weeks, Iâ€™m ready and looking forward to the challenge,â€ Hannah said.
Oklahoma Golf Association
Mid Amateur Championship
August 1-2, 2016
Oaks Country Club
Austin Hannah, Jenks, Okla. – 65-74–139
Rob Laird, Tulsa, Okla. – 70-71–141
Kacey Threet, Grove, Okla. – 67-76–143
Brian Birchell, Edmond, Okla. – 74-70–144
Patrick West, Jenks, Oklahoma – 73-71–144
Michael Hughett, Owasso, Okla. – 69-75–144
Joel Driver, Oklahoma City, Okla. – 77-69–146
Jeff Cox, Broken Arrow, Oklahoma – 76-70–146
Jeff Richter, Edmond, Okla. – 72-74–146
Dillon Jordan, Ardmore, Oklahoma – 75-72–147
Joe Joe Birdwell, Bixby, Okla. – 73-74–147
Tom Ostasik Jr, Broken Arrow, Okla. – 70-77–147
Blake Gibson, Yukon, Okla. – 73-76–149
Ryan Grimm, Tulsa, Okla. – 72-77–149
Tyler Sullivan, Sapulpa, Okla. – 79-72–151
Michael Koljack, Broken Arrow, Oklahoma – 74-77–151
Don Clark, Shawnee, Okla. – 74-77–151
Jon Valuck, Oklahoma City, Okla. – 71-80–151
Tyler Willey, Edmond, Okla. – 79-73–152
Brent Taylor, Bartlesville, Oklahoma – 80-73–153
Christopher Lee, Edmond, Okla. – 79-74–153
Jeff Coffman, Oklahoma City, Okla. – 79-74–153
Chase Thornhill, Tulsa, Okla. – 82-74–156
Shawn Barker, Bartlesville, Okla. – 78-78–156
Nick Sidorakis, Tulsa, Okla. – 74-83–157
Austin Hackett, Broken Arrow, Okla. – 84-75–159
Tom Nielsen, Edmond, Okla. – 80-79–159
Jon Hoover, Tulsa, Okla. – 78-81–159
Ethan Edwards, Oklahoma City, Okla. – 79-81–160
Eric Evans, Ponca City , Okla. – 84-78–162
Kevin Quigg, Tulsa, Okla. – 86-77–163
Gentry Wyatt, Broken Arrow, Okla. – 83-82–165
Jack Steinmeyer, Tulsa, Okla. – 83-82–165
Carson Parker, Oklahoma City, Okla. – 83-82–165
Jason Benson, Monkey Island, Okla. – 84-85–169
Carter Simmons, Sand Springs, Okla. – 92-80–172
Joey Mogelnicki, Oklahoma City, Okla. – 89-84–173
Jason Gulley, Jenks, Okla. – WD
Matthew Rison, Edmond, Okla. – WD