Owasso ends Edmond North reign in 6A

By Ken MacLeod

Photos by Bill Powell
STILLWATER – We will find out in 2016 if the empire strikes back, but for now the force is with Corey Burd and his freewheeling band of Owasso Rams.

The 10-year reign of Edmond North atop the boys Class 6A golf world had a crash landing Tuesday as Owasso put together a solid round of 310 on the difficult Karsten Creek Golf Club to win its first state championship in school history.

The Rams, led by University of Tulsa signee Marc Kepka, who shot a final-round 73 to finish second individually, widened the two-shot lead they began the day with to 11 over the defending champions. North actually slipped to third place, a stroke behind Broken Arrow, after a season-worst 320 in which only defending champion Austin Eckroat broke 80.

"We all played bad at the same time," said Edmond North coach Jeff Doherty. "We just made a lot of bad mental decisions hitting clubs we shouldn’t have been and paid the price."

Senior Jacob Prentice of Edmond Memorial made his first victory of the season a huge one, shooting a final-round 3-over 75 to finish at 6-over 222 and win the individual title by two shots over Kepka.

"This is an unbelievable feeling. I’m walking on air," said Prentice, who will play his collegiate golf at Southern Nazarene. "Nobody thought I could come back in the third round and keep it together. This will be something I will cherish the rest of my life."

Prentice kept it together with two scintillating par saves, the first on the par-4 13th after a shanked tee shot into the woods, a pitch out, long iron shot into the green and a 40-foot putt that dropped to save par. The second was on the par-4 17th after a drive right into trees, a pitch out to 122 yards, then a wedge to 3 feet and another par-saving clutch putt.

Burd is the director of golf at Bailey Ranch Golf Course in Owasso and has brought a deep knowledge of the game and a calming demeanor to the team in his two years at the helm. Owasso finished third in 2014.

"What I try to tell them is more strategy than swing coaching," Burd said. "I try to get them to relax, keep their minds right and get around the course. I remind them it’s a marathon and not a sprint and that one bad hole doesn’t ruin the round."

"Corey always calms you down," Kepka said. "He always has a smile on his face, never gets mad and always encourages you. He’s a great coach and I love him to death."
Kepka said he and his teammates came out expecting to win Tuesday, but "the heavy cloud of Edmond North was definitely over us. This is really special." He said the Rams had lost to the Huskies at least 18 times in his career without a victory.

Kepka got great support from Clark Killion, who shot a 76 and finished tied for ninth, and from Mike Biata with a 79 and Noah Russell with an 82. Freshman Austin Enzbrenner shot 84, but his second-round 77 was a counter.

Broken Arrow, which didn’t have a senior in the lineup, was led by Harrison Gearhart, who tied for Kilion for ninth at 230.

Individually, Union’s Navid Majidi shot the tournament’s best round with a 3-under 69 Tuesday. He began the day with an eagle on the par-5 first hole, ripping a 4-wood from 245 yards to eight feet. From there he added two birdies against just one bogey.

Majidi may have been wearing the crown if not for an 11 on the par-5 14th hole in his second round Monday. But the long-time student of Janice Gibson at The First Tee of Tulsa rebounded nicely.

Eckroat played a solid round but could not get any putts to fall in defense of the crown he won as a freshman. The Oklahoma State commit tied for fourth with at 11-over 227 with McCain Schellhardt of Edmond Memorial.  Tied for sixth place were Brett Tyndall of Jenks and Lane Wallace of Yukon at 228.

Class 6A scores

At Karsten Creek (Stillwater)

Par 72

Team Scoring

1. Owasso 316-304-310 — 930

2. Broken Arrow 322-307-312 — 941

3. Edmond North 310-312-320 — 942

4. Edmond Memorial 319-313-311 — 943

5. Jenks 326-319-316 — 961

6. Southmoore 318-328-337 — 983

7. Norman 328-329-330 — 987

8. Moore 329-319-340 — 988

Edmond Santa Fe 326-328-334 — 988

10. Bixby 364-329-339 — 1032

11. Stillwater 345-355-336 — 1036

12. Norman North 360-345-334 — 1039

Top Individuals

222 — Jacob Prentice, Edmond Memorial 74-73-75

224 — Marc Kepka, Owasso 77-74-73

225 — Navid Majidi, Tulsa Union 74-82-69

227 — Austin Eckroat, Edmond North 77-76-74; McCain Schellhardt, Edmond Memorial 82-74-71

228 — Brett Tyndall, Jenks 79-74-75; Lane Wallace, Yukon 76-75-77

229 — Turner Howe, Norman 71-78-80

230 — Harrison Gearhart, Broken Arrow 83-73-74; Clark Killion, Owasso 78-76-76; David Trimble, McGuinness 78-76-76

Others

Owasso: Mike Biata 79-77-79 — 235; Noah Russell 82-78-82 — 242; Austin Enzbrenner 90-77-84 — 251

Broken Arrow: Justin Moore 79-79-75 — 233; Ty Schenutt 80-79-81 — 240; Will Beaulieu 80-76-86 — 242; Jason Ohman 83-88-82 — 253

Edmond North: Rhett Bechtel 80-75-80 — 235; Laken Hinton 78-78-83 — 239; Tyson Reeder 75-84-83 — 242; Colter Baca 84-83-86 — 253

Edmond Memorial: Evan Johnson 80-85-80 — 245; Austin Kang 83-81-85 — 249; Joel Prentice 96-99-109 — 304

Jenks: Preston Crawford 82-77-82 — 241; Garrett Jelley 81-84-77 — 242; Andrew Loseke 84-84-82 — 250; Drew Williams 89-85-85 — 259

Southmoore: Brennan Fanning 76-74-81 — 231; John-Crawford Counts 77-81-84 — 242; Lance Gregory 85-88-82 — 255; Bryce Fanning 80-93-90 — 263; Ryne Beck 90-85-90 — 265

Norman: Tristan Florence 78-79-84 — 241; Jarris Shahan 88-92-85 — 265; Andrew Cook 91-85-91 — 267; Payton Otto 100-87-81 — 268

Moore: Jake Reddington 82-72-79 — 233; Jeff Whitson 80-78-80 — 238; Jake Huber 81-85-92 — 258; Matt O’Bryant 86-89-89 — 264; Koty Dillinger 96-84-93 — 273

Edmond Santa Fe: Logan Smoak 76-79-78 — 233; Noah Tillman 85-80-83 — 248; Brett Hagan 83-82-84 — 249; Spencer Quinn 83-87-89 — 259; Brandon Stephenson 84-88-89 — 261

Bixby: Grant Peterson 81-75-84 — 240; Chase Carr 91-82-86 — 259; Morgan Fletcher 93-83-83 — 259; Matt McMahan 101-89-87 — 277; Michael Kemmerly 99-92-86 — 279

Stillwater: Seth Hughes 88-83-80 — 251; Gabe Gudgel 85-91-84 — 260; Brendan Worley 82-89-94 — 265; Clay Tunin 90-92-89 — 271; Hunter Northern 96-92-83 — 271

Norman North: Connor Mears 87-85-83 — 255; Ryan Trousdale 87-87-86 — 260; Mitchell Ross 96-83-85 — 264; Holden Young 91-94-80 — 265; Hunter Austin 95-90-86 — 271

Bartlesville: Andrew Lehman 82-82-79 — 243

Choctaw: Payton Posada 85-78-84 — 247; Lucas Laukhart 92-88-89 — 269

McGuinness: Landon Strunk 82-82-82 — 246

Midwest City: Kade Davis 95-85-84 — 264

Sand Springs: Carson Griggs 78-83-77 — 238

Sapulpa: Hudson Hoover 76-77-84 — 237; Clay Venable 93-84-82 — 259

T. Kelley: Jack Woolslayer 88-85-84 — 257

T. Union: Parker Rehorn 76-79-76 — 231

Yukon: Avery Acosta 90-89-81 — 260

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Ken MacLeod

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