By Ken MacLeod
Max McGreevy captured the marvel that is the Edmond junior golf scene the best during his acceptance speech Saturday night after being inducted into the Edmond Junior Golf Hall of Fame.
“You look at the tee sheet of any tournament in the country and you see it,” he said. “Edmond. And not just one player, but usually four or five players. I’ve been competing against these guys here all my life and now all over the country.”
The overwhelming strength of Edmond as a hotbed of junior golf was on full display Saturday as McGreevy, who won the Class 6A tittle in 2012 and 2013 at Edmond Santa Fe before going on to lead the Oklahoma Sooners to the 2017 national championship, became part of the 12th induction class into the hall.
Four of the six individual inductees were on hand to express their appreciation as master of ceremonies, Baylor coach and Oklahoma golf historian Mike McGraw guided the sold-out audience at Oak Tree Country Club through the accomplishments of the six, as well as honoring the 1993 state champion Edmond Memorial boys team for which he was an assistant coach. McGraw also awarded Hal Mills, girls golf coach at Edmond North, with the Bill Nicklas Award for honoring the spirit and giving nature of Nicklas, a long-time friend and supporter of all Edmond junior golfers while working at Kickingbird Golf Course.
On hand along with McGreevy were Ian Davis, who led Deer Creek to its only state title as a freshman in 2007, graduated in 2010 after an outstanding high school and junior golf career, went on to help lead Oklahoma State to a runnerup finish in the 2014 NCAA Championship and played five years of professional golf, including spending 2016 on the Web.com Tour; Alexis Sadeghy, the 2014 Class 6A champion for Bishop McGuiness, who went on to a successful career at Oklahoma State while also winning three Women’s Oklahoma Golf Association state championships in 2016-17, and will begin a professional career in 2019; and Allison Sell, the first individual girls champion for powerhouse Edmond North when she won as a junior in 2012 at Muskogee Country Club. Sell went on to play at Oklahoma Christian, where she was a four-time All-America Scholar.
Not able to attend were Hayden Wood, 2014 Edmond North graduate who is competing this week in the Sun Bowl Marathon All-America Golf Classic in El Paso, Texas, and Nick Heinen, another 2014 Edmond North graduate who is preparing for the final stage of 2019 Web.com Tour qualifying after being one of two players to advance all the way from pre-qualifying through the first and second stages. Heinen also joined Wood in competing at Oklahoma State and they were part of the overwhelmingly successful regular season the Cowboys compiled on their way to the 2018 national championship.
Both players were represented by their mothers at the dinner. Each player also had a display area in the lobby showing the depth and breadth of their accomplishments in junior golf and beyond.
“Edmond is different, there’s really no other place like it in the region and very few in the country,” said McGraw, who was an assistant at Edmond Memorial from 1987-93, then led Edmond North to three state titles in four years in which his team won 36 of 46 events before moving to OSU as an assistant in 1997.
The success of Edmond junior golf is built on a foundation of excellent local courses on both the public and private side, dedicated instructors such as Brian Soerensen at Kickingbird and Craig Benjamin (president of the Bill Nicklas Foundation which puts on the event), and high school coaches who take their job seriously. There was also great recognition given to Morri Rose and his Oklahoma Junior Golf Tour with giving the players a competitive format to hone their skills each summer and fall without the expense of the AJGA Tour.
For more information on the Edmond Junior Golf Hall of Fame, its past inductees and highlights from previous ceremonies as well as more information on the Bill Nicklas Memorial Junior Golf Foundation, go to http://edmondjuniorgolf.org,