Berry unleashes 58 on course his father built in Tahlequah

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By Ken MacLeod

Blake Berry knows every inch of Cherokee Springs Golf Course in Tahlequah. His father Burl Berry designed and built the course then known as Cherry Springs in 1989, he played there growing up and for Tahlequah High School and still plays it frequently.

Familiarity only takes one so far. It also takes a huge amount of talent and skill to do what the 25-year-old Berry did Tuesday, which is shoot a 14-under 58 from the back tees on the par-72, 6780-yard course which carries a slope rating of 136.

Almost needless to say, it was a career low round and course record.  Berry, who played collegiately at Oklahoma City University before transferring to the University of Central Oklahoma. has turned professional and played in a recent event on the All Pro Tour, making the cut at the event at The Territory in Duncan this spring.

One of the three witnesses to the round was Nick Baker, Berry’s high school coach at Tahlequah.

“I’ve seen some rounds in the low 60s but never anything under 60,” Baker said. “It was fun to watch. And it was pretty easy. These guys drive it so far and then they hit good wedge shots. He chipped in once for eagle, but almost all of his birdies were from inside eight feet.

“Blake is a good driver, good wedge player and good putter and that’s what it takes. I would definitely like to see him give professional golf a run.”

Berry said he intends to do just that, but first has a few events on the barbeque circuit to attend. He and three friends won $32,000 last year in the KECO Open in Elk City, a four-man scramble that pays $12,000 for first place plus money to be made in Calcuttas.

Berry started out Tuesday’s round with a par, then chipped in for eagle on the par-5 second hole. He made a bogey on the third, then reeled off five birdies over the next six holes to make the turn in 30.

Berry opened the back nine with an eagle followed by five consecutive birdies before making pars on holes 16 and 17. He capped it off with an aggressive drive on the par-4 18th hole, leading to a second shot from 58 yards that he hit to 10 feet and converted the putt for the 58. He shot 8-under 28 on the back nine.

“Nobody was saying anything to me the last few holes but after I made the putt they call came over and congratulated me,” Berry said. “It was pretty cool. It didn’t really hit me at the time but I was thinking about it last night. It does give me motivation to go see what I can do in this game.”

There had been a 59 shot previously at the course by former Oklahoma State golfer Trent Whitekiller of Salllisaw.

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Ken MacLeod

Publisher Golf Oklahoma | Oklahoma's No. 1 Golf Source