Davis, Cowan, McDonald, Falleur reach State Amateur semifinals

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By Ken MacLeod

While three of the semifinalists in the Oklahoma Golf Association State Amateur Championship were decided shortly after lunch, Ryder Cowan and Stephen Carney played until the shadows grew long on the fairways at Southern Hills Country Club Tuesday.

With a par on the 18th hole, his 40th hole of the day, Cowan edged two-time champion Carney 1 up to grab the final spot in Wednesday morning’s semifinals.

He’ll be joined by defending champion Ian Davis of Edmond, William McDonald of Oklahoma City and Mesa Falleur of Muskogee, each of whom had an easier day than Cowan.

Davis continued an impressive display of golf with a 6 and 4 victory over Ryan Grimm in the third round and a 4 and 3 victory over home course favorite Davis Woodliff in the quarterfinals.  He will play McDonald, who downed Dustin Wigington 4 and 2 in the morning then clipped Dylan Teeter of Bixby 6 and 5 in the afternoon.

While Cowan was going 22 holes before prevailing against William Sides in the morning and then a full 18 in the afternoon, Falleur made short work of Ben Klaus of Nichols Hills and Caleb Smith of Blanchard, recording identical 7 and 6 romps. Falleur, who plays collegiately at The University of Missouri-Kansas City, played just 24 holes to Cowan’s 40 on the day.

Carney, the former University of Tulsa golfers who won this event in 2010 and 2012, recently regained his amateur status after trying his hand at professional golf from 2013-17. He fell behind Cowan by three in the first five holes, but battled back to take a lead on the 11th hole as Cowan began to tire with bogeys on 8, 9 and 10 and a double bogey on 11.

The 19-year-old from Edmond righted the ship from there, evening the match on 12 with a conceded birdie, holding on as Carney made improbable pars on the par-3 14th from behind the green and the par-4 16th from a fairway bunker,  then grabbing the lead on 17 with a pitch from right of the drivable green to less than a foot.

“That pitch on 17 was probably the best shot I’ve hit in the tournament,” Cowan said. “When I got to my ball it looked like someone had stepped on it. So I was really happy with that shot at that time.”

Cowan reached the quarterfinals with a 22-foot downhill birdie putt on the fourth playoff hole against Sides. Both players were solid throughout the match but neither could roll in many birdies. Sides, who converted to putting left handed last fall as Southern Methodist, had a 14-foot birdie putt just miss to tie the match after Cowan’s bomb.

Cowan is vying to be the first player in state history to win the OGA Junior Championship, Stroke Play Championship and State Amateur Championship in the same year, having prevailed in the other two events earlier this summer.

Davis, who won the event in 2022 at Oklahoma City Golf & Country Club, was tied going into the ninth hole against Woodliff. With Woodliff looking at a short birdie putt, Davis rolled in a curling 25-footer for birdie. Woodliff then missed his birdie effort.

“That kind of flipped the match right there,” Davis said. “I played solid from there and he had a couple of bogeys. I’ve been playing pretty well. It’s great to be here at Southern Hills and winning here would be really special.”

OGA Match Play Semifinals

8 a.m., Ian Davis vs. William McDonald

8:10 a.m., Ryder Cowan vs. Mesa Falleur

Championship Match to follow


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Ken MacLeod

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