By Ken MacLeod
The title being sought was the Oklahoma Golf Association Stroke Play Championship, but over the final few holes it became a match play duel as Dustin Hasley of Yukon and Thomas Johnson of Norman came down the stretch run at Tulsa Country Club.
Johnson began the day four shots behind Hasley and slowly worked on erasing the deficit until finally pulling even with a spectacular flop shot from behind the par-3 17th green for birdie.
The momentum swung back just as rapidly. Johnson left his tee shot on the par-4 18th out to the right and had to pitch out from under of trees. He hit a nice pitch to about 6 feet, but the par putt broke just left of the hole. Hasley made a solid par after hitting his approach to about 15 feet above the hole and two-putted for the one stroke victory.
It was a sweet win for Hasley, a rising sophomore at Oral Roberts University who played 14 rounds as a freshman after winning the 2017 Class 5A state championship for Piedmont. He was one of five ORU golfers to make the cut, as Jack Howes of McKinney, Texas, finished third four strokes behind at 211, Grayson Jones tied for seventh at 216, Josh Montgomery tied for 11th at 217 and Mike Biata of Owasso tied for 27th at 226.
Knowing Johnson is strong competitor for the University of Oklahoma team that won the 2017 national championship and made it the final eight this year made the victory even more satisfying.
“I know Thomas is a really good player, he plays for OU and I’ve played with him years before in other events,” Hasley said. “I knew he was going to give me his best shot today.
“It definitely had a match play feel. I knew where everyone else was at.”
Hasley took command of this event in the first round with a 6-under 64 that included his first career hole-in-one on the 237-yard ninth hole and an eagle from 117 yards with a sand wedge on the par-4 15th. He followed that with rounds of 2-over 72 Tuesday and 1-over 71 Wednesday.
Johnson closed with a 2-under 68, including four birdies over the final eight holes. Hasley matched his birdies on the par-4 13th and the par-5 15th. Johnson had pulled within a shot with a birdie on the par-4 11th but could not draw even until his final birdie on 17.
Rhett Bechtol of Edmond and Joseph Lemieux of Newalla tied for fourth at 212. Carson Griggs of Sand Springs placed sixth at 215, while Sam Humphreys of Edmond, JR Hurley of Norman, Jones of Texarkana and Heath Myers of Kingfisher rounded out the top 10 at 216.
The strong showing by ORU golfers raises expectations for the Golden Eagles, whose top golfer Cody Burrows of Chickasha had a conflicting tournament and did not enter.
“We expect to win the league, make regionals and be a contender to make the NCAA next year,” Hasley said.
Oklahoma Golf Association
Stroke Play Championship
June 11-13, 2018
Tulsa Country Club
Hasley, Dustin, Yukon, – 64-72-71 –207
Johnson, Thomas, Norman, – 69-71-68 –208
Howes, Jack, McKinney, – 70-72-69 –211
Bechtel, Rhett, Edmond, – 72-71-69 –212
Lemieux, Joseph, Newalla, – 73-71-68 –212
Griggs, Carson, Sand Springs, – 71-73-71 –215
Humphreys, Sam, Edmond, – 71-73-72 –216
Hurley, JR, Norman, – 75-71-70 –216
Jones, Grayson, Texarkana, – 75-69-72 –216
Myers, Heath, Kingfisher, – 76-70-70 –216
Montgomery, Josh, Ancaster, – 76-73-68 –217
Prentice, Jacob, Edmond, – 70-76-71 –217
Birchell, Brian, Oklahoma City, – 72-73-73 –218
Hughes, Alexander, Tulsa, – 71-73-75 –219
Ruiz Nava, Alberto, Oklahoma City, – 70-76-73 –219
Wilson, Connor, Edmond, – 77-72-70 –219
Richardson, Brady, Tulsa, – 73-68-79 –220
Enzbrenner, Austin, Owasso, – 72-73-76 –221
Baca, Colter, Edmond, – 72-74-76 –222
King, Brody, Tulsa, – 72-76-74 –222
Pennington, Hunter, Tahlequah, – 76-71-75 –222
Berry, Blake, Tahlequah, – 77-72-74 –223
Pierce, Nick, Sallisaw, – 75-72-76 –223
Powers, Said, Edmond, – 79-70-74 –223
Turiano, Wes, Tulsa, – 74-75-74 –223
Strathe, Jared, Owasso, – 73-75-77 –225
Biata, Mike, Owasso, – 74-77-75 –226
Tewell, Carson, Edmond, – 75-76-75 –226
Laughlin, Christopher, Edmond, – 75-76-78 –229
Kauffman, Conner, Guymon, – 78-73-80 –231