Hillcrest crew’s effort allows NCAA DII Regional to proceed, fortunate damage was limited

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By Ken MacLeod

The competitors at the NCAA Division II regional at Hillcrest Country Club in Bartlesville were able to get their second round in Tuesday afternoon after a heroic cleanup effort by the maintenance crew, pro shop staff and even up to the general manager grabbed chain saws and rakes and removed downed trees and thousands of limbs and other debris.

The damage was from a tornado Monday evening that minutes earlier had devastated the town of Barnsdall. Fortunately the super cell merged with a powerful storm front just as it entered Bartlesville causing both to weaken enough that Bartlesville sustained damage but nothing to the degree of Barnsdall.

“We were very blessed,” said John Hron, PGA Director of Golf at Hillcrest. “It could have been so much worse.”

Hron and his family along with members of the Northeastern State University team sheltered in an underground room at the club while most of the other teams were at the Holiday Inn which fortunately sustained little damage.

Following the storm, Hron, superintendent Jeremiah Anderson and the  team inspected the course and thought there was little chance of playing on Tuesday. But they were out at 6:30 a.m. in an effort to make it both playable and safe for the competitors.

“We had to take a few areas out of play due to hanging limbs,” Hron said. “And we lost a few strategic trees that long term will affect play. But overall again we were extremely lucky and blessed.”

When play did resume, Southwestern Oklahoma State remained in the team lead by four shots over Henderson State. The top three teams advance to the NCAA Division II National Championships in Orlando, Fla. on May 21-25. Follow final round live scoring here.


 

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Ken MacLeod

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