By Ken MacLeod
Rob Laird is one of nine former University of Tulsa golfers who is a member at Cedar Ridge Country Club, a three-time club champion at one of the most competitive clubs in the state.
After two grueling matches in the Oklahoma Golf Association State Amateur Championship at his home course Monday, Laird is also the last of four Cedar Ridge members standing.
Laird, now 34, moved into the round of 16 with 1 up victories over Brady Liles of Oklahoma City in the morning and Brayden Strickland of Broken Arrow in the afternoon.
He had a two hole lead on Strickland through 15 holes but promptly gave it away with bogeys on the seventh and eighth holes (they played the back nine first). On the par-4 ninth he pulled his tee shot left and left himself 160 yards from the rough but having to go vertical immediately to clear a tall tree directly in his path.
Laird hit a beautiful shot in to about 8 feet and was able to cozy it up for par. Strickland, who just completed his freshman season at Northeastern State, missed the green right and his pitch rolled 25 feet past the hole on the downslope. He could not make the long comeback putt for par.
A large number of members sped around in carts watching and encouraging Laird. Earlier club members James Roller, Bill Lowry and Tyler Hunt had fallen.
“I knew as everyone kept coming to watch that the rest of the guys had lost and definitely felt the pressure to pull one out for the club,” Laird said. “Both matches I leaked fluid toward the end but managed to pull it out.”
Laird said he had not played in the tournament for 10 or 11 years, but came out just because the event was at his home course. He has an 11-month-old girl who takes up most of his spare time these days.
“I noticed that as you don’t play and get older it’s harder to win matches,” Laird said. “But this is good. Got the job done and hopefully tomorrow I can be more comfortable. This is a special spot to me and I know it very well. It’s fun to get out here and play and win a couple of matches, but the end goal is to be standing at the end.”
Laird won the OGA Mid-Amateur Championship at Cedar Ridge in 2017. He played for Tulsa in 2005-2009. TU dropped its golf program in 2016, still a sore spot for many of the former Hurricane players at Cedar Ridge.
Defending champion Jamie Voegeli lost in the second round to Carson Griggs of Sand Springs 5 and 3.
The round of 16 and the quarterfinals will be held Tuesday, with the semifinals and finals on Wednesday.
Oklahoma Golf Association
State Amateur Championship
July 19-21, 2021
Cedar Ridge Country Club
Round of 64
Jamie Voegeli, Tulsa def. James Peachey, Tulsa 3 and 2
Carson Griggs, Sand Springs def. Benjamin Robbins, Guthrie 5 and 3
Mesa Falleur, Muskogee def. Kyle Peterson, Bixby 2 and 1
JR Hurley, Norman def. Lane Whitsell, Edmond 1 up
Dustin Hasley, Yukon def. Brian Birchell, Oklahoma City 19 holes
Harley Abrams, Tulsa def. Trent Lutze, Edmond 2 and 1
Dylan Teeter, Bixby def. Luke Morgan, Guthrie 5 and 4
Craig Sanders, Edmond def. Kyle Hudelson, Edmond 3 and 1
William McDonald, Oklahoma City def. Bryson Terry, Poteau 2 and 1
Garrett Thomas, Edmond def. Michael Gotcher, Broken Arrow 1 up
Matthew Smith, Oklahoma City def. Benjamin Stoller, Owasso 2 and 1
Jake Bay, Shattuck def. Rhett Hughes, Edmond 3 and 2
Tyler Hunt, Tulsa def. Charlie Crouse, Edmond 2 and 1
Dalton Daniel, Newcastle def. Nathan Womack, Elk City 5 and 3
Peter Vitali, Oklahoma City def. Bosten Benn, Edmond 5 and 4
Austin Hannah, Tulsa def. Charlie Jackson, Norman 2 and 1
Shayne Patel, Edmond def. Michael Hughett, Owasso 1 up
Delbert Brooks, Tulsa def. James Roller, Jenks 1 up
Caleb Price, Edmond def. Carlos Gomez, Tulsa 3 and 2
Kaden Armstrong, Broken Arrow def. Colby Cox, Muskogee 1 up
Kevin Clarke, Edmond def. Ryan Roberts, Edmond 1 up
Lane Wallace, Yukon def. Jack Gero, Tulsa 6 and 5
Blake Blaser, Edmond def. Justin Hoppock, Edmond 5 and 4
Dominic Stevens, Crescent def. Jared Strathe, Owasso 4 and 2
Tres Hill, Elk City def. Jeremy Tandoy, Broken Arrow 4 and 3
Josiah Crews, Ninnekah def. Michael Nichols, Del City 2 and 1
Keith Morris, Yukon def. Tyler Gordon, Ralston 8 and 6
Luke Phillips, Edmond def. Drew Mabrey, Tulsa 4 and 3
Zane Heusel, Edmond def. Bill Lowry, Tulsa 1 up
Rob Laird, Broken Arrow def. Brady Liles, Oklahoma City 1 up
Brayden Strickland, Broken Arrow def. Brodey Claborn, Bethany 6 and 4
Round of 32
Griggs def. Voegeli 5 and 3
Falleur def. Hurley 5 and 4
Abrams def. Halsey 6 and 5
Teeter def. Sanders 6 and 5
Hearne def. McDonald 4 and 3
Smith def. Thomas 5 and 3
Bay def. Hunt 6 and 4
Daniel def. Vitali, 2 and 1
Hannah def. Patel 1 up
Price def. Brooks 2 and 1
Armstrong def. Clarke 4 and 2
Blaser def. Wallace 1 up
Hill def. Stevens 5 and 3
Crews def. Morris 3 and 2
Phillips def. Heusel 4 and 3
Laird def. Strickland 1 up