Stalwarts Hennessee, Cowan, Johnson, Bond are state champs
Photo: Class 4A champs of Oklahoma Christian School. Left to right, Tosh Hays, Aaron Cummings, Bryant Polhill, Ryder Cowan, Ty Neatherlin and Braden Haines.
Bishop Kelley junior Will Hennessee withstood a final-round 67 by Baylor Bostick of Duncan to win the Class 5A state championship at The Territory in Duncan.
Hennessee shot a final-round 1-under 71 to finish at 7-under 209, three shots clear of Bostick, who finished at 212 after rounds of 72-73-67.
Duncan roared from behind to win the team title with a final round 299 to finish at 915, 19 shots ahead of Bishop Kelley which led through 36 holes.
Hennessee poured in 17 birdies over the 54 holes, including six in the final round to overcome two double bogeys and a bogey. After Bostick birdied the 13th hole to pull even, Hennessee played the final five holes in 1-under while Bostick had bogeys on holes 17 and 18.
“It feels amazing,” Hennessee said. “All those late night and early morning putting sessions paid off. To walk down the final hole with my parents and coach and teammates cheering me on, what a great feeling. Baylor played an amazing round and he was 7-under through 13. I told myself there is still time left, just keep making good swings and I was able to dig in and play solid golf those last five holes.”
Down to the last putt, the battle between Oklahoma Christian School, led by Ryder Cowan, and Heritage Hall and its star Ben Lathrop raged all afternoon at Prairie West Golf Course in Weatherford.
At the end it was Cowan winning his second consecutive state title (he was the Class 3A champion in 2022) by two shots over Lathrop, while OCS edged Heritage Hall by a single shot.
Cowan, who has signed to play collegiately at Oklahoma, shot a 68 Tuesday to finish at 11-under 203, while Lathrop matched that with a 68 of his own to finish at 9-under 205.
OCS, however, also had the third-place finisher in Kansas State signee Bryant Polhill (69-69-70) at 208. That was enough to offset the fifth and sixth place finishes of Heritage Hall’s Roger Smith and Kyle McLaughlin.
OCS coach Tosh Hayes said it’s been a privilege to watch Cowan and Polhill for the last four years, but he was equally proud of his two freshmen and a sophomore iin Ty Neatherlin, Braden Haines and Aaron Cummings who desperately wanted to win the team title for their senior standouts.
“There was no live scoring, but I know we fell behind significantly about four holes in,” Hayes said. “It was a real team effort to keep battling but they really wanted to do their part for Ryder and Bryant who have meant so much to this program.”
The team also paid tribute to OCS school resource officer Jeremy McCain who died March 30 following an accident at the school by wearing his name and call signal on their sleeves.
In an incredibly tight finish, Christian Johnson of Christian Heritage won a three-hole playoff with Bliss Newon of Lone Grove after the two shot 66 and 69, respectively in the final round of the Class 3A State Championship at Lakeview Golf Course in Ardmore.
Those strong closing rounds lifted them a single shot ahead of Carter Nutt of Christian Heritage and first-day leader Jace Chaney of Plainview.
Plainview did win the team title by a comfortable 49 shots over Kingfisher.
Collin Bond of Community Christian completed a sizzling romp to the Class 2A championship, shooting a combined 19-under par on the North Course at Lake Hefner in Oklahoma City after rounds of 67-63-67.
Bond won the title by 12 shots over Spencer Bullen of Nowata, who finished 7-under at 209 after rounds of 73-70-66.
Led by Bond, Community Christian cruised to the team title with a score of 875, 26 shots ahead of Latta at 901.