Wallace earns elusive win in OGA Stroke Play Championship
OGA Stroke Play RESULTS
By Murray Evans
ARDMORE (June 22, 2022) – Lane Wallace struggled a bit on Wednesday to try and remember his most recent outright tournament title. “Probably in high school,” the fifth-year Oral Roberts University senior said.
Wallace changed the answer to that question with an impressive showing in the Oklahoma Golf Association Stroke Play Championship at Dornick Hills Country Club, using a dominant back nine in the final round to pull away for a five-shot win on a sunny, hot and nearly windless day on the newly restored Perry Maxwell layout in southern Oklahoma.
Wallace’s 3-under-par 67 on Wednesday put him at 11-under 199 for the three-round tournament. University of Arkansas golfer William McDonald (who attended Heritage Hall High School in Oklahoma City) shot a 68 and finished second while Grand Canyon’s Matthew Braley of Broken Arrow (who attended high school at Cascia Hall in Tulsa) placed third, one shot behind McDonald. Braley posted a 69 that included an impressive run of six straight birdies.
From Yukon, Wallace signed out of high school with the University of Oklahoma’s powerhouse program, but in four seasons at OU, he never cracked the Sooners’ starting lineup. He finished second to OU teammate Jake Holbrook in last year’s OGA Stroke Play Championship at Jimmie Austin OU Golf Club in Norman, and shortly thereafter, Wallace transferred to ORU.
He became a lineup fixture for the Golden Eagles and was named as the Summit League’s newcomer of the year for the 2021-22 season. Along the way, he shared an individual tournament title in Tennessee Tech’s Bobby Nichols Intercollegiate at Sevierville Golf Club in Sevierville, Tenn.
“There was motivation (this week), but it wasn’t from last year,” Wallace said. “It was more that I’ve been playing really good and I’ve been close to winning (outright). I wanted to get that monkey off my back and get an outright win, playing against the people I’ve grown up playing against.
“I had a low point during the beginning of my college career at OU, but I learned so much through all that. That’s really what brought me here. I think that if I don’t go through that, I don’t come out here and figure my game out like I have. … I wouldn’t change that. I have used that (experience) to learn and build off of it and now I’m confident.”
Wallace prevailed after a wild week during which he, McDonald and Braley each held at least a share of the course record at the “new” Dornick Hills for a time. McDonald’s opening-round 65 on Monday gave him that mark, and Braley then posted a 65 on Tuesday, just hours before Wallace finished off a 64 that gave him a four-shot lead entering the final round.
That advantage didn’t last long. At 2-over for the round following a bogey on the par-4 No. 7, Wallace found himself tied with McDonald at 6-under and Braley was charging fast. Braley started his birdie run with a 20-foot putt on No. 6. He drained a 40-footer at No. 9 to keep it going and moved into a share of the lead (with Wallace) with a 12-footer at No. 10.
On No. 11, Braley drained another 12-foot birdie putt while Wallace put his tee shot in a bunker and ended up with a bogey, putting Braley ahead by two shots over both Wallace and McDonald.
“Obviously, I was trying to win the golf tournament, but I was just trying to get in any birdies that I could at the time,” Braley said. “To go on a run like that is pretty cool.”
But the momentum swung back toward Wallace on No. 12. Braley missed an 8-foot birdie putt while Wallace stuck his approach shot within three feet and made his putt. On No. 13, Wallace rolled in a 25-foot birdie putt while Braley had a nightmare of a hole, leaving his approach shot well short of the green, then hitting into a bunker and missing a 10-foot bogey putt.
“I struggled a little bit coming down the stretch,” Braley said. “I felt like I played pretty good golf. … Lane struggled a little bit early, but man, he kicked it in on that back nine. That double I made on 13 was a pretty big momentum change.”
Wallace never trailed again and began pulling away, recording birdies at No. 15 and at No. 18, the latter after sticking his approach shot within a foot of the hole. McDonald played a steady even-par back nine, allowing him to finish second outright as Braley recorded another double bogey on No. 15 and a bogey at No. 17.
“I knew that if I stuck to my own game, that in the end, if I just kept putting it in the fairway and putting it on the green, I’d be right around the lead,” Wallace said. “This is a course that if you’re off by a little bit, you can get penalized pretty quickly. Luckily, I made a couple of putts on the back nine. That was nice.”
Wallace has a handful of amateur qualifiers on his schedule for the rest of the summer and said he plans to play in the OGA’s Oklahoma Open in August at Oak Tree Country Club in Edmond before returning to ORU for one more season of collegiate golf. After that, he hopes to try his hand in the professional ranks.
“I plan on having a big summer,” he said. “I have a chip on my shoulder now. I’m confident and I feel I can go out and do something in the professional ranks. I am looking forward to getting better.”
Oklahoma Golf Association
Stroke Play Championship
June 20-22, 2022
Dornick Hills Country Club
Lane Wallace, Yukon, OK – 68-64-67 — 199
William McDonald, Oklahoma City, OK – 65-71-68 — 204
Matthew Braley, Broken Arrow, OK – 71-65-69 — 205
Jaxon Dowell, Edmond, OK – 70-67-69 — 206
James Roller, Jenks, OK – 70-73-65 — 208
Jordan Wilson, Edmond, OK – 69-68-72 — 209
Craig Sanders, Edmond, OK – 71-67-72 — 210
Charlie Jackson, Norman, OK – 70-72-69 — 211
Dustin Wigington, Oklahoma City, OK – 68-72-71 — 211
Saxon Ross, Ardmore, OK – 69-73-71 — 213
Jared Strathe, Owasso, OK – 71-73-70 — 214
Parker Rose, Stigler, OK – 71-73-71 — 215
Jax Brewer, Washington, OK – 73-73-70 — 216
Luke Morgan, Guthrie, OK – 75-71-70 — 216
Connor Wilson, Edmond, OK – 71-70-76 — 217
Cole Luber, Yukon, OK – 73-75-70 — 218
Jesse Pennington, Oklahoma City, OK – 70-73-75 — 218
Leonardo Ruggieri, Oklahoma City, OK – 72-72-74 — 218
Eric Schuessler, Stillwater, OK – 74-70-74 — 218
Carson Wright, Norman, OK – 75-69-74 — 218
Mesa Falleur, Muskogee, OK – 70-71-78 — 219
Luke Phillips, Edmond, OK – 70-71-78 — 219
Bryce Newton, Edmond, OK – 77-71-72 — 220
Cole Stephenson, Tulsa, OK – 76-72-73 — 221
Matthew Wellman, Edmond, OK – 74-74-73 — 221
Jake Bay, Shattuck, OK – 72-75-75 — 222
Brian Birchell, Oklahoma City, OK – 74-73-75 — 222
JR Hurley, Norman, OK – 69-76-77 — 222
Dillon Jordan, Ardmore, OK – 72-76-74 — 222
Joseph Lewis, Oklahoma City, OK – 73-72-77 — 222
Harley Abrams, Tulsa, OK – 72-71-81 — 224
Zander Tway, Tuttle, OK – 76-72-76 — 224
Trey Payne, Ardmore, OK – 71-76-78 — 225
Kaden Armstrong, Coweta, OK – 71-73-82 — 226