The Moore American

Sports

July 10, 2013

Former Sooner earns first pro win at Belmar

MOORE — Perhaps Will Kropp was made for this pro golf thing. It sure looked like it over the last four days at Belmar Golf Club, where Kropp didn’t simply finish off his first professional victory — and his first victory of any kind since high school — but finished it off in style.

Entering the final round of the Adams Golf Pro Tour Series’ OK Kids Korral Championship on the 6,519-yard par 70 layout with a one-stroke lead, Kropp remained under par a fourth straight day and won by four strokes.

With rounds of 69-65-65-69, his 72-hole total of 12-under par 268 was four strokes better than the 272 finishes of Cody Gribble and Jonathan Randolph.

The $14,000 first prize may not change Kropp’s life, but it should help keep him solvent as he angles toward tour qualifying school in November.

“It feels pretty good,” said Kropp, who graduated from Oklahoma in May. “It’s been a while since I won, so it really feels pretty good.”

The one stroke lead he began Saturday with was over Jordan Russell, a class of 2012 Texas A&M product.

On just the second hole, a drivable par 4, Kropp found a hazard, tried to play his ball out of it and failed before taking a penalty stoke and a drop. He got away with a fortunate bogey 5, yielding the lead in the process.

Everything changed for good on No. 3, a 562-yard par 5. Kropp came back with a birdie, Russell made the first bogey of what became a a very forgettable closing 77, and the very recent former Sooner was in command the rest of the way.

Not that Kropp knew that, exactly.

“I didn’t really know where I was,” he said. “I knew it was playing pretty tough and I was around even most of the day, so I knew I had to be up there … I didn’t play as well as I had. I hit some bad shots. I’m just proud of myself for hanging in there.”

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