The Moore American


April 2, 2014

SaberCats grab Norman links title



John-Crawford Counts and Bryce Fanning led the charge, both carding 76s to finish first and second, in that order, in the medalist standings.

“We wanted to go play in a playoff on No. 18,” said Fanning, a sophomore, who carded a 1-under 71 in the final round of last week’s Timberwolves Invitational at the Jimmie Austin OU Golf Club.

Instead, a “scorecard playoff” ensued. As the No. 1 handicap hole on the course, it was what Counts and Fanning did on the par 4 ninth hole that mattered. Counts was better on the ninth and was therefore crowned the individual champ.

Despite losing his ball on No. 10 after what he thought was one of his best swings of the day, NHS’ Turner Howe finished third with a 77.

In addition to his teammates and coach, Howe had somebody else walking the course and watching him play. That was Chris Wilson, assistant golf coach at the Air Force Academy.

Howe remained relaxed.

“I played pretty solid,” Howe said. “I had my short game today.”

Though he lost his drive on 10, he still made a bogey 5 on the hole, taking just three strokes after returning to the tee after not finding his ball. The shot that hurt him the most, though, came on the next hole, an approach into the creek on No. 11.

“You’re going to have a couple of misses in this wind,” Howe said, “and I had a couple of misses in the wrong place.”

After Southmoore,  Edmond North was next at 304, followed by Edmond Memorial at 307, Norman North at 317, Moore at 320 and NHS at 326.

Yukon, Westmoore, Mustang and a second team from NHS lagged behind.

North managed its fourth-place finish without necessarily sending it’s ‘A’ team. Holden Young led the T-Wolves with a 78.

A good time was had by most.Moore coach Ryan Dukes wasn’t pleased with his team posting a 334 on the day. Even though Jake Huber (80) and Jeff Whitson (81) were a couple of strokes away from sub-80 rounds, he was hoping to see better.

“We are young,” Dukes said. “Lack of experience. We’ve got a lot of sophomore, a lot of juniors with not a lot of tournament experience. Just a matter of putting them in the situations out on the course under tournament pressure. It’s our third tournament and it’s kind of been the same thing. Just trying to get above that hump of lack of experience.”

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