Team finishes one stroke shy of fourth-place goal
One stroke short.
That was the hard-luck theme for Kingfisher golf this postseason.
Earlier, it was Maddi Kamas, who fell one stroke shy of forcing a playoff for the 4A girls individual title.
Then, last week in Tulsa, the Kingfisher boys golf team missed out on its goal of finishing in the top-four in Class 3A.
By one stroke.
The Yellowjackets shot a three-round total of 961 Monday and Tuesday at Tulsa Country Club to garner fifth place in the team standings.
“Our goal going into the tournament was fourth,” coach Chris Combs said. “Looking at scores in such a loaded class throughout the season, I felt that was attainable.”
And it was.
With just one practice round under their belts on the course, the Jackets fired rounds of 326 and 319 Monday and found themselves sitting in fifth place, four strokes behind fourth-place Crossings Christian.
On Tuesday, the Jackets bettered themselves with a 316 and passed Crossings, which came in at 324.
However, Christian Heritage Academy leapfrogged them both. CHA was six strokes behind KHS after Day 1, but fired a 309 on the final day to secure fourth place.
“The only disappointment overall was to have 961 strokes and miss fourth place by one,” Combs said.
Still, fifth place was lofty status in a loaded field.
Regent Prep, which had won Class 2A the previous two years, bumped up to 3A and took home the team title with an 882. That was eight strokes better than Oklahoma Christian School, the two-time defending 3A champ, which had to settle for runner-up.
Kingston shot a 930 for third place and was tops among the public schools. CHA and Kingfisher followed the Redskins.
“I honestly feel 3A is the strongest golf class from top to bottom,” Combs said.
Among the top golfers in that strong field was Kingfisher senior Peyton Burns.
He was tied for 14th place after rounds of 77 and 76 on the par-70 course Monday.
Burns came back Tuesday with a 72.
His 225 put him in a tie for eighth place and earned him All-State status as one of the two top-scoring seniors from the West.
“My goal at the beginning of the year was All-State and I’m glad I can say I accomplished it,” Burns said.
It was Burns’s second straight top-10 finish at state and he becomes Kingfisher’s 13th male golfer to earn All-State.
“He’s been a four-year starter and very steady throughout his career playing at the top of our lineup,” Combs said. “Being able to consistently play steady with his other responsibilities has been fun to see.”
Burns, who splits time between golf and a hectic FFA schedule in the spring, credited Combs for helping mold his skills on the course.
“He’s done a lot the last four years in building my confidence and helping me learn how to manage my way around the golf course whether I’m having a solid or poor round,” Burns said.
Junior Colby Campbell bounced back from an opening-round 84 to shoot a 78 and 79. The 241 total was 23rd among the individuals.
Caleb Cameron opened with a 79, then shot a pair of 82s to close out the tournament, his last as a KHS golfer.
Cameron’s 243 placed him 25th.
“He’s another four-year starter,” Combs noted. “Caleb was able to knock his stroke average down to 78 this year, nearly three shots better than last year.”
Yet another senior, Lo-gun Burnham, finished at
252. He fired rounds of 86, 83 and 83.
“He’s started three years for us and has always maintained a good attitude and pleasant personality,” Combs said. “And he could always hit the ball a long way.”
Freshman Caden Hill shot 91, 95 and 93 for a 279.
He returns next year, as does Campbell.
“We will miss the three seniors for sure,” Combs said. “They’ve been a part of many tournaments and many successes.”
• The three seniors were a part of team placings at state that included fourth place as freshmen, sixth as sophomores and fifth as juniors.
• Once again, Kingfisher hosted two boys golf invitationals in 2019. One was for large school (Class 3A and up) and the other small schools (2A and below).
• And, once again, those tournaments featured some of the best teams and individuals in the state. Among those top teams was the eventual Class 5A champ, Guthrie, which won a second straight state title; 4A champ Heritage Hall; and the 3A runner-up, OCS.
• Some of the top individuals included Dowell and Goodman, both of whom shot 65 at Kingfisher Golf Course. In that tournament, Goodman beat Dowell on the second playoff hole.
• Taking third in Kingfisher’s large-school invitational was Guthrie’s Luke Morgan, who went on to win the Class 5A individual title. Piedmont’s Hunter Oden, 5A runner-up, also played here.
• Heritage Hall’s William McDonald shot 68 here to tie Burns for sixth place. He eventually took third individually at the 4A tournament while leading the Chargers to the crown. He’s a future teammate of Mason Overstreet at the University of Arizona.
• The small-school tournament here featured the eventual individual 2A champ, Big Pasture’s Connor Boydston, as well as OBA’s Jackson Hoelker, who was third at state.
• Both were out-dueled here by Crescent’s Dominic Stevens, who went on to place sixth at state.
• Turner, the Class 2A team champ, played in the 2A regional hosted by the Kingfisher Golf Course.