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Kamas bounces back at WOGA

June 23, 2019 - 00:00
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KHS golf standout shrugs off disappointment, wins junior girls title

  • Article Image Alt Text
    MADDI KAMAS watches a drive during the final round of the WOGA Junior Girls Championship Wednesday at Quail Creek Golf and Country Club. Kamas won the championship flight of the tournament by one stroke. [Photo by Rip Stell courtesy Golf Okl
  • Article Image Alt Text
    KINGFISHER’S Maddi Kamas is shown in action at last week’s WOGA Junior Girls Championship in Oklahoma City. Kamas won the two-day tournament by one stroke. [Photo by Rip Stell courtesy Golf Oklahoma Magazine]

With Dornick Hills in her rearview mirror, Maddi Kamas refused to look back.

That helped her stave off disappointment early last week and bring home some hardware by week’s end.

Kamas shot a 5-over-par 78 Wednesday at Quail Creek Golf and Country Club to finish the two-day tournament at 153 to win the Women’s Oklahoma Golf Association Junior Girls Championship by a single stroke.

She held off Edmond’s Brooklyn Benn, who shot 75 on the second day, to win the championship flight.

“I feel really good about my week,” said Kamas, who will be a junior at Kingfisher High School this fall and turns 16 next month.

“I played really solid, but just a few mistakes cost me.”

The cost came mostly on Monday when Kamas shot a 7-over-par 77 at Dornick Hills in Ardmore during the USGA Junior Amateur Qualifier.

Amari Smith of McKinney, Texas, won the event with a 75. The top-two golfers automatically advance from the qualifier.

Kamas was one of five golfers next with a 77, but missed a short putt on the 18th hole that would have given her a 76 and placed her alone at second place.

She bogeyed the first two holes of the playoff and was eliminated from placing second or being one of the two alternates.

“It was a pretty big disappointment,” admitted Kamas.

However, she couldn’t dwell on it because the WOGA started back in Oklahoma City the next day.

“I was upset, but I didn’t think about it at all on Tuesday,” she said. “In fact, I made almost all of my putts.”

Kamas shot a 75 in the opening round of the WOGA to open up a two-stroke lead over Emma Shelley, Sarah Sherrard and Sydney Hermann. Benn fired a 79 on the first day.

However, the rising sophomore at Oklahoma Christian School mounted a comeback playing in the group ahead of Kamas. She chipped in for birdie on 18 to put her within striking distance.

She was close mainly because Kamas had a double-bogey and three bogeys on the front-nine.

But she settled in to play a bogey-free back-nine, including a two-putt for par on the par-5 18th to seal the win.

Kamas has committed to play at Oklahoma City University and Stars coach Marty McCauley served as her caddie at the WOGA.

The win qualified Kamas to play in the Fore State Team Championship next month at Shadow Valley Golf Course in Rogers, Ark.

The tournament pits a team from Oklahoma against those from Missouri, Arkansas and Kansas. The two-day event uses a Ryder Cup format combining four-ball, foursomes and singles matches.

Each state fields a 12-member team with four players in each the amateur division (39 years and younger), mid-am (40-59 years) and masters (60 and up).

Kamas was the Class 4A state runner-up as a sophomore at KHS and led her team to a fourth-place finish, just four strokes out of the runner-up spot.

Alexis Stitt, one of the members of that team, competed in the WOGA for the first time and placed sixth in the 16-18 year-old division.

Not only was Stitt, who will be a senior at KHS, playing in such an event for the first time, but was also breaking in brand-new clubs and working on some new techniques from a swing coach.

“I know it will benefit me long term, but I just have to get used to it all,” Stitt said.

Although she said her scores didn’t meet her expectations, Stitt said she relished playing in the event. Laremy Kamas, Maddi’s father, was Stitt’s caddie.

“Even though I didn’t play very well, it was super fun and Laremy had me laughing the whole time.”