Crescent senior realizes dream in claiming individual golf title
Dominic Stevens had aspirations of winning a pair of golf state championships to close out his career.
As with so many others, his aspirations were derailed a year ago by COVID-19.
The Crescent senior made the best of it last week when he capped his high school career by dominating the Class 2A field.
Stevens shot two rounds of 5-under-par 65 on Monday and closed out with an even-par 70 the following day at Earlywine Golf Course in Oklahoma City.
His 10-under-par 200 won him the individual title by 14 strokes over Tipton’s Conner Cryer.
It was the realization of a dream shared by both he and his father, Jeff.
“My dad and I have always talked about it (winning state) and it was a really special moment to share with him when the job was done,” Stevens said.
The son of two collegiate golfers, Stevens has signed to play at Northeastern Oklahoma State University.
In his first tournament of his senior season, Stevens was tied for first at the end of the day, but had to settle for runner-up.
He hasn’t “lost” since as Stevens racked up medalist honors at every tournament the rest of his senior year.
At state, he put an end to any suspense by opening up a 13-stroke lead on Cryer after the 36-hole first day.
“Everything was clicking,” he said.
After opening with a series of pars, Stevens holed out from the bunker for eagle on his sixth hole.
“That really kickstarted everything for me,” he said.
“The swing felt really good. I felt like I was shaping it both ways when I wanted to and the putter felt really good.”
The second day brought a lengthy rain delay. The air was colder and the course was wetter.
“I didn’t really like where my swing was just because it was so cold and the delay didn’t help,” Stevens said. “But I just tried to grind it out and make as many pars as possible.”
As Stevens was figuring out his swing early in the round, he was able to save a few pars.
“That gave me a lot of confidence and a lot of freedom to go out and play aggressive,” he said.
His rounds were the three lowest of the tournament. No other player shot lower than 71.
After a solid finish to his sophomore season, Stevens was among the favorites to win 2A in 2020 before COVID-19 forced its cancellation.
“I was really looking forward to last year because I thought I had a really good shot to win it my last two years of high school,” Stevens said.
“But having it taken away from me my junior year definitely made me work harder and win it my senior year.”