GOLF: Claremore, other local linksters shine in tournaments

Mar. 28—The Claremore High School golf teams showcased their talent and determination this week, clinching victories in their respective tournaments.

On Monday, the Claremore boys took first in a field of 20 teams at the Miami Invitational at Peoria Ridge Golf Course. The Lady Zebras followed suit Tuesday, clinching the top spot in the Caney Valley Golf Tournament held at Key Golf Club in Cleveland.

The boys then kept the winning streak going on Wednesday, claiming victory in the East Central Cardinal Classic at Heritage Hills Golf Course in Claremore.

The Miami Invitational drew over 100 participants, and it was the Zebras' sophomore standout Jack Williams who emerged as the victor with a score of 70, leading Claremore to a team total of 307 — four strokes ahead of runner-up Poteau.

"For Jack, it was the most complete round I've ever seen him play," Claremore coach Tim Gregg said. "He was bogey free and 3-under through 15 holes and finished the day with only one bogey. He had his complete game going, and if you talked to him, he probably could have shot a little better still."

Rogers County made its presence felt in the top 10, with Inola's Travis Weast securing third place with a score of 73. Tate Dunlap of Sequoyah followed closely in fifth place with a score of 75, tied with Maddox Mason of Verdigris, who secured eighth place through a tiebreaker.

The Longhorns' Caden Thompson secured ninth place, carding a 76. Just outside the top 10, Tripp Jackson and Connor Burton of Claremore tied for 11th, with Jackson prevailing in the tiebreaker. Gage Hall, another Zebras golfer, tied for 14th place with an 81, ultimately finishing 18th due to a four-way tiebreaker.

"Tripp was right up there all day, and he's going to win a tournament this year, I think, at some point," Gregg said. "He had a couple of mistakes around the greens, and Connor struggled off the tee a little bit. He just transferred in this year, and he's going to be really good."

Inola, Sequoyah and Verdigris all found themselves in the top 10 of the team standings — finishing fourth, seventh and eighth respectively — with scores of 324, 351 and 356. Caleb Helling of the Longhorns finished 19th with an 83, while Trevor Groff and Aidan Schaefer closed out the scoring effort for Inola with scores of 92 and 97, respectively.

Wyatt Thompson contributed to the Eagles' performance with a score of 96, placing him 60th, while Luke Wood followed closely behind in 80th place with a score of 100. Caden Reavis rounded off Sequoyah's scoring, finishing 104th with a score of 86.

For the Cardinals, Cole Finch finished 37th with a score of 90. Ryan Wells, Tyler Willis and Daigan Marveggio followed closely behind, securing 56th, 59th and 68th places, respectively, with scores of 95, 96 and 98.

Oologah competed in the tournament as well, securing 15th place with a team score of 375. Henry Barron led the way with an 83, securing 21st place, while Jaden Henry (95), Brady Evans (98), Jaxon Lustig (99) and Eli DeSpain (111) rounded out the scoring for the Mustangs.

Chelsea also participated in the tournament but finished at the bottom with a score of 440. Slayte Smith led the Green Dragons with a score of 90, placing him 36th, followed by Dalton Harris (112), Michael Wooten (118), Kayden Hull (120) and Ethan Bunnell (126) on the team leaderboard.

The Claremore girls emerged victorious in the Caney Valley Golf Tournament with a team score of 385 in a field of 10 teams, securing the win with a comfortable eight-stroke margin.

Hadley Abraham led the charge for the Lady Zebras, posting a score of 87 to claim second place individually. Sofia Caamal Solis of Victory Christian won the tournament, shooting an 85.

"So far, that was Hadley's best," Claremore coach Scott Greenland said. "I think it was her best round at a golf tournament to date, so that was a personal record for her. She's really turning it on."

Kate Merriman followed closely behind, securing fourth place with a score of 91.

The team's depth was evident as Leah Merriman, Ava Pettus and Ella Ratcliff delivered consistent performances, finishing within three shots of each other at 103, 104 and 106, respectively, to secure crucial points for the team.

"For me, the most impressive thing besides winning and placing was the fact that they did that in the 30s, and the wind was blowing," Greenland said. "There was even ice in places, so it was very uncomfortable and very cold. I was very proud of them for playing through that because you're out there for six or seven hours, and you have a lot of time to think about your bad shots in between your shots. It's twice as hard when you're freezing cold and get pruny fingers. They really didn't complain much; they just played. Showed some maturity there."

Verdigris also participated in the tournament, putting up a commendable performance to secure fifth place with a team score of 480.

Tyler Finch led the Lady Cardinals with a respectable score of 110, and Jackie Beauchamp took 28th place with an 116 while Emma Martin secured 35th place with a 126. Callie James finished 37th with a 128, and Cadence Barnes wrapped up the team's performance with a 41st-place finish, scoring 136.

The success continued for Claremore on Wednesday as the boys golf team emerged victorious in the East Central Cardinal Classic, held at its home course.

This marked the team's third-consecutive tournament win of the season, an accomplishment that hasn't transpired in the recent history of the program. Historical records are hard to come by, but Gregg said the buzz surrounding Claremore this year is different from what anyone within the school can recall.

"The score we shot before spring break was the lowest that anybody has on record for Claremore ever shooting in a tournament," Gregg said. "It could be the best golf probably in the last 20 years that anybody can remember."

Facing stiff competition from 13 other teams, the Zebras claimed the top spot with a team score of 327.

Not to be outdone, Inola and Sequoyah, also representing Rogers County, put up strong performances of their own.

The Longhorns finished in second place with a team score of 338, while the Eagles secured sixth place with a score of 356, showcasing the depth of talent within the county.

In a fiercely contested tournament, Williams led the charge for Claremore, securing second place individually with a score of 78. He was topped only by Caden Thompson of Inola, who edged him by one stroke for the tournament title.

"(Williams and Thompson) were actually in the same pairing, so that was a fun group to watch all day," Gregg said. "Jack had a lead most of the day, and when they both hit that back-nine stretch, Caden kept it pretty even and Jack finished with three-straight bogeys."

Colby Morgan of Sequoyah and Claremore's Tripp Jackson tied for fourth place with scores of 80, but the former secured the higher rank after winning the tiebreaker.

The Eagles' Dunlap clinched sixth place with an 81, edging out Weast of Inola by a single stroke.

Burton of Claremore also landed in the top 10, carding an 83. He shared this position with Theo Yar of Booker T. Washington and Asa Loftis from Lincoln Christian, ultimately placing between the two competitors in the tiebreaker.

Hall delivered a standout performance for the Zebras, claiming 15th place with an 86 while Landon Tah completed Claremore's leaderboard, finishing in 38th place with a score of 98.

Among the Longhorns, Groff secured a commendable 16th-place finish with a score of 88. Helling followed closely, tying for 20th place but ultimately landing in 22nd due to the tiebreaker with a score of 91.

Schaefer rounded out Inola's representation, placing 37th with a score of 97.

For Sequoyah, Reavis secured 32nd place, narrowly missing out on 31st after a tiebreaker, with a score of 95. Wood followed in 46th place after a tiebreaker for 43rd, carding a 100. Wyatt Thompson concluded the Eagles' performance, securing 47th place with a score of 102.

Kyler Moore achieved a 36th-place finish overall for Sequoyah with a 96, losing a tiebreaker for 34th. However, his score did not contribute to the team total, for he was seeded higher than fifth on the team.