EDMOND, OK (July 15, 2010)--Tulsan Stephen Carney combined solid ball striking with a deft touch and a pair of Houdini-like escapes in a 5 and 4 victory over Andrew Green in the finals of the Oklahoma Golf Association State Amateur Championship at Cedar Ridge Country Club.
Carney, a junior on the University of Tulsa golf team and the 2008 Class 6A state champion for Union, won what he calls his favorite tournament by winning six matches in three days, including a grinding 1 up victory over Oklahoma State signee Ian Davis of Edmond in the Wednesday morning semifinal.
The 6-foot-8 Green, a University of Central Oklahoma junior from Edmond, had overpowered his first five opponents by taking advantage of his prodigious length off the tee and stellar short game. His tee shots betrayed him in the final match, as he drove into trouble on holes 1, 5, 7, 8, 9, 13 and 14.
“This is a tough course to play from the rough and you can’t be leaving yourself 12-foot par putts all day,” Green said. “My tee shots just weren’t there and Stephen played great. He kept the pressure on me all day.”
Carney won the par-5 first hole with a conceded birdie and the fourth hole when Green hit his approach over the green and couldn’t convert a long par save. But he gave the advantage away with bogeys on holes five and six, including a three-putt from 25 feet on six.
He immediately regained the lead with a par on the par-4 seventh. Green’s tee shot found a fairway bunker leading to a bogey.
Green pulled his tee shot left into a hazard on the narrow par-4 eighth hole. After a drop, he hit his approach 22 feet below the hole, then made the putt up over a rise for a stunning par that kept him close. But he pulled his tee shot well left on nine, leading to another bogey and a two-up lead for Carney, who made a nice par-save from above the hole.
Carney showed creative flair with his par saves on both 10 and 11. On the par-4 10th, his second shot was in deep rough left of the green with only a few feet to work with, but his flop shot somehow stayed below the hole and he converted. On 11, his second shot buried in a greenside bunker above and left of the green sloping dramatically away from him, yet he somehow coaxed the ball to dribble out of the bunker, slowing it down in the rough and stopping hole high.
“I shut the sand wedge almost straight down and went right under it,” Carney said. “My swing coach Don Maddox showed me that shot about two years ago but I’ve never really practiced it.”
Carney took full command with a birdie on the par-4 12th hole, won the 242-yard par-3 13th with a par and closed it out by hitting his wedge approach to about 18 inches on the par-5 14th for birdie.
Carney earned a measure of revenge for a loss to Green in this event in 2008 at Gaillardia Country Club in Oklahoma City.
Oklahoma Golf Association
State Amateur Championship
July 12-14, 2010
Cedar Ridge Country Club
Match Play Results
Round -- (Semifinal)
Stephen Carney, Tulsa, Okla. (52) def. Ian Davis, Edmond, Okla. (9), 1 up
Andrew Green, Edmond, Okla. (22) def. Robbe Trout, Whitesboro, Texas (7), 2 and 1
Round -- (Final)
Stephen Carney, Tulsa, Okla. (52) def. Andrew Green, Edmond, Okla. (22), 5 and 4
View results for Oklahoma State Amateur Golf Championship