Hannah Ward's reaction was more one of relief than celebration when the putt dropped.
On the first hole of a sudden-death playoff in the whipping wind and cold Thursday at Lake Hefner South, the Poteau junior sank a short birdie putt to take her second consecutive Class 4A individual state title.
But while the cold, wind and rain played a part in the subdued celebration, Ward was also thinking plenty about her teammates who wouldn't be celebrating a title this year.
While Thursday's weather didn't take away Ward's chance for an individual champion, it ended any chances of Poteau repeating as team champion.
Instead, the first-day scores were allowed to stand, giving Hilldale the state championship by a stroke over Poteau, 359-360.
“It's very frustrating that we didn't get a chance to make up that stroke,” Ward said. “I feel bad for the rest of the team, especially the senior, that we weren't able to make it up.”
The one-hole playoff for the championship wound up being the only golf of the tournament played Thursday.
Three state tournaments in the Oklahoma City area were affected.
In Class 6A at River Oaks in Edmond, four playoffs were held for each tied spot in the top 10.
In Class 2A at Trosper in southeast Oklahoma City, no golf was played and the first-day scores stood entirely.
While many sports would've rescheduled and finished on a different day, the logistics of having a course available for most of the day makes it difficult in golf.
“We're at the mercy of the venues,” Ron Etheridge of the Oklahoma Secondary School Activities Association said. “Our boys tournaments are Monday and Tuesday and our girls tournaments are Wednesday and Thursday because that's a time of the week the courses can afford to allow us to play at the fee we're giving them.
“Beyond those two days we have scheduled, it's very difficult to find a consistent method for all five classes. We might be able to find one course that would let us on for an addition day, but we have to stay consistent.”
Poteau coach Randall Wheat understood the challenges faced by the OSSAA but kept thinking about Wednesday's opening round.
“That one stroke's big,” he said. “We could sit here and think about one stroke all day long. I'm sure Hilldale could do the same thing. You could find everybody that missed a short putt. But that's what happens.
“We've played with them all year and we've won some and they've won some. They just won when it was for the championship.”
Considering the tough conditions, the playoff between Ward and Weatherford's Darby Morgan went off smoothly right before noon during a break in the rain.
Both hit tee shots just off the green. Morgan chipped her second shot near the pin but she couldn't get it to stick and it nearly rolled off the back of the green. Ward putted from about 10 feet off the green, leaving about a two-foot birdie putt for the win.
“I knew I could get up and down for birdie from where my tee shot went,” Ward said. “I was kind of nervous on her second shot but once she went past, I knew I had a great chance. These greens were real difficult out there.”