Brock Walker says putting is the hardest part.
Considering the broken bone near the joint where his thumb meets his wrist, you'd think putts might be the easiest shots to hit.
“With this brace on, my hand starts shaking — it's scary when I have to putt with this thing on,” Walker said.
Walker suffered the broken scaphoid bone of his right hand — his lower hand when he grips the club — in late April and missed a few tournaments leading up to the postseason. He fought through the Class 4A regional last week to help his team qualify for state.
And on Monday morning, with his right wrist tightly braced, Walker shot 4-under-par 68 — one of the day's lowest scores — in the first round of the 4A state tournament on Lake Hefner's North Course.
Walker closed the day with a 79, playing through severe pain. He iced the wrist between rounds and immediately after he finished. Just signing his scorecard was a laborious process.
“It took me everything I had to get through today,” Walker said. “Eighteen holes is about my limit in a day right now.
“It wasn't hurting too bad to start the day, but toward the end of the first round, it started hurting, and the whole second round, it was aching. I was just trying to get through it for the team.”
Other than putting, Walker says shots in the 100-yard range are the most difficult.
“On those shots, you have to hit down on the ball, and once the club is in the ground, I can definitely feel it,” Walker said.
Led by Walker's 68, Elk City shot the lowest single round of the day, an even-par 288 in the morning round. At 586 through 36 holes, the Elks are in third place, trailing defending champion Heritage Hall and Ada, tied for first at 584.
The team was led by senior Joby Gray, whose second-round 69 put him 1-under par for the tournament at 143, nine shots back of individual leader Quade Cummins of Weatherford.
Elk City sophomore Logan Gray also carded an under-par first round and was at even-par 144 for the tournament. Elk City was the only team to have three players post at least one round under par.
“These seniors won it when they were freshmen, and their goal the whole year has been to win it,” Elk City coach Tim Ellison said. “Anything less will be disappointing to them. Their mindset is to win it.”