STILLWATER — Edmond North appears to be sitting comfortably in pursuit of its 10th consecutive Class 6A state championship in boys golf, with a 30-stroke lead heading into the final 18 holes at Karsten Creek.
Equally as interesting as the Huskies’ decade of dominance is the fact that they’ve had the individual champion just twice during that time — PGA Tour player Kevin Tway in 2006 and 2007.
Senior Hayden Wood leads the tournament after shooting a 147 total in Monday’s first two rounds, while senior Nick Heinen and junior Tyson Reeder are two strokes back, tied with three others in second at 149.
So the Huskies have the odds in their favor if they want to add a third individual title. And coach Jeff Doherty just might turn them loose.
“I’ve been so proud over the years, because I think these guys truly want the team to win,” Doherty said. “I’m gonna tell them, down the stretch, if you wanna try to pump a 3-wood in a situation where you wouldn’t normally take that risk, go for it. We’re gonna be more relaxed to do that than in the past.
“But their thinking is, ‘Coach, what if I make a bogey?’ So they probably still won’t do it.”
Edmond North’s two-round total of 597 is 30 strokes ahead of Edmond Memorial, with Jenks 32 back.
In addition to his own teammates, Wood is being pursued by Norman North’s Thomas Johnson, Preston Crawford of Jenks and Spencer Smythe of Muskogee.
Wood and Heinen have both been in the hunt for the individual crown the last two years. Heinen is a two-time runner-up and was in a three-way playoff last season, which was ultimately won by Edmond Santa Fe’s Max McGreevy.
“It’s definitely the second thought in the whole process,” Wood said. “Your first thought is winning as a team. It’s something we think about. Maybe we will be able to be more aggressive, but we always play smart.”
Wood and Heinen each carded a 72 in one of their rounds Monday, the only two rounds of even par posted in the first 36 holes. With the number of players in contention, it might take a 72 or better to claim the title. But the Huskies are still focused on team championship No. 10 first.
“You don’t want to do anything stupid trying to win if the team title is on the line,” Heinen said. “Typically on the front nine the second day, we’ll play pretty conservative. On the back nine, if we’re 30 up, and Doherty says ‘You’re free,’ then we’ll take some chances.”