NORMAN — Brad Dalke isn't officially an Oklahoma Sooner yet, but give him credit for an OU assist this week.
Dalke, the junior golfer who verbally committed to OU three years ago at the age of 12, has served as the caddie this week for Sooner golfer Anne-Catherine Tanguay in the U.S. Women's Amateur Public Links Championship at Jimmie Austin OU Golf Club.
Tanguay, a 21-year-old senior-to-be from Quebec, Canada, advanced to the round of eight in the match play tournament with a pair of wins Thursday, capped by a 2-up win over Krista Puisite of Latvia.
She will face second-seeded Doris Chen from Southern Cal in Friday morning's quarterfinals as the field that began with 156 players is down to eight.
“It's a grind,” Tanguay said. “You've got to be able to handle the pressure and focus, even though the conditions are getting more difficult. We'll just keep the same game plan and try to keep rolling along.”
Dalke, one of the top junior players at his age, is the son of Bill Dalke, who played linebacker at OU in the mid-1970s.
Through a mutual friend, Tanguay and Brad Dalke got hooked up for the week when Tanguay was looking for a caddie.
“She obviously has played this course a lot more than me, being at OU, so she knows her lines off the tee and all that,” Dalke said. “I just give her my look on the greens and confirm her on shots and distances.”
Brad Dalke's mother, Kay, is serving as a rules official during the event this week. And after spending several years in Texas, the family is returning to Oklahoma. Bill Dalke, the former head football coach at Yukon in the late 1990s, was named the new coach at Hobart, his alma mater, last month.
Brad will remain in Fort Worth, where he will be a high school sophomore. He attends the Jim McLean Junior Golf Academy, with his sights set on joining the Sooners in 2016.
Now having played five rounds at this week's event, Tanguay feels Dalke has learned her game well.
“We have very similar styles, which I think really helps,” Tanguay said. “He's a little more aggressive than I am as a player, and in match play, that's really what you want. You want to go at the flags, but at the same time, make good decisions when you need to just make par.
“We still debate on what to hit sometimes, and I tell him, ‘Brad, I know my course. I know this is what I want to hit.' And he lets me go with my decisions. He never puts me in doubt, and I think that's the most important thing for a caddie.”