For the first time since 2011, the Guthrie High School boy’s golf squad is heading to the 5A State Golf Tournament.
The Bluejays hosted the 5A West Regional at Purcell in lieu of Cedar Valley due to on-course flooding. The last-minute switch had many of the 16 western squads, Coach Ric Meshew and the OSSAA scrambling to find a host site.
Brent Bruehl Golf Course, in Purcell, obliged late Saturday evening.
The Jays had been butting heads all season with the Guymon Tigers and after the first 18 holes, Guthrie was in the lead holding a slim one-stroke margin over Guymon and a 9-shot advantage over third place Bishop McGuinness.
Guthrie was paired with Guymon, so there was an awareness of the status of the head-to-head scoring versus the Tigers.
About the same time it became clear that Guthrie had edged Guymon 639 to 640, word began to spread that the Irish’ four-Bag Matt Popielec, who had shot 80 in the initial round, had turned in the best score of the regional at 68 on the second 18 holes. By doing so claimed the Region Individual Champion.
With Popielec’s surprising round, it sealed the fate of the Jays as the runner-up.
The top six teams and the top six individuals on non-qualifying teams qualified for state.
By virtue of their second place finish, Guthrie’s entire team is headed to Duncan on May 8 and 9 for 54 holes to decide who takes home the gold ball.
Individually, the Jays were paced by Luke Morgan’s low score of 150 (74/76), which was good enough for the Region’s runner-up medal. Bo Robbins’ score of 159 (81/78) was good enough for ninth place.