McALESTER — McAlester’s bounce-back golf season continued Monday, when the Buffaloes placed sixth at their Class 5A regional tournament at the McAlester Country Club. That finish qualified the Buffs to this Monday’s Class 5A state tournament at the Fort Sill Golf Club in Lawton.
The Buffs last went to State as a team in 2012.
Teeing off early Monday morning, the Buffs shot a 324 for their first 18 holes, according to Buffs coach Jude Schlesselman, putting them tied for third. The Buffs posted four scores of 86 or lower, getting a tournament-best 80 from Austin Taylor, a tournament-best 86 from Brady Justice and a 74 from Dexter Brown, which tied a personal best.
“We started extremely well,” Schlesselman said Tuesday. “Our first round, we shot a 324, which was our low round of the year.”
The McAlester Country Club is a par 70 course. Brown was in contention for an individual medal through the first round of 18, but an 84 in the second round knocked him out of the top 10 with a final score of 158.
“I was pretty comfortable right away, starting off,” Brown said. “Just got all into it, and it just kept on going and moving right along with everything I did.”
Brown is the only member of McAlester’s five varsity bags to have competed previously at State. He qualified as an individual from a non-qualifying school in 2013, shot a 267 in three rounds at State and finished 59th overall.
“I’d like to place in the top 15, if not 10,” Brown said of State. He said to accomplish this, he’ll have to remain mentally strong and stick to his style of golf.
For McAlester’s other varsity golfers, this will be their first trip to State. Underclassmen Justice and Garrett Carrion played in their first Regional on Monday.
“First tee, you’re always nervous, but not much more than any other tournament,” Justice said. He shot a 90 in the second round for a 176 total.