Stillwater News Press

May 13, 2014

Fort finishes final round as Stillwater High golfer

By Jason Elmquist
Stillwater News Press

STILLWATER, Okla. — Gathered with family on the deck of the clubhouse at Karsten Creek, Stillwater High senior Troy Fort took a moment to reflect on what was his final round of golf as a Pioneer.

“When you hit that last nine, you begin to realize it’s your last nine you’ll ever play for the high school team again,” Fort said following the third round of the Class 6A state golf tournament. “But even if I didn’t play what I felt was my best, fortunately I still have four more years to play (in college).”

Fort was the only Stillwater golfer on the course for the state tournament for the second straight year — a notion he was saddened by after how close the Pioneer team had become over the season.

“We practiced really well together, there wasn’t a whole lot of tension and we all pushed each other to play our best,” Fort said. “It’s really tough because nobody wants to be competing by themselves at state because that’s part of the fun of it.”

The Stillwater High senior closed out his prep career with a round of 89 to finish the three-round tournament with a 265, which put him in a tie for 58th.

Starting on the back nine — which was good to him in the second round Monday — Fort went out with a 43 before coming with a 46 on the front nine just as the winds began to pick up.

“I think it’s just the easier nine, there’s no other way around it. You have a whole lot more room for error with wider fairways,” Fort said of his opening nine. “As we went on in the day, the wind started to pick up — even though that’s nothing out of the norm out here.”

Now with Fort graduating and attending Southwestern University in Winfield, Kan., the SHS golf program will look to what he accomplished during his time in Stillwater as a way to motivate future golfers.

“He’s a name they can kind of shoot for. He’s the only guy who has done it the last three or four years,” Pioneer coach Larry Hesler said. “He’s the one they’ll be trying to follow now. So he’s left a pretty good impression on this program.”

Edmond North won its 10th consecutive state championship with ease, posting a team total of 900 — 57 strokes clear of second-place Edmond Memorial.

North freshman Austin Eckroat fired a 1-uner 71 on the final day to pass his teammate Hayden Wood — an Oklahoma State signee — to claim the individual championship by a stroke.