By Jason Elmquist
STILLWATER, Okla. —
With Friday’s rain showers turning Lakeside Golf Course into a longer than usual course, coupled with less than usual winds out of the north, no golfer was able to break par in the opening round of the Stillwater Men’s City Golf Championship.
Reigning champion Terry Faggins was the only golfer to avoid a black score, pulling into the clubhouse with an even-par 70 for a one-stroke lead — a fact that surprised Faggins.
“It played longer than usual, you got no roll and tee shots just plugged,” Faggins said. “It’s not a long golf course, but longer than you’d expect. ... You’ve got to go red on a day like today because the wind isn’t too bad. The course was a little longer because of how slow it is ... but I was surprised. Maybe everybody had issues with getting putts to the hole like I did.”
Faggins has plenty of competition, however, heading into Sunday’s final round. There are three golfers within three strokes of the leader — Rex Hughes at 71, Sam Lee at 72 and Sam Brown at 73. Behind the top four golfers are another 10 golfers within six strokes of Faggins.
“The wind shifted on every hole. You were playing into the wind on every shot,” Saturday’s leader said. “You think you are down wind then it switches right as you’re about to swing. It was switching all day and you just have to pick it up and play. I picked up quite well today.”
Lee, an Oklahoma State walk-on, had no troubles blasting the ball down the fairway — at times out-driving his group partners by 20 yards. However, it was the unusual wind that affected Lee’s early round that resulted in a 2-over 72 — which has him in third heading into Sunday’s final round.
“The wind was out of the northeast today when I started and it was a different wind from what we normally play out here — it normally blows from the south,” Lee said. “I just couldn’t get it going. The course wasn’t playing very hard or anything, either.”
Playing the City Championship was actually a last-minute decision for Lee. Having played a full summer of golf, Lee wanted to get last competition in before competing at the U.S. Amateur Qualifier on Monday at Tulsa Country Club.
“I decided to come get a practice round in just to get ready for the qualifier,” Lee said. “To be honest, I’m not really happy with how I played. I felt I played pretty bad.”
Peter Uihlein was the last Oklahoma State golfer to win the U.S. Amateur. Uihlein, now a regular on the European Tour, won the amateur title in 2010 to become the fourth OSU golfer to win the crown.
Sunday’s final round of the Men’s City Championship is scheduled to tee off at 10 a.m. at Lakeside Golf Course.