The Edmond Sun

Nation & World

July 10, 2014

Oak Tree golfers sputter, but still have life

EDMOND — Edmond’s Gil Morgan, the highest rank in age of the four Oak Tree players partaking in the U.S. Senior Open at 67, is just 1-over-par going into Friday’s second round at Oak Tree National.

Bob Tway and Willie Wood ensued with 3-over-par 74s and Scott Verplank shot a 4-over-par 75 Thursday in the opening round.

“I actually played fairly decent, I guess,” Morgan said after walking off the 18th green Thursday. “I guess I had two, three kind of foul balls but ... I had three, four putts if I could just hit it a little harder I would have made them.”

Morgan actually began on the better foot of the Edmond players, zeroing in his approach shot on the second hole just eight feet right of the pin. He dropped in the putt to start 1-under while both Wood and Tway bogeyed.

“I made a couple of saves but I probably left about four putts I’d say,” Morgan added. “I probably should have shot a couple under par today.”

On some of the shots Morgan let get away, he fired in a dart on the 13th but failed to knock in a breaking five-foot birdie putt running downhill.

Both Morgan and Wood burned the edge with birdie attempts on 14 and the pair both had good looks at a 2 on the par 3 8th and didn’t get it to fall.

Morgan also came away with a par on the par 3, 150-yard fourth hole that really kept Verplank and Wood from getting their games going. Verplank, playing one group in front of his neighbors, hit the masonry with his tee shot that bounded into the air and in the water.

Wood actually landed his ball on grass, but it too kicked left into the drink.

“I played poorly from tee too green today,” Wood said. “Made some nice saves — played the back 9 1-under-par.

“Hopefully in 12 hours from now I’ll figure something out and try to hit it down the middle of the fairway.”

On the fourth hole, Tway hit the right side of the green and used the slope perfectly as his shot trickled down just four feet from the hole. He used a soft putting touch for a birdie.

Tway also birdied 15 after striking his tee shot straight up the gut, stuck the pin with his approach and converted the putt.

“You know the golf course, but you’ve got to go ahead and execute,” Tway said. “Like I say, it was a difficult day. You could have been playing really well and still not going to break par today.”

Verplank tees off on No. 10 Friday morning at 8:07 ensued by the trio of Wood, Morgan and Tway at 8:18.

Scotland’s Colin Montgomerie blistered the tough setup at Oak Tree National with a 6-under-par 65 that included eight birdies and just a pair of bogeys. He hit 11-of-14 fairways and used just 27 putts.

“I was patient, I was relaxed,” Montgomerie said of his recipe for acing today’s test. “We had a good time. Rocco Mediate and Tom Lehman was a good pairing. We played a lot together over the first year of my Champions Tour life.”

Montgomerie chipped in on 16 and on the back 9 nailed successive birdies on 6, 7 and 8. The Scottish golfer also led the field by hitting 16-of-18 greens.

He leads Marco Dawson by one shot.


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