The Guthrie High School Boys Golf team opened their 2017 season with a bang on Monday at The Fort Sill Officers Club in Lawton. The expectations for the GHS golf team had been high heading into this season as a trio of talented freshmen Luke Morgan, Bo Robbins and Luke Roach, who had experienced a run of success in junior high and tour golf, joined a pair of talented returning players in senior Jarrott Gates and sophomore Luke Dale.
The Red River Invitational hosted by Lawton MacArthur featured several 4A and 5A schools from the western half of the state. Along with the tournament host Highlanders, Duncan, Lawton High, Altus, Elk City, Cache and several others filled out the field.
The event featured an 18-hole round in the morning, followed by a nearly immediate second round of 18 in the afternoon. The Bluejays did not disappoint in their debut jumping out to an early lead by firing an impressive team score of 300 in the morning 18.
The Jays were led in the opening round by Morgan’s 71, followed by a pair of 76’s from Robbins and Roach, a career tournament best 77 by Gates and rounded out by an 85 from Dale.
After a quick switch from the cool-weather gear over to shorts and short-sleeves, the five member team headed back out for the final 18 holes under bright, warm skies and nearly flawless conditions. The Bluejays kept the pressure up in the afternoon round, again led by Morgan at 74, followed closely by Robbins with a 75. Gates fought hard late with a pair of timely birdies to right a wayward back 9 and closed with a 78. Roach, who carded five birdies in the morning, ended up posting an 81 in the afternoon, while Dale closed with an 88.
All told, for 36 holes and 8 posted rounds the Jays ended with 608 total strokes, good enough for the team championship trophy.
Individually, Guthrie was led by the fourth place finish of Morgan at 145 (71/74) and Robbins finishing tied for fifth with a score of 151 (76/75). Just outside the medals was Gates at 155 (77/78) and Roach 157 (76/81). Dale posted a total of 173 (85/88), which Coach Ric Meshew said wasn’t representative of the way Dale played for most of the day, referencing some bad breaks.
Meshew, entering his 25th season as head golf coach, indicated that this was the first invitational tournament win for GHS Boys Golf since 2002. Meshew said that the team had plenty to work on moving forward and that even in victory, they had plenty of things to clean up in the coming days as they prepare for their conference tournament Thursday at John Conrad in Midwest City.