NORMAN — Entering the season with a young squad, Norman North coach Dennis Etter knew it would take some time for his team to reach the top of its game and move up the standings.
He just thought it would take a little more time than it did.
The Timberwolves shot a team-best 300 to win the Timberwolves Invitational Tuesday at the Jimmie Austin OU Golf Club, finishing three strokes ahead of second-place Edmond North to win the event.
“We’ve been in the middle of the pack at every other tournament we’ve played in this year,” Etter said. “Don’t get me wrong, I knew we could play this well, but it’s still a bit of a surprise.”
All four of North’s scorers shot below 80 to hand the T-Wolves, which start three sophomores and a junior, their first tournament victory of the season. The win came against some of the top teams in the state, including Edmond North, Jenks and Owasso.
“Every one of them just had a really good day,” Etter said. “That’s a big improvement over how we’ve shot before.”
Thomas Ludwig carded a 73 to lead the T-Wolves after what was originally planned to be a 36-hole tournament was shortened to 18 due to weather conditions.
“I felt pretty good out there today,” he said. “The greens rolled pretty well today and I stayed out of the bunkers. This is the first tournament where we’ve all really played well as a team. How we shot today, that was a pretty big confidence booster for us.”
Thomas Johnson shot a 74, and Ryan Trousdale and Connor Mears rounded out the top four with a 79 and a 74, respectively. The T-Wolves won by three strokes and finished four shots ahead of Edmond Santa Fe, six ahead of Tulsa Union and seven ahead of Jenks, all teams expected to contend for a state title.
Norman High, which like North is moving through the year with a young core, shot a 351 with Turner Howe leading the way with a 76.
Coach Bruce Renfroe said that, while there have been some ups and downs this season, there has already been some progress made in the first few weeks of the year.
“With a roster this young, you’re building for that future,” he said. “We didn’t shoot as well as I would have liked today, but every tournament is more experience for these guys to learn from.”