NORMAN — Only the last few groups remained on the course when Chris Ward, also part of the final wave of tee times at Belmar Golf Club, answered a few questions Wednesday evening about being the first-round leader at the OK Kids Korral championship.
Only he wasn’t.
Though Ward left the course leading by two strokes, he’ll return today trailing by two to Andrew Yun, who didn’t tee off the 10th tee until 2:10 p.m.
Prior to Ward and Yun finishing, several 68s and 69s had been posted on the par 70 layout. Then Ward came in with his 67 and then Yun came in with his 65.
Apparently, high winds made the course very difficult for just about everybody in the field.
“You’ve got to hit solid shots. If you hit one just a little not solid, the wind makes it turn a lot more than you want,” said Garrett Driver, one of eight of the more than 130 Adams Pro Tour event competitors to card an opening 69, all of which are one stroke back of a group of seven golfers to card a 68. “Thus far, it’s about not making big numbers. It’s about hitting it somewhere (safe).”
Many failed in that quest.
Wednesday, an even par round of 70 was still good for a tie for 18th place. Fifteen golfers failed to break 80.
“You just want to keep it somewhere around even and play the shorter holes well,” said Driver, who played his college golf at Sam Houston State.
Ward, out of Texas Tech, and Yun, out of Stanford, made their scores happen by staying out of trouble and taking advantage of what remains a fairly short golf course that can be had as long as players keep the ball in play and make putts.
Yun’s round was fortified by a nine-hole stretch he played in 5-under par. He made his second birdie of the day on No. 15 and followed with birdies at Nos. 18, 2, 3 and 5. His only bogey came at the par 3 13th.