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June 19, 2013

Hurley, Artman chasing their dream at Belmar

MOORE — Taylor Artman and J.R. Hurley, a couple of Norman North products, remain two of the best golfers this town’s produced over the last 10 or 15 years. 

A couple of things make them particularly interesting. 

One, they’re chasing the dream and, unless you’re living yours, just admit it; no matter how much money you make or have, you’re envious.

Two, though it feels like they’ve been around forever, they’re still very much rookies, on the ground floor of their professional golfing lives.

One more thing makes them particularly interesting this week.

In the midst of the Heartland Baseball Classic’s annual Norman run, and up against the U.S. Women’s Amateur Public Links, taking place this week at the Jimmie Austin OU Golf Club, the OK Kids Korral Championship, an Adams Pro Golf Tour Series event, is going on at Belmar Golf Club.

It’s pretty much Artman’s and Hurley’s home course.

“I’ve hit every tee shot here a hundred thousand times,” Hurley said.

Over at the OU course, the USGA is hosting a national championship. The future of the women’s game is on display. 

On the diamonds of Norman High, Norman North and Southmoore, future top collegians and, undoubtedly, a few future major leaguers, are showcasing their talents in a terrific event.

Over at Belmar, beginning today, a field of 100 or so pros and a few amateurs will be grinding for, among other things, meal money.

Each pro has ponied up $895 or $995, depending upon how early their entry arrived, for the opportunity to play for a prize pool in the neighborhood of $90,000. 

The winner should collect around $14,000, the runner-up maybe $8,000 and next in line maybe $6,000. Many will miss the cut and make nothing.

Nobody’s at Belmar trying to get rich. Instead, it’s about treading water, staying afloat and keeping the dream alive on the way to Q-school or a PGA Tour or Web.com Tour Monday qualifier, anywhere a golfer might catch lightning in a bottle long enough for his life to change.

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