STILLWATER — It wasn’t the round Thomas Johnson was looking for.
The Norman North junior, coming off a third-place finish at last year’s Class 6A state golf tournament in which he entered a playoff with a chance to win the title, found himself in position again to walk away with a championship on Tuesday. He entered the final round tied for second place, two strokes off the lead.
But, faced with difficult conditions on a windy day at Karsten Creek, Johnson shot a six-over-par 78, finishing four strokes off the lead and again in third place. It wasn’t the round Johnson was hoping to have, but it was far from a bad round on a day in which all of the top five leaders after the opening day shot worse.
That allowed Edmond North’s Austin Eckroat to come from five strokes back on Monday and fire a 71 to win the tournament with a 223, one shot ahead of his teammate and Day One leader Hayden Wood. Johnson was third with a 227 to lead North, which finished in fifth place with a team score of 321-316-330-967. Edmond North put all five of its golfers into the top 10 and won the event going away, while Edmond Memorial took second and Owasso placed third.
Johnson said he had trouble building any momentum in the final round to make a run at the title.
“I missed on a few drives and couldn’t sink a putt to get started and get hot out there,” he said. “It was a tough day, and there are a too many good golfers in Oklahoma for that.”
Thomas Ludwig was the next best for the T-Wolves, finishing his tournament with an 81 on Tuesday to close with a 241 and place inside the top 20. He said, that while the Timberwolves were hoping to get into the top three of the tournament, a top five finish was satisfying given that it’s the highest North has finished in his four years in the program.