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April 26, 2014

Long journey for OU’s No. 1 player

TRINITY, Texas — How remote is Whispering Pines Golf Club, site of the 2014 Big 12 Men’s Golf Championship?

Well, signs for the course start popping up about eight miles from the clubhouse. Just don’t let that make you think they want the masses driving up.

It’s simply that removed.

The only people on those roads are probably looking for the course anyway.

When you drive up, naturally, there’s security, asking your business and your name. He’s nice enough, just doing his job, and even willing to answer a question.

Who belongs to this course?

Mostly, he says, folks from Houston and Dallas, which happen to be located 90 minutes and three hours away.

You get the picture:

A club so exclusive, nobody plays it. Or, perhaps, nobody plays it that often.

It is also the distance Michael Gellerman has traveled. Or, perhaps, one of them, because it’s hard to know which is the longer trek.

Is it the distance from Sterling, Kan., where he grew up on a nine-hole course that his mother Julie recalls still featuring sand greens in her youth, all the way to Whispering Pines, 18 holes so exclusive it’s near impossible to find and three or four foursomes going off before noon might constitute a busy Saturday?

Or, is it the distance from being the player who led Oklahoma into the NCAA championship after being the best Sooner at the 2012 Norman Regional, to falling out of the lineup and missing out on NCAA play last spring, to being the player who teed off Monday as the Sooners’ No. 1 man?

It may not matter.

What matters is Gellerman feels gracious, happy and fortunate to have traversed them both.

“I’m just a lucky guy,” he said.

Friday, a pair of double-bogeys torpedoed his morning round, leaving OU having to take two of the 76s shot by Gellerman, Charlie Saxon and Max McGreevy. 

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