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April 27, 2014

It’s good that top golfer takes it personally

AUSTIN, Texas — Maybe this offers insight into Chirapat Jao-Javanil, the best woman ever to play golf at Oklahoma and maybe the best to play, period.

Her interviewer, trying to get his facts straight, the topic being how the last time OU won a Big 12 championship it began a process that led to a best-ever sixth-place finish at the NCAA tournament, says this:

Two years ago, you won it, right, the team finished sixth? You won the conference, yes, two years ago?

“Second,” Jao-Javanil says.

Like it’s still fresh.

Both her interviewer and she are right. 

Two years ago, OU indeed won the conference tournament before going on to a sixth-place national finish. Only Jao-Javanil remembers she faltered at the end of that conference tourney, played at Lawrence Country Club, and had to settle for …

“Second.”

Interpret it however you like, but first understand that golf is a singular game sometimes gerrymandered into a team sport. You help the team by helping yourself.

If you find it bothersome that the best Sooner ever to play the game thinks of herself before her team when remembering the day she lost a chance at Big 12 immortality, remember that the great ones always remember the ones that got away. 

Or, if you feel sorry for her because she’s just so darn hard on herself, don’t worry. About a month after finishing second in the conference tourney, Jao-Javanil won an individual NCAA championship, the only one any Sooner has ever won, leading the Sooners to that sixth-place finish.

Also, here’s the thing.

She may do it again.

She’s a stroke back, but boy did she look ready to win on the back nine Saturday afternoon at the UT Golf Club, which is every bit as beautiful as Whispering Pines, where the men are playing, and no stuffier than, say, Karsten Creek.

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