Golf

Norman North’s Ben Campbell (from left), former OU football coach Barry Switzer and Norman High’s London Stover pose for a photo on Friday at Jimmie Austin OU Golf Club.

Gregg Grost felt there was something missing in Norman.

The former Oklahoma men’s golf coach, who led the Sooners to the program’s first national title in 1989, is in his first year at the helm of Norman High’s boys golf program. But as he looked around the school, he noticed his sport lacked a pivotal event on nearly all of the other teams’ schedules.

The Crosstown Clash.

So, Grost set out to do at NHS what he did at OU.

Grost, along with then-Oklahoma State men’s golf coach Mike Holder, was instrumental in bringing a match-play event to Bedlam.

He, along with Norman North coach Josh Gorzney, is now doing the same for the Tigers and T-Wolves.

“There was nothing that highlighted the high school golf in this town, other than individual tournaments, like there is with the Clash of football, basketball, soccer, whatever,” Grost said.

“... So, why not give these kids a chance to be highlighted in their own town?”

Starting at 2:30 p.m. today at Jimmie Austin OU Golf Club, they will be front and center.

NHS and North will battle in six singles matches and three four-ball matches for a total of nine points.

First team to five points wins.

Promoting the game is at the center of Grost’s vision for the match-play event, and spectators are more than welcome to attend.

“It’s a way to grow the game, just to get younger people involved and bring more attention to our kids,” Gorzney said. “… We’re used to playing 18-, 36-hole stroke-play events. So, this is just something different.”

The Clash festivities actually kicked off a night early with both teams meeting at the course’s clubhouse at 6 p.m. to select pairings.

The teams were treated to words of encouragement from former OU football coach Barry Switzer — the honorary commissioner of the event and coach of the Sooners during Grost’s tenure at the university — before Gorzney and Grost went match-by-match to finalize the pairings.

Norman North’s Jake Hopper and Norman High’s Ryan Bell were picked first to kick off the rivalry’s newest tradition.

“It ought to be fun,” Grost said. “That’s the whole deal. This is about having fun.”

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