The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

August 6, 2013

Win-win for WinStar’s Hammond

Ex-OU golfer sweeps Senior Section, Hall of Fame

By Bruce Campbell, Staff Writer
Enid News and Eagle

ENID, Okla. — Mike Hammond, the golf pro at the WinStar World Casino, hit the jackpot at Oakwood Country Club Tuesday.

The former University of Oklahoma player claimed both the Senior South Central Section and the Hall of Fame Tournaments with a 36-hole score of 139.

He won a playoff with Tulsa’s George Glenn for the Hall of Fame title with a par on the first extra hole. Hammond, who shot a 70 Tuesday, beat out Edmond’s Jim Kane by one stroke for the senior title.

“It’s great to be back in it (tournaments),’’ Hammond said. “It’s awesome. This is a great shotmaker course. You’ve got to hit it here and hit it there ... you can’t blast it off the tee.’’

Hammond chipped to within a foot of the hole on his third shot on the playoff hole. Glenn, who hit his tee shot in the rough, hit his third shot to within five feet, but missed the par putt.

“Anytime you make a bogey in a playoff, you’re not happy with yourself,’’ Glenn said. “That was the only bogey I made.’’

The 70-year old Glenn, though, shot his age or better twice in the 36-hole tournament — a 70 Monday and a 69 on Tuesday. He had birdies on Nos.1 and 13 to go with 16 pars.

“I suppose,’’ he said when asked about the accomplishment. “I got a lot of mileage out of my game today. I hit a lot of 3-woods on par fours. I just hit it straight. I hit it in the rough on the playoff hole, and as short as I hit it, I can’t do that. He is a good player and deserves it.’’

Hammond, who was tied for the first-round senior lead with Tracy Phillips after shooting a 69 Monday, was steady Tuesday.

He was one-under at the turn after birdies on Nos. 1, 6 and 7 and bogeys on Nos. 2 and 9. He was even on the back with a bogey on No. 13 and a birdie on No. 15.

“I just tried to play smart and not worry about anyone other than myself,’’ Hammond said. “I didn’t feel any pressure or nerves at all.’’

Kane was three back of Hammond after a 36 on the front end, thanks to a double bogey on No. 8.

He drew within one of Hammond, though, after he birdied No. 10 and Hammond bogeyed No. 13.

Both players birdied No. 15 and parred out.

Kane saved par on the 16th after hitting his tee shot in the bunker. Both players lipped out birdie putts on the 17th.

“It was a good match,’’ Hammond said.

Phillips had a 72 to finish in a tie with Rod Nuckolls of Wichita for third at 141. Phillips shot himself out of contention with a two-over 37 on the front, which included three bogeys and a birdie.

He was one-under on the back with a 35, with birdies on Nos. 13 and 15.

“I scrambled pretty well,’’ Phillips said. “I made a few putts, but I couldn’t get the ball off the tee to get good shots on the green.’’

Nuckolls had the best round of the day with a three-under par 68, which included four birdies (Nos. 2, 5, 13 and 15) and only one bogey (No. 1).

Fletcher White of Pine Bluff, Ark., was fifth at 142 after shooting his second straight even-par 71. White had a wild round with a three-over 38 on the front, which included a double bogey on No. 9 and a three-under 33 on the back, which included an eagle three on No. 15.

Hammond, Kane, Phillips, Nuckolls and White all qualified for the Professional National Club Championship, which will be held Oct. 10-13 at Creighton Farms and River Creek Golf Club in Virginia.

“I’m looking forward to it,’’ Phillips said. “I’m tuning in on my golf swing. I hit a few loose shots.’’

The championship serves as motivation for Hammond, a one-time touring pro.

“It’s just good to win,’’ he said. “I’ve been so busy at work that I haven’t been playing or practicing until the last two or three months. It’s great to get back with the guys. I want to play in more tournaments now.’’

Host pro Tim Mendenhall, playing in the Hall of Fame Tournament, had a 76 to finish at 154.

“I hit the ball a lot better today,’’ said Mendenhall, who shot a 78 Monday. “I hit 14 greens in regulation and shot a 76, so I could have putted better. My score didn’t reflect the way I was hitting the ball, but that’s golf.’’

Former Oakwood pro Dan Langford shot a 79 to finish at 156 in the Hall of Fame Tournament.

Enid resident John Darnold, playing in both the senior and Hall of Fame Tournaments, shot a 74 Tuesday to finish at 156.