The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK


May 11, 2014

OBA's Barnthouse excited to play 2A state at home

ENID, Okla. — Getting an opportunity to play in the Class 2A state tournament on his home course (Oakwood Country Club) gave Oklahoma Bible Academy junior golfer Josh Barnthouse a little extra motivation this spring, who took Okawood pro Tim Mendenhall’s advice to heart.

“Tim was saying we needed to make it (to state) because it was in our hometown and on our home course,’’ Barnthouse said. “We put in a lot of work, knowing we wanted to get here.’’

Barnthouse said he has played Oakwood “hundreds of times’’ since he was 2 years old. He works for Mendenhall in the Oakwood pro shop.

“I know this course like the back of my hand,’’ he said. “I know the spots where you want to be and where you don’t want to be. You just have to know what to hit where, and put yourself in the right spots. If you do that, you can shoot a good score here.’’

Barnthouse played a practice round with Oakwood assistant pro Logan Vest working exactly on that.

Barnthouse is known for his power with tee shots up to 270 to 280 yards.

“From the tees they play on,’’ Vest said, “He has the ability to overpower a golf course. He just has to keep it in play.’’

But Barnthouse admits to having a little bit of a temper sometimes. Mental toughness might be the biggest key for  today and Tuesday.

“I struggled at the beginning of the season,’’ he said. “The last couple of weeks I’ve been hitting the ball good, and I’ve been a lot stronger mentally controlling my emotions. I think my course management skills are good. I’m playing my best golf right now.”

 Besides knowing the course, Barnthouse said the two local entrants (OBA and Chisholm) will benefit from sleeping in their own beds. He won’t have to get up at 5:45 a.m. as he did for the regionals last week at Kingfisher.

He has set a goal of shooting in the low 80s or high 70s, and for the Trojans to finish in the top five.

“I’ll probably be a little nervous on the first tee box,’’ Barnthouse said. “Nerves get to you at state, but you calm down after a while and, hopefully, play some good golf.’’

Barnthouse and the Trojans are paired with Laverne and Kiefer. The first players tee-off at 8:30 a.m. from the No. 1 tee. Laverne is one of the favorites. Every tournament OBA and Laverne have competed against each other, the Tigers have won by a large margin.

“I don’t think there’s any pressure playing with Laverne,’’ Barnthouse said. “I think it will be good for us to play with better golfers. It helps when you watch other guys hit good shots. That pushes you.’’

He will be playing 36 holes in one day Monday for the second time this season. Barnthouse had an 80 and 77 in the regional.

“You have to be mentally tough,’’ he said about the grind. “Tomorrow will be a little easier because it will be a little cooler, but still you get in the shade as much as you can and you sit down your bag as much as you can.’’

He said the Trojans have a “good rivalry’’ with Chisholm. Barnthouse considers himself friends with many of the Longhorns.

“They’re fun to play with,’’ he said. state

OBA was 11th last year at state at Emerald Falls in Broken Arrow. The experience was valuable for Barnthouse.

“I had a great experience,’’ he said. “I’m really looking forward to it. This is the nicest course we’ll play all year. It’s a challenge making shots in golf. The course never plays exactly the same twice.’’

Barnthouse will be joined in the Trojans lineup by Adam Eaton, who is expected to challenge for medalist honors; Andy Eaton, Seth Shrader and Thomas Friesen.

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