Poteau Pirate golfers regional runners-up, state bound; Poteau freshman tied for third-place medalist in event hampered by rain

All the Poteau Pirates golf team wanted to do was make it to next week's Class 4A State Tournament at Oklahoma City's Lake Hefner North Golf Course. They accomplished their goal.The Pirates were runners-up at the Class 4A Regional Tournament Monday at Wolf Ridge Golf Course.Poteau had a team score of 320, 11 team shots behind regional champion Ada (309).“I told the guys that we weren't trying to beat Ada or Fort Gibson,” Poteau Coach Mike Thomas said. “All I told the guys was that we were in a match play with Muldrow, whose golfers we were paired with. If we beat Muldrow, we were going to make state.”Monday's event was dominated by Mother Nature. There was a two-hour rain delay after about an hour after the event began. That delay made Thomas, who was the regional tournament director, make the decision to shorten the event to 27 holes instead of the customary 36.But halfway through the final nine holes of play, more rain came — making the tournament be stopped and counting only 18 holes. The latter stop possibly prevented the Pirates from making a run at the regional title.“We were making a run at Ada,” Thomas said. “We had golfers out on holes No. 4, 5 and 6. One of our golfers was about ready to go to 2-under par and another one going to 1-under par. But the rain and lightning came, and we had to call it off.”On a high note, Poteau freshman golfer Cody Shore tied for third-place medalist with a 77, finishing four shots behind regional champion Justin Powell of Ada (73). Fort Gibson's Justin Morrow was regional runner-up (75).Fort Gibson was third as a team with a 322, to join Ada and Poteau as complete teams who qualified for next week's state tournament.As for the rest of Poteau's golfers, Connor Wheat shot an 80, followed by John Scott Sanders with an 81, Jarrett Lowrimore with an 82 and Trey Wells with an 86.Although they were not eligible for state berths, Poteau had two individuals known as “markers” play so that there would be complete sets of three golfers per group. Wilson Klutts shot an 84, while John Buckles had a 106.“I thought we played pretty well,” Thomas said. “We struggled early, and I think it might have been nerves getting to them. Since this was a regional, they knew they had to play well. After that, we did pretty good. Wilson, who is just coming out of baseball, shoots an 84.”