The Loop

Whitekiller could make Oklahoma State awfully deep

September 29, 2009

So last week I was suggesting that the Arizona State men had made a statement with their victory at the Olympia Fields/Fighting Illini Invitational. Well, somebody had a response to that statement ... a little school in Stillwater, Okla.

Oklahoma State's 22-shot victory over runner-up Washington (and 27-shot defeat of third-place ASU) yesterday at the Ping/Golfweek Invitational was impressive on many fronts. Consider that Cowboys' Peter Uihlein (five-under 211), Morgan Hoffmann (three-under 213) and Trent Whitekiller (even-par 216) finished 1-2-3 individually. Obviously, any Walker Cup hangover I mentioned with Uihlein and Hoffmann has worn off. More importantly, the duo is set to become the best 1-2 punch in college golf.

That said, Whitekiller, who shared medalist honors at Olympia Fields, might be the difference maker that separates the OSU team from the rest of the pack this fall. The senior from Sallisaw, Okla., has gotten lost among the heavyhitters that saturate the Cowboy roster. He is, however, a former honorable mention All-American who has won on the national level in amateur golf (2008 Sahalee Players).

During the U.S. Amateur at Southern Hills last month, Whitekiller among the OSU contingent to make it to match play, losing in the second round. Local media asked him about outlasting his more heralded teammates (Hoffmann and Rickie Fowler both being knocked out in the first round). Whitekiller handled the back-handed compliment with aplomb, a quiet confidence becoming rather visible.

It's still early--very early--in the season so lets all be careful not to speak with too much hyperbole. Still, if Whitekiller can battle Uihlein and Hoffmann for the top spot on the OSU team (and if Kevin Tway and Sean Einhaus compete like they're capable of) that means the Cowboys will be playing some awfully good golf.

It also means the rest of the country is going to have its work cut out for it.