Yukon High School senior golfer Lane Wallace is no stranger to the spot light.
He has been carrying more than just the weight of a golf bag on his back all spring, as the ace golfer for the Millers signed with the University of Oklahoma last fall and going into the season was expected to contend for the 6A state championship in his final year wearing the Yukon red.
Wallace has yet to win a tournament this spring for the Millers after winning several as a junior but he will get his final chance on Monday and Tuesday in the 6A state championship golf tournament at the Fairfax Golf Club of Edmond.
The state tournament was originally supposed to be played at Karsten Creek in Stillwater but with the heavy rains the state has seen over the past several weeks, the pro-quality course is dealing with flooding problems and will not be able to host the 6A boys event.
Last year, Wallace finished high in the state tournament but if weren’t for a couple of poor shots down the stretch on the back nine, he might be going for back-to-back state titles.
The Yukon senior seems to have found his game at the right time. He fired a 139 in his two rounds at the regional tournament in Enid earlier this week. That’s an average of just under 70 shots per round for Wallace. If he shoots like that on Monday and Tuesday at Fairfax, he has a very good chance at bringing home the crown.
Wallace said there is not just one area of his game that he is most confident in right now but he said that he thinks all of his shots are where they need to be going into the state tournament. However, he mentioned that his drive off the tee is as good as it has been all season.
“My drive is really long and straight right now,” Wallace said. “That makes life a lot easier when I am able to use a wedge into the green on my second shot rather than a mid-range iron. That gives me an advantage over other players who aren’t driving it as far.”
When asked what part of his game will be the key in the state tournament, he said it’s important to be in the fairway off of the tee box but putting is always the most important part of the game.
“In the state tournament, you will have a lot of five or six-footers for par that you have to make if you want to win,” Wallace said. “Also, you have to figure out how to two-putt from 30-plus feet out. You can’t three-putt in the state tournament and expect to win.”
One difference from last year at the state tournament to this year is he will have his whole team there playing with him and giving him support in both rounds.
“That is going to make a big difference,” Wallace said. “In the past, it has just been me and Coach Jewell but having all of the guys there on the course with me will be great. I’m looking forward to that.”
Yukon took sixth-place in the regional tournament and qualified for the state tournament as a team for the first time since Wallace has been at YHS.
Wallace said going out as a state champion would be an incredible way to finish his high school career.
“My time playing golf for Yukon has been an incredible journey,” Wallace said. “I have had a great coach in David Jewell. A lot of high school golf programs have coaches that don’t really care about golf and they don’t really do a lot of coaching but we are really fortunate here to have Coach Jewell. He has made all us much better players and we are a much better team because of him. It would be great to win a state championship for him.”
There is no doubt that Wallace has a bright future on the links ahead of him, as he will be trading in the Yukon red for the OU crimson after the state tournament is over on Tuesday but he said going out on top would be tough to beat.
“Winning the state championship would be a great way to end my career at Yukon,” Wallace said. “It’s a special place and I would like to bring a title home for our community.”