FAMILY TRADITION: Curd clan add to tradition at Bartlesville City golf competition

Examiner Enterprise
Examiner Enterprise

Few things transcend the satisfaction in capturing a sports title after battling through tremendous competition.

But, Landon Curd — and in a very real way his father Jim Curd — experienced a sweetness of heart beyond the actual accomplishment of Landon’s winning the Bartlesville City men’s golf championship tournament last weekend.

Landon shot a 73 in the second round, held at Hillcrest Country Club, to win the title by two strokes, with 149.

The official name of the event is the Jim Curd Sr. Dink’s Pit BBQ Bartlesville City Men’s Championship tournament.

Landon became the first grandson of the tourney’s namesake to wear the crown.

“It was very emotional,” said Jim Curd, the son of Curd Sr. and Landon’s father. “There was no question it was especially meaningful with me, his dad, being there and knowing his grandfather was connected to the tournament. It was very special to win a trophy with his grandfather’s name on it.”

In addition, Landon and Curd became only the second father-and-son pair in the 30-plus history of the event to both win the title.

Curd did it back in 2003, several years prior to Curd Sr.’s death in 2017.

Curd and Landon share another distinction that might never be matched — a kind of unique double-double by winning the Hillcrest Country Club championship and the city tournament title in the same 12-month period.

Curd captured the HCC championship in 2002 and followed up with the city title in 2003.

Landon seized the HCC crown last year and rallied last Sunday to nail down the city supremacy.

Landon needed to battle through crushing pressure to hold off runner-up Jeff Rude (151).

“Landon bogeyed 16 and 17 and at the point he was one stroke ahead,” Curd said. “He had to par 18, which is one of the hardest holes out there.”

Landon used a driver and a five-iron to reach the green on the 576-yard par-five hole.

He then two-putted for the birdie and two-stroke margin of victory.

For Landon, the victory was sort of a redemption as well.

In the 2021 city tourney, he a sizzling first-round 70 on the HCC course. But, the tourney moved to Adams Golf Course for the second round and Landon came in at 148 to finish behind champion Jordan Boerio (145) and Preston Bartley (145), with Boerio winning a playoff.

After just missing out last season, Landon was determined not to let another victory chance slip away.

He shot 76 on the opening day, at Adams, to tie for first place.

He followed up with Sunday’s 73 to rise to the top of the mountain.

“You get in a position to win and you want to put it away,” Curd said. “You don’t know if you’ll ever get a chance to win again. He’s very humble, a very humble kid. … He was very happy to be the victor.”

In addition to being a summer tradition, the city championship is a family affair for the Curds and Dink’s, which they own and operate.

Curd Sr., a co-owner of Dink’s, got involved more than 30 years ago in sponsoring the city tourney, Curd said.

“He was always interested in the tournament,” Curd said. “he always did the poster work and wrote the press releases.”

After Curd Sr. passed away, Adams head pro Jimmy Howe presented the idea of naming the event in Curd Sr.’s honor, Curd said.

Curd — who also played in the championship flight last weekend — recalled that his father would come out to the spectacle every year and follow Curd around the course as he played.

“It (the tourney) meant a great deal to him and to us,” Curd said. “It’s great to get to be able to play under his banner.”

The annual competition has been fierce, judging by the high volume of different golfers that have won it.

This year’s final leaderboard included several former champions, such as Boerio, Bartley, Spencer King, Rude and others.

Last weekend, King came through with a second-day best of 72, but had shot 81 on the opening round and settled into fourth place overall.

“On Saturday (June 25) it was hot and windy,” Curd said. “The Adams course was in great shape, but the greens are so much different than at Hillcrest Country Club. Jerry and Jimmy did a great job with the course. It was a difficult day for everybody and nobody scored very well. The wind was out of the south.”

King suffered three double bogeys on Saturday, Curd noted. Had he minimized those, he likely would have won the title on Sunday, he added.

On Sunday, when play shifted to the country club, the wind came out of the north and the temperature turned a bit cooler, Curd noted.

Curd also praised the work of HCC Head Pro John Hron on preparing the course for the event.

As mentioned, Curd also battled in the championship group. He recorded a Top 20 finish (164) out of nearly 30 golfers that competed in the flight.

“I’m the old man out there at 67,” Curd said. “I enjoy playing the championship flight. I like to see how I measure up against the best. I appreciate everybody playing in the city tourney.”

In addition to Landon — a former Bartlesville High/American Legion baseball player — and Curd, his other son Austin — a former star starting goalie for the Bartlesville High boys soccer team — came in 12th (159).

It evolved into a weekend of togetherness and special celebration for the Curds.

Grandpa would have been — and likely was — very proud.

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