Firecracker opens July 5 with momentum following Woodland’s US Open win
Another chapter in one of Lawton’s most highly-touted sporting traditions will be written the first weekend of July when Lawton Country Club hosts the 52nd annual Firecracker Open.
And while the annual golf tournament has always carried a certain prestige, this one brings added intrigue. This Firecracker comes on the heels of one of a tournament alum winning the U.S. Open. Gary Woodland played in the ‘Cracker from 2003-05 while he was playing collegiately at the University of Kansas. Last weekend, Woodland won the United States Open at Pebble Beach, becoming the second former Firecracker player to win a major title, joining 1986 PGA Championship winner Bob Tway.
While it may seem like a small footnote to some — especially considering Woodland wasn’t even the highest-scoring player from his own college team during his rounds at the Firecracker — it’s a big deal to Johnny Wilson, General Manager of Lawton Country Club.
“I think it’s huge. We’ve had some good players come through here but he’s one of only two guys who have won a major,” Wilson said. “I think everybody here was pulling for him.”
When golfers like Woodland have played so many tournaments throughout their pro and amateur careers, it would be reasonable for many of the events and locations to blend together after a while. However, based on stories from locals who have encountered Woodland in recent years, he has not forgotten the years he played at Lawton Country Club.