This retirement tour is going pretty well for Mike Hughett.
In two national events since stepping down from his job as CFO at Nordam, Hughett has a second-place finish in the senior division of the Porter Cup in September, then Thursday shot a final-round 4-under 68 to win the Dixie Senior Amateur at Eagle Trace Golf Club in Coral Springs, Fla.
The Owasso resident is famous locally for winning 21 Oklahoma Golf Association championships, most in association history. But he has also won state titles in his home state of Nebraska and has competed in 19 USGA events.
“Having more time to play and practice, you get a little more consistent,” Hughett said this afternoon from the course after his victory. “I got off to a great start today with birdies on three of the first four. I three-putted the second hole from 18 feet, but that turned out to be my only bogey.”
On probably the most difficult hole on the course, the par-4 13th, Hughett hit his drive in a divot, but managed to knock the second shot within six feet and make birdie. He then birdied the 14th to open up a three-shot lead on playing partner Doug Hanzel, who began the day one shot back of Hughett, who himself was a shot behind Joe Shaktman. Shaktman shot a final round 77, but TJ Brudzinski of Ohio matched Hughett’s 68 to remain a shot behind and finish second.
“Shooting a 68 when the previous best round was 70, I was not really worried about anyone coming from behind to beat me, but he played a great round,” Hughett said.
Brudzinski is the younger brother of former Ohio State and NFL linebacker Bob Brudzinski who now owns a series of sports bars and restaurants in Florida.
After being blustery the first two days, scoring conditions were ideal Thursday with temperatures in the 70s, sunny with light winds. Hughett said the course, which has water on 16 of 18 holes, was set up fairly and provided the field a good test.
– Ken MacLeod