By Mike Moguin
BROKEN ARROW — There is a first time for everything. For Kirk Wright of Oklahoma City, he won his first OGA Senior State Amateur Championship in his first try Thursday at the Golf Club of Oklahoma, edging two-time defending champion Michael Hughett of Owasso.
"I noticed I could start playing in an OGA event since I was over 50 and I played in one last year and really enjoyed it," Wright said. "So I decided I was going to start playing in all of them and this is the first senior event this year that I entered."
It was also just the second OGA senior event for Wright.
The match went to a 19th hole, with Wright shooting par and Hughett bogeying the par-5 first green.
"I set some goals this year and this was one of them," Wright said. "I really didn’t expect to do quite so well early. I figured it was a learning process, but got really lucky out there and made some long putts to get things rolling for me."
Hughett, the top seed, appeared to be going into cruise control for a third straight championship when he won two of the first three holes and was 2-up in most of the front-nine. But Wright gradually made a comeback with some crucial putts.
Starting with the 13th, no holes were halved. Wright won three consecutive holes to earn his first lead of the day.
He pointed to a key shot on 14 as a turning point.
"The last few days, it’s been a hole that has caused me problems," Wright said. "Today, I hit a good drive. I got a 9-iron into the hole and made a 25-footer. I was just trying to lag up close and it fell in."
It was all square through 16 holes. Wright birdied to win the par-3 17th to go 1-up. Hughett tied it with a par on the par-5 18th. In the playoff, Hughett hit his third shot long and failed to get up and down, missing his par putt from about six feet.