Chase Hughes celebrated his 10th birthday by tying a U.S. Kids Golf record Sunday, shooting 9-under 27 for nine holes on the South Course at Lake Hefner in Oklahoma City.
Of the thousands of U.S. Kids tournaments held across the country each year, only one other time has that score been matched, according to Suzie Fisher, who runs the Oklahoma City U.S. Kids Tour.
Chase, who was scheduled to compete in the national Drive, Chip and Putt contest at Augusta National this spring before it was pushed back to 2021, has a long history of success in U.S. Kids, having finished third in the nationals at Pinehurst Resort in 2019 and been dominant in his age group basically since he began competing at age 5. He finished second in his age group in the DCP finals in 2019.
The son of Nick and Ashley Hughes of Oklahoma City, his father is a former seven-time winner at Oklahoma City University. Chase works with acclaimed teacher Ryan Rody at Southern Hills Country Club and has won more than 50 times in U.S. Kids events. Rody began teaching him five years ago at Gaillardia Golf Club in OKC, where the family are members.
“He’s an amazing chipper and putter,” Fisher said. “He can bomb it out there too but he’s really just an amazing putter.”
He’s also very low key. Fisher said when he came off the green on the ninth hole Sunday, he said he had choked. That’s because he made a par instead of a birdie for a 26. Hughes actually had two eagles, five birdies and two pars in his nine holes.
Fisher said the competitors at that age play a course of about 1,800 yards, with most par-4s in the 220 range, par-5s around 300 and par-3s about 100 yards. Hughes’ previous best score was a 28.
– Ken MacLeod