By Ken MacLeod
If Mike Hughett is to add to his impressive collection of Oklahoma Golf Association titles, it won’t be easy.
The Owasso resident had to dig deep with two late clutch birdie putts to edge Jason Gulley of Jenks in 20 holes in the second round of the OGA Senior State Amateur Championship Tuesday at Meadowbrook Country Club.
Waiting early Wednesday in the quarterfinals is one of the hottest golfers in the field. Mike Gotcher of Broken Arrow disposed of three-time champion Kirk Wright of Oklahoma City 7 and 6 Tuesday afternoon after a 4 and 3 victory over Alex McAllister of Oklahoma City in the morning.
Gulley, coming off a victory Sunday in the Tulsa Golf Association Senior Stroke Play Championship Flight, came from two down at the turn to take a 1 up lead through 15 as Hughett bogeyed holes 14 and 15. Both players failed to get up-and-down on the difficult par-4 16th.
On the par-3 17th, Hughett pulled his tee shot to the left edge of the green and faced a 30-foot putt with five feet of break across the green. That’s when he showed some of the magic that has led to 22 previous OGA titles, including three in this event. The long birdie putt fell gently in the center of the hole, squaring the match. Both players made par on 18 to send it to extra holes.
The two both pulled their tee shots left on the dogleg right opening hole and both had to lay up. Hughett eventually had a 5-foot uphill putt for par to win the match but missed it. He ended it with a 15-foot birdie putt on the short par-4 11th.
“I just don’t seem to keep my concentration as well through two matches in the heat as I used to,” said Hughett, who will turn 63 in a few weeks. “I was fortunate to get by Jason after the way I played 14 through 16. But I played pretty well except for that stretch, so we’ll see tomorrow.”
Defending champion Jon Valuck of Oklahoma City was knocked out in the second round by Terry Collier of Bixby. The 2019 champion, Blake Gibson of Yukon, survived a tough match with Shawn Barker of Bartlesville, 1 up, to move into the quarterfinals.
Also advancing were Bruce Maddux of Ponca City, Eric Gudgel of Stillwater, Brian Szymanski of Oklahoma City and Christopher Laughlin of Edmond.
Quarterfinal matches pit Collier against Maddux, Gudgel vs. Gibson, Gotcher vs. Hughett and Szymanski against Laughlin. The semifinals will be held Wednesday afternoon with the finals at 8 a.m. Thursday morning.
Oklahoma Golf Association
Senior State Amateur Championship
July 12-15, 2021
Meadowbrook Country Club
Rd of 32
Jonathan Valuck, Oklahoma City def. John Shelton, Stillwater 4 and 3
Terry Collier, Bixby def. Tom Nielsen, Edmond 2 and 1
Bruce Maddux, Ponca City def. Frank Billings, Tulsa 20 holes
Andy Lucas, Tulsa def. Mike Wilson, Elk City 2 up
Michael Gotcher, Broken Arrow def. Alex McAllister, Oklahoma City 4 and 3
Kirk Wright, Oklahoma City def. Brian Cook, Tulsa 1 up
Jason Gulley, Jenks def. Jim Roberts, Edmond 2 and 1
Michael Hughett, Owasso def. Steve Hughes, Bartlesville 3 and 2
Eric Gudgel, Stillwater def. Jack Steinmeyer, Tulsa 1 up
Joel Driver, Oklahoma City def. Don Quint, Tulsa 2 and 1
Shawn Barker, Bartlesville def. Jeff Smith, Arcadia 2 and 1
Blake Gibson, Yukon def. Don Cochran, Norman 3 and 2
Jerry Nick, Okmulgee def. Andrew Allen, Edmond 5 and 4
Brian Szymanski, Oklahoma City def. Kirk Fryer, Tulsa 1 up
Christopher Laughlin, Edmond def. Scott Wilson, Sperry 3 and 2
Ron Roden, Oklahoma City def. Don Clark, Shawnee 2 and 1
Rd of 16
Terry Collier, Bixby def. Jonathan Valuck, Oklahoma City 2 up
Bruce Maddux, Ponca City def. Andy Lucas, Tulsa 3 and 2
Michael Gotcher, Broken Arrow def. Kirk Wright, Oklahoma City 7 and 6
Michael Hughett, Owasso def. Jason Gulley, Jenks 20 holes
Eric Gudgel, Stillwater def. Joel Driver, Oklahoma City 2 and 1
Blake Gibson, Yukon def. Shawn Barker, Bartlesville 1 up
Brian Szymanski, Oklahoma City def. Jerry Nick, Okmulgee 3 and 2
Christopher Laughlin, Edmond def. Ron Roden, Oklahoma City 2 and 1