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High school golf: Hayden Wood is following in dad's footsteps

Hayden is the youngest of Willie Wood's three sons. The older two weren't drawn to golf, but Hayden was. Because of that, Willie always regretted that Hayden never got to see his father's most successful days on the course.
by Scott Wright Modified: May 5, 2013 at 6:37 pm •  Published: May 5, 2013
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photo - CLASS 6A HIGH SCHOOL GOLF / STATE TOURNAMENT: Edmond North's Hayden Wood watches his tee shot during the 6A golf tournament at Karsten Creek on Tuesday, May 8, 2012, in Stillwater, Oklahoma. Photo by Chris Landsberger, The Oklahoman
CLASS 6A HIGH SCHOOL GOLF / STATE TOURNAMENT: Edmond North's Hayden Wood watches his tee shot during the 6A golf tournament at Karsten Creek on Tuesday, May 8, 2012, in Stillwater, Oklahoma. Photo by Chris Landsberger, The Oklahoman

STILLWATER — Edmond North junior Hayden Wood never got to watch his father, Willie, during the prime of his professional golf career.

Didn't see him win on the PGA Tour in 1996 — the year Hayden was born — and didn't get to watch any of Willie's 23 career top-10 finishes, the last coming in 1998.

Hayden is the youngest of Willie's three sons. The older two weren't drawn to golf, but Hayden was. Because of that, Willie always regretted that Hayden never got to see his father's most successful days on the course.

But that all changed last year, when Willie's career was reborn on the Champions Tour.

“Hayden had only heard that I used to be a good player,” Willie said. “Finally last year, he got to witness it, and that was very nice for him to see it.”

Coincidentally, Willie's resurgence came about the same time Hayden's high school career saw its first breakthrough.

Now, Hayden is one of the state's top junior golfers, already committed to Oklahoma State, where he'll follow in his father's footsteps. And Hayden will be on the course at OSU's Karsten Creek with his Edmond North teammates Monday and Tuesday, competing for the school's ninth consecutive Class 6A state championship.

Hayden finished fourth at state last year as a sophomore, following conference and regional tournament victories. But it didn't come easy.

As a freshman, Hayden couldn't even crack Edmond North's top five. He spent the state tournament walking the course and watching the Huskies come from behind to win.

“That was the best thing that could have happened to me, because it really made me work harder,” Hayden said. “Watching my team win state was great, but it was one of the worst feelings I've had, because I expected to be in the top five. It really, really hurt, and I don't want to feel that feeling again, so I continue to work hard.”

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by Scott Wright
Reporter
A lifelong resident of the Oklahoma City metro area, Scott Wright has been on The Oklahoman staff since 2005, covering a little bit of everything on the state's sports scene. He has been a beat writer for football and basketball at Oklahoma and...
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Boys state golf schedule

All tournaments are scheduled for 36 holes Monday and 18 holes Tuesday, teeing off at 8 a.m.

Class 6A: Karsten Creek, Stillwater

Class 5A: Tulsa Country Club

Class 4A: Lake Hefner North Course, Oklahoma City

Class 3A: Duncan Golf Club

Class 2A: Emerald Falls, Broken Arrow

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