DUNCAN — Morgan Brown of Henryetta carries a leprechaun head cover on her golf bag.
It belonged to her brother, a two-time state high school golf champion for Henryetta in the mid-90s.
If Brown wins the Class 3A girls golf state championship Thursday, she will hoist the trophy toward the heavens in memory of her brother, Jeff Lawrence, who was killed in a car wreck in 2002.
“I am playing for him,” Brown said.
Brown is one of three golfers Wednesday who shot a 9-over par 80 at the Duncan Golf and Tennis Club. Faith Lasiter of Eufaula and Ali White of Idabel also shot at 80 to share the lead.
Brown was only 7 when her brother was killed in the drag racing accident on State Highway 75 in Henryetta.
“It's been really tough without him,” she said. “I took up golf to play in his footsteps. Whenever I was little, he actually cut off a club for me and started teaching me how to swing.”
Her brother's clubs were in the car and were mangled in the wreck. But she still has the head cover, which is the Notre Dame leprechaun because he was a fan of the Fighting Irish.
“It would mean a lot to me (to win a state title),” said Brown, who has signed to play golf collegiately at Rogers State University in Claremore. “I think it will be a good little playoff we are going to have (Thursday).”
Eufaula has a 10-stroke lead over Henryetta in the team race despite having a golfer disqualified for signing an incorrect scoreboard.
Lasiter, who has won three consecutive tournaments, said it would be ironic if the girls' golf team would win Eufaula's first state championship.
“They have always just downgraded the girls' golf team because it's just golf,” she said. “To us, it's something important, but to everybody else it's not. It would definitely be something huge.”