Like most golfers, Taylor Moore is looking forward to match play.
A two-time Class 6A champion at Edmond Memorial, Moore is one of several accomplished players in a 64-man field who will compete in the 2013 Oklahoma Golf Association State Amateur scheduled Monday-Wednesday at Oklahoma City Golf and Country Club.
“Match play is a lot of fun, a different game,” Moore said. “You can be aggressive. You can have a bad shot or take a six or seven on a hole. All that's happened is you've lost one hole and you try to get it back on the next one.”
The field includes 44 players who shot under par in qualifying earlier this month at Lincoln West, including Moore, who shot a 6-under-par 65.
Midwest City product Talor Gooch, who will be a senior at Oklahoma State, is the No. 2 seed. Gooch romped to the OGA stroke play title last year. Gooch led the Lincoln qualifying with a 9-under 62.
Daniel Mitchell, the No. 6 seed who turned pro but has returned to amateur golf, won the 2007 OGA state amateur match-play title at The Trails.
Stillwater product Chris Muriana, who will be a senior at Central Oklahoma, also shot a 62 at Lincoln. Muriana is the No. 1 seed.
“It's one of the more competitive fields they've ever had, a lot of really good players,” Moore said. “You'll have to stay calm. You're going to have to buckle up from the start from Hole 1 of each match, try to get in a zone quickly to give yourself as many birdie opportunities as you can.”
Moore, who will be a sophomore at Arkansas, was named the SEC Freshman of the Year. Last week, he shot a 68-66 at Wichita Country Club to earn one of two spots for the 2013 U.S. Amateur that will be held Aug. 12-18 at Brookline, Ma., near Boston.
“I learned a lot my freshman year,” Moore said. “To be honest, I didn't play very well in the fall. I went through some growing pains. After I made a couple of swing changes I feel pretty comfortable with my game right now but obviously you can always get better.”
During his high school career, Moore posted 14 career wins and 31 top-five finishes in 36 tournaments.
On the summer circuit, Moore rose to No. 2 in the national junior rankings. Last year, he won the Red River Classic at Dornick Hills. His top highlight was finishing second at the 2012 Sage Valley Junior Invitational in Graniteville, S.C.
“I haven't played at Oklahoma City Golf and Country Club much but playing it a couple of times last week, it's definitely a good match play course,” Moore said. “If the greens are soft like they were last week you'll need to make a lot of birdies.”
The first two rounds will be held on Monday. The round of 16 and the quarterfinals are scheduled for Tuesday with the semifinals and title match set for Wednesday.
“To win six (matches) in a row you can't make many mistakes,” Moore said. “Whoever gets hot is the one that will win it.”