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State amateur golf: Bartlesville's Nathan Hughes wins state amateur title

Hughes defeats Oklahoma State senior Talor Gooch 3 and 2 in the championship match.
BY MIKE BALDWIN Published: July 24, 2013

Moore, a two-time 6A state champion from Edmond Memorial who was named the SEC Freshman of the Year at Arkansas, led the match with a birdie on No. 12, but Gooch drew even with a par on No. 13. Both players posted four consecutive pars to be all square heading into No. 18.

“I might have been a little tired today,” Gooch said. “But I felt I played well all week. I gained a lot of confidence in this tournament.”

Gooch will attempt to qualify for the U.S. national amateur Monday in Maumelle, Ark., a Little Rock suburb. He will remain in the Little Rock area the remainder of the week for the Western Amateur, often referred to as the Masters of amateur golf.

“This was a good tournament to sharpen my game, build some match-play confidence,” Gooch said. “I feel good about my game right now. It's going to be crammed packed with golf the next month before school starts again.”

Hughes won six matches in three days. He won 3 and 2 and 6 and 5 on Monday. He recorded back-to-back 2-and-1 wins on Tuesday and completed his title run with wins over Rusk and Gooch on Wednesday.

After winning Class 6A medalist honors in 2009 as a senior, Hughes signed with Oklahoma. Two years later, he transferred to the University of Missouri/Kansas City where he will be a senior.

“Things didn't go as planned coming out of high school with the whole college situation, so it's kind of nice for me to play well and have something go my way,” Hughes said. “This is something I'll always remember, probably the biggest highlight of my career.”