Thursday, May 25, 2006

Oak Tree Gang

Gil Morgan shot a 5-under 66 today to grab the lead after the first round of the 67th Senior PGA Championship at Oak Tree Club in Edmond, Oklahoma. Morgan is one of several touring pro golfers who call Edmond and Oak Tree home. From Thanksgiving Day of 1987 to Memorial Day of 1990, I also called Edmond home.

Dad and I are remembering good times in Edmond tonight. In August of 1988 the Oak Tree Club hosted the 70th PGA Championship*. Dad attended the tournament and my mom soaked up the company of her small grandsons. We celebrated my oldest's sixth birthday on the day of the first round. My gosh, we were all so young!

The "Oak Tree Gang" includes seniors Morgan, Dave Edwards, Mark Hayes, and Doug Tewell playing today. "Gang" youngsters Bob Tway, Willie Wood, and Scott Verplank are still too young for the Champions Tour (and AARP). My little Edmond gang of sons spent a lot of time running through sprinklers, falling into duck ponds, getting cockleburs in their socks, and staining those socks with the red Oklahoma mud.

The next year Mom and I joined Dad at the Southwestern Bell Classic senior tournament** at Quail Creek Golf and Country Club in Oklahoma City. Mom was every bit as enthusiastic about attending as Dad, as long as she was assured plenty of grandson time. This was my first golf tournament, and I can still remember watching Chi Chi Rodriguez and Gary Player, and following tall Al Geiberger for several holes with Dad. That was 1989, the year Callaways unveiled Big Bertha drivers!

Misty-eyed tonight. Since the continuing drought in North Texas requires limited watering of lawns and golf courses, maybe I should go stand on a green!

*Won by Jeff Sluman, in case you are wondering.
**Bobby Nichols.

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