Andrew Hydorn wins 2022 Greater Houston Senior City Amateur
By Richard Dean
Like many of his contemporaries, Andrew Hydorn is a weekend golfer who balances the sport along with family and work.
Hydorn’s put in the effort. And whenever he will be asked to recall Oct. 2, 2022, he will remember that date as the day, at age 57, he won the Greater Houston Senior City Amateur Golf Championship at Gus Wortham Golf Course.
“This is a passion for me, playing competitive golf and continuing to try and get better,” Hydorn said. “I’m thrilled to be able to win this. There’s just so many good players in the (Houston) metropolitan area. To be able to fight through 54 holes and come out on top, it’s an honor.”
Over three days Hydorn went head-to-head with the best senior amateur golfers in the Houston area. He was paired with Houston legend Mike Booker in Sunday’s final pairing of the last 18 holes.
Needing only a par on the treacherous par-4 finishing hole, Hydorn secured victory by two-putting for par from 16 feet. He won the prestigious championship, put on by the Houston Golf Association, by a mere shot over defending champion David Ortego, who let a two-stroke lead evaporate with a triple-bogey 7 on the final hole, playing one pairing in front of the eventual champion.
Hydorn, who lives in the Champions area and plays out of Northgate Country Club, compiled rounds of 70-75-73 for 5-over-par 218 in the tournament conducted by the Houston Golf Association.
“This is a great course for this tournament,” said Hydorn, who closed with a 2-over-par 73 that included three birdies. “It’s not long at all, but there are some long holes, and all around the greens, it’s difficult. You got to be really careful out here to play well.”
Ortego, a resident of Spring, birdied holes 15-17 on the final day, and registered a tournament-best 15 birdies en route a 6 over finish. Titus Harris (Houston) was third at 7 over. Booker (The Woodlands), who has won this tournament four times, and has won the Houston city amateur four times as well, lost a last-day lead to place fourth at 8 over.
“I hit a couple of poor shots,” said Booker, describing his final-round 5-over 76. “Sometimes you can get away with making a mistake, either mental or physical, and sometim
es you can’t. Today, I didn’t get away with it.”
Winning the 2022 senior city amateur takes some of the sting out of just missing a playoff with Ortego in last year’s tournament. And three weeks prior to capturing the senior amateur title, Hydorn failed to hold onto a final-round lead and lost to Sandy Pierce in a playoff at the Texas Senior Amateur at Champions Golf Club
“I was disappointed in that because that tournament and this (Houston senior city amateur) are the two most important tournaments on my calendar,” Hydorn said.
Originally from Boston, Hydorn has lived in Houston 17 years. He’s played the Houston senior city amateur three times.
When Hydorn arrived to the No. 18 tee box on the final round, he was two strokes behind Ortego. But misfortune was awaiting Ortego, who pushed his tee shot into the left-side woods. After taking a penalty drop, Ortego never recovered on the hole, three-putting for a triple bogey and falling out of the lead.
“I had a good idea he made 7, said Hydorn, who witnessed Ortego’s troubles from the fairway. “That’s the thing with this course though, is that there’s so many places where disaster is right around the corner. It’s just the way it is.”
Fortunately for Hydorn, on No. 18 he split the fairway on his tee shot, and while standing over his approach shot, had only 82 yards to the pin.
“I don’t care what anybody says, the wedge in the middle of the fairway on 18 is a nervy shot,” said Hydorn, who was the first-round leader after opening with a 1-under 70.
Using a 58-degree wedge, Hydorn’s second shot landed on the green, 16-feet below the hole. A good pressure shot considering it was uphill, into the wind, and there’s not much depth into that green. Hydorn easily two putted and closed out his win with an 8-inch tap-in par.
“He’s a good guy, a good player,” Booker said. “He had a tough back nine but hung in there, so I respect him a great deal.”
Hydorn shot a final-round 2-over 73. He regrouped after hitting his tee shot in the water on 17.
Booker went into the final round tied for the lead with Hydorn at 3 over. Booker led by as many as two shots during the final round.
Hydorn said he enjoyed playing in the final pairing with Booker, who has won more Texas Golf Association tournaments than anyone,
“He’s such a gentleman, such a nice guy,” Hydorn said. “I see him at these tournaments, we play together a good bit. But everybody knows Mike Booker because he’s so good, and he’s in the mix in every tournament.
“It was great to play with him, but I don’t need that (to excel). If I played with someone that I didn’t like, it wouldn’t really bother me.”
Jeff Kramer (Spring) had the tournament’s low-round 2-under-69 in the second round. He finished in a share of 18th at 17 over.