Kent Samuel Wins the 2021 Greater Houston Super Senior Amateur Championship

By Richard Dean

Since devoting more time to playing competitive golf, Kent Samuel’s game is taking him places. The latest is winning the 2021 Greater Houston Senior Amateur Golf Championship in the Super Senior division.

Five years ago Samuel was good enough to qualify and play in the 2016 Senior British Open at Carnoustie. Besides Samuel, that field included Tom Watson, Tom Lehman and Mark 0’Meara. Samuel broke 80 both rounds, shooting 78-79.

“I didn’t make the cut but I had a great time,” Samuel recalled on what he calls his career highlight in golf. “It made me feel good until Thursday morning when I had to tee off and then I got nervous. But it was great fun.”

Samuel also had a good time in winning the 2021 Houston city senior amateur at Gus Wortham Golf Course the first week of October. The Woodlands resident came out on top of a one-hole playoff over Ivan Lawson of Cypress. Samuel two-putted the No. 1 playoff hole for par. Lawson’s bogey gave the victory to Samuel, who won this event in 2018 when it was played at Memorial Park Golf Course.

Lawson and Samuel, 68, completed the 36-hole tournament in 3-over-145, over the par-71, 6,243-yard layout.

Samuel came into the final round tied for second, two shots behind Lawson. Samuel shots rounds of 73-72 to catch Lawson, who carded 71-74.

“They’re always difficult to win,” said Samuel, who shared second place at this event in 2020. “I did win in 2018 over at Memorial, very different golf course. This one I didn’t know if I could win on this one but I did play well last year.

“It was a lot of fun. The first two days, with all the rain we had, it was more than fun, it was real challenging. But (final round) turned out great and so it was a great way to finish.”

Samuel completed his final 12 holes on Sunday.

“But it felt like 18 holes because slow and grinding as it was,” Samuel said. “It was a great field. I know a lot of the guys from the different events I play. Ivan, who I played in the playoff, I’ve played with him and against him for years. Great guy, good player. It’s a good event with a lot of good players so it’s fun to play.”

Sharing third at 4 over were Chuck Reeve (Houston) and Norman Pedersen (Houston). Reeve was the 2019 super senior winner and finished fourth last year.

“Every time I play in one of these, Chuck’s right there, and close,” said Samuel, who plays around 25-30 events in this division, for age 65 and older. “He’s a good player and has been for a long time.”

Gus Wortham is unique among Houston courses with the rolling terrain. Despite its lack of length, golfers face a number of challenges. There are blind uphill shots and bayous streaming throughout that keep golfers alert.

Samuel grew up in Durant, Oklahoma. He had two professional careers. He was in the oil and gas business 25 years and his last 17 years he was an investment advisor before retiring three years ago.

“This is my job now,” Samuel said. “I work at golf and enjoy it at the same time. When you’re 68, you don’t know how long you’re going to be able to play so I’m going to enjoy it while I can.”

Samuel played competitive college golf at Southeastern Oklahoma State.

“What I learned in life and in golf when I was in college is that there are a lot of guys that can beat me so I better learn how to do something else in life,” Samuel said. “I worked hard in college, got a good job, and now I can just enjoy golf.”