Steve Moran wins the 2022 Super Senior Amateur Championship
By Richard Dean
Still competitive while playing golf in the Houston senior city amateur, Steven Moran decided it was time to act his age. After being eligible for the Super Senior division for two years, the 67-year-old finally tried his hand going against the best in the 65-and-up group.
Turns out that was a good move on the part of Moran, who outlasted Chuck Reeve, 71, to win the Super Senior division of the 2022 Greater Houston Senior City Amateur.
“I hung in there a couple years still playing the regular senior,” Moran said. “Then I decided I better face reality with my age and go ahead and go to Super Senior.”
In the 36-hole tournament, Moran totaled 1 over, edging fellow Houstonian Reeve by a mere shot. Dan Hogan, 67, (Richmond), who closed with the low-round of the tournament with 69, and Perry Key, 65, (Spring) shared third at 6 over.
“It’s an honor, because to be a successful golfer in Houston, you can probably compete pretty much anywhere in the country,” Moran said. “The competition is that good in Houston.”
The competition between Moran and Reeve definitely heated up over two rounds at Gus Wortham Park Golf Course.
“He’s won a couple times, so it’s nice to get my name on the trophy,” Moran said. “It’s fun to see all the good players’ names from before on the trophy, get your name on there with them.”
Moran established a lead in the early holes of Saturday’s final day. But Moran had trouble on a couple of greens, making back-to-back bogeys on holes 6 and 7. Moran birdied the 15th hole, then regained the lead on the difficult par-3 16th hole. He made par while his playing partner Reeve made bogey.
In a stretch of two holes, Moran had gone from one stroke down to one ahead. Then Reeve birdied 17 to again share the lead. On the closing hole, Reeve’s approach shot was long, finding a bunker, resulting in a bogey.
“Chuck and I had a real good match,” Moran said. “I’ve played with Chuck some over the years and he’s a good player. It came down to the last hole.
“I was fortunate to hit a good iron shot in there and he hit his a little long. It went into the back bunker. A tough spot. He was going downhill out of the bunker. It could have gone either way. I feel fortunate to have pulled it out.”
In 2013, Moran couldn’t pull it off in a runner-up finish in the senior city amateur. Moran came out of the short end of a playoff to Mike Booker, who birdied the second extra hole.
A retired financial advisor, Moran lives in Clear Lake and plays out of Bay Forest in LaPorte. He plays golf as much as he wants, usually 2-3 times a week and practices a few times a week as well. He tries to play Gus Wortham about once a month.
“Gus Wortham is just a fantastic golf course,” Moran said. “It’s not very long but it’s still very difficult. The greens this year were treacherous. They do a fantastic job with it, and the condition of the course is always great.
“At tournament time they speed up the greens, that makes it much more difficult. The greens are the primary defense for the course.”
Gus Wortham gets tricky when the wind blows. It’s a placement course. To be successful, a golfer needs to hit certain targets, and then get it on the green in the right location so there’s not too difficult of a putt.
“It’s a fun course to play but very challenging,” Moran said.
For the tournament, conducted by the Houston Golf Association, Reeve recorded six birdies and an eagle. Jim Mathews, 72, (Houston), who finished 11th at 12 over, also carded six birdies and an eagle. Moran registered five birdies.
The strongest part of Moran’s golf game is his iron play. He’s also accurate and has length off the tee.
Moran needed everything he had to hold off Reeve on the final hole of the tournament and to finish ahead of everyone else in the 35-player field.
“They’re a tough group of guys to beat,” Moran said. “A lot of good players. I’ve been playing against a lot of them for quite a while, but it is nice to come out on top once in a while.”