NORMAN — Kirk Wright knows about pressure. As a battalion chief with the Oklahoma City Fire Department, he’s well used to working in intense and stressful environments.
It was that aspect that drew him to the Oklahoma Golf Association’s senior stroke play championship at The Trails in Norman on Monday.
“I play a lot of golf, and I like the competition of playing in tournaments like this,” he said after firing an even-par 70 to hold the lead after the first day of the 36-hole tournament. “It’s a lot different than just going out and playing with your buddies. This puts more pressure on you, and I wanted to see how I could handle it.”
After the first day there’s little question that Wright handled it best on an atypically cool but humid day on the golf course. He birdied the seventh hole before closing the front nine with a pair of bogeys, but he fought back with a birdie on 11 before shooting par for the rest of the day.
It was good enough to give him a two-stroke lead over James Reid, who with a 72 is the closest competitor. Keith McKinnon sits in third with a 73 while a pair of golfers will begin today’s final round four strokes back.
And while Wright will enter the final day with intentions to win, he’s just as interested in enjoying his round win or lose.
“I play in three or four of these a year, and it’s fun,” he said. “It’s very important on this course to keep the ball in the fairway, so that’s my goal for tomorrow.”
While Wright leads the senior division with a 70, Windy Miller matched him to lead the super senior division. He began the day with a pair of bogeys to move to 2 over, but finished the day with a 70 and a two-stroke lead on second-place Gary Bonner.