At age 30, Walker Henson is one of the younger guys at Oakwood Country Club.
However, today he will be one of the grizzled veterans when the Oklahoma Golf Association’s State Amateur begins play at the famed Southern Hills in Tulsa.
Henson, the three-time Oakwood club champion, will be playing in the state amateur for the fifth time and comes in relaxed.
“As you get older, it gets sweeter to make it that far,’’ he said. “It helps relax you not having any expectations. I’ve learned from my different experiences there. We’ll see how that goes and see if I’ve learned anything from the last few years.’’
The majority of the field will be high school and college-age players. Henson feels his maturity is still an asset.
“It does have its good points,’’ he said. “I’ve been through it a couple of times and I know if I start off badly, it’s not the end of the round as long as you have some holes left. I’ve also lost when I’ve been ahead with a few holes left. The big thing is not to get too worked up about it.’’
Henson, the No. 37 seed, in the 64-player field faces No. 28 seed Jordan Dillon of Ardmore in the first round at 9:31 a.m. He is familiar with Dillon from his junior days.
“I’m just going to try to keep my head still and hit the ball solid,’’ Henson said. “I really don’t have any expectations. I just want to have fun. I’m just glad to be there.’’
Henson does have a goal of reaching the second day of the tournament for the first time. The Henson-Dillon winner would face the winner between Drew Dorsey of Edmond and Cole Goekeler of Broken Arrow at 1:12.
Henson tries to take the match play format the same as he would medal play.
“I try not to do anything different,’’ he said. “If you start to chase your opponent around, it seems to hurt you. I just play my…