Bixby’s Natalie Gough Winds Up Great Career
AMONG THE BEST: Bixby golfer Natalie Gough holds her state runner-up plaque after taking second place in the Class 6A girls state tournament on May 3 at Hillcrest Country Club in Bartlesville.
Courtesy TRICIA GOUGH
Regarded as among of the top area players in girls’ high school golf, Bixby’s Natalie Gough wrapped up her prep career with a runner-up finish in the Class 6A state championship in May.
After taking fifth in 2017, Gough surged to second place with a scorecard of 148 (75-73), 15 shots lesser from her junior campaign. Her second-round score was the lowest of that day. She was just two shots behind Bartlesville’s Faith Hopkins, an Oklahoma State signee, who shot 146 (71-75).
An Oklahoma City University bound signee, Gough said that not being uptight was the key to her performance.
“I usually don’t get nervous for tournaments, but for some reason at state the past couple of years, I would get really nervous right before both rounds,” Gough says. “This year, it was different. I just tried to stay focused on my game and just relax and have fun instead, because I just didn’t need the nerves and I was just trying to enjoy my last high school tournament.
“I felt a lot more relaxed about how I was doing,” Gough says. “In the past I just didn’t have a good first day, and so I was worried about going so low for the second day and this year it was just different.”
Gough and her Lady Spartan teammates tied for second place with Jenks in the team standings as both totaled 689. A playoff was forced and the Lady Trojans (333-356) got the edge, causing Bixby (344-345) to settle for third. Edmond North (337-331—668) won the title.
Gough has a friendship with Bartlesville’s Hopkins. Although she would have liked to have finished on top, Gough says she was happy to see her friend win.
“We met back when we started,” Gough says. “We played U.S. kids’ tournaments together when we were starting up golf, and we’ve been playing in tournaments together ever since. We’ve grown close over the years and that’s how I met a lot of my friends: through golf and U.S. kids’ tournaments.”
She is excited about Hopkins’ upcoming career at Oklahoma State.
“I know she is really going to work hard for her spot on the team, and I think that she’ll succeed in college golf,” Gough says.
A member of Indian Springs Golf Course in Broken Arrow, Gough also praises the program’s indoor practice facility and believes it will be beneficial to the program in the future.
“Having this facility definitely helps in the offseason for all the players,” she said in a March interview. “We can come in here when it’s too cold for other people to go to the course. Of course, being a member at my own place helps because I can go even if my team doesn’t go somewhere. I can go out and practice on my own and out extra time into it.”
With graduation behind her, Gough has no regrets playing the links.
“I’m definitely glad I took this sport up because of where it is taking me,” she says.
“It’s taking me to college and I’ve made friends that I’m going to know for life and I’m just really glad I became involved with it.”
She claims Jordan Spieth and Paula Creamer as her favorite professional golfers.
“I really enjoy watching him play,” Gough says of Spieth. “As for Paula Creamer, I was told by people when I was younger that my swing looked like (Creamers) and I started to watch her more.”