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Kansas Golf Associaition

August Busy Month for KGA Event

High Plains Amateur Set for Record Event

The 19th annual High Plains Amateur Championship begins this Saturday with a record field of 143, the largest number for this friendly duel between amateur golfers of Kansas and Colorado.

“We began this event in 1995 to give the golfers of western Kansas and eastern Colorado a high level competitive event on an outstanding golf course and over the years the Colorado contingent has shrunk,” explained KGA Executive Director Kim Richey.  “We still have a core group of Colorado golfers that make the trip every year, but the growth of this event over the last few years is a reflection of how the area junior colleges and state universities have embraced the event.  It is also an important event for certain Kansas players to earn a spot on the Kansas team for the Directors Cup competition being played in September at Wild Horse in Gottenburg, Nebraska.

With the large starting field the KGA has found it necessary to institute a cut after the first round.  Since most of the field travels several hours to Garden City, it is better and safer for the event to end on Sunday by mid-afternoon and everyone can make the trip home and arrive at a reasonable hour.  The players in the Open and Senior divisions that fail to make the cut after the first round still get to play on Sunday.  They are treated to a round at Buffalo Dunes Golf Course, arguably the best conditioned public golf course in Kansas.  Their first round scores are thrown out and a new one-day competition is played for a separate set of golf shop prizes.

The final round at The Golf Club of Southwind will feature 84 players, 30 of which will come from the Open Division.

Grant Vollertsen, a Garden City dentist and Southwind member, is the defending champion looking for a repeat.  He will have to go a few years to match the record of Sean Thayer, also a Southwind member.  Thayer has won the High Plains Amateur five times, most recently in 2010.  Also in the Open division are Corey Novascone, the 1996 Kansas Amateur champion from Wichita and Charlie Stevens, champion of the centennial Kansas Amateur in 2010 at Prairie Dunes.  Charlie is bringing his son along too.  Sam Stevens, a senior at Kapaun High School in Wichita, marched through the match play bracket of this year’s Kansas Amateur at Indian Hills and lost in the finals to Chase Hanna.  In the next two weeks Sam finished 7th at the PGA Junior and won the Big “I”, both national junior events of the highest level.  Hanna is not playing so with a high finish Stevens can overtake Hanna for the KGA Junior Player-of-the-Year award.

Other strong contenders include Kyle Weldon, David Klaudt and Alex Carney along with the rest of their Kansas State teammates.  Veteran mid-amateurs Pete Krsnich and Conrad Roberts have each played well at the High Plains Amateur in the recent past and it might be their year to hoist the winner’s trophy.

Individual player results and the standings can be viewed throughout the day this weekend by logging into www.kansasgolf.org and clicking on the High Plains Amateur from the home page.


KGA Folds of Honor Tour Takes Flight at Wichita Country Club

In a new charitable initiative the Kansas Golf Association launched the KGA Folds of Honor Tour on a beautiful August day last week at Wichita Country Club.   Funds raised from this competitive program will benefit the Folds of Honor Foundation based in Oklahoma.  Patriot Golf Day is the flagship fundraiser for this organization started by former KU golfer and PGA professional Dan Rooney.   The purpose is to help families of American veterans killed in war over the last decade.

Fresh from great performances at the Kansas Amateur in July, Wichita CC members Pete Krsnich and Jason Novascone teamed in the four-ball format to post a 9-under par 62 to easily land in first place.  Extremely wet and soft conditions, a result of record rainfall in south central Kansas in the preceding two weeks, made their score even more impressive.

The KGA Folds of Honor Tour will be played next at Topeka Country Club on September 16th and conclude at Meadowbrook Country Club on October 7th.   Entries can be done online at www.kansasgolf.org.


Kansas Juniors Win Annual Cup Match Against Nebraska Rivals

In an impressive on-the-road performance the eight-member Kansas Junior Cup team, led by Kansas Amateur champion Chase Hanna, won a third consecutive competition against the Nebraska junior team at Champions Run in Omaha in early August.

Kansas jumped out to an early 3-1 point lead after the foursomes matches.  This alternate shot format is not typically a strong suit for Kansas teams.  After the afternoon four-ball matches Kansas grew its margin to 6-2.  On day two with eight singles matches to be played and needing only 2 points to retain the Virgil Parker Cup, Kansas fought off a strong charge from Nebraska to finish victorious at 9-7.

Kansas now leads the series 15-13 but over the last ten years the two rival states are tied 5-5.  For complete match results of the 2013 Kansas-Nebraska Junior Cup Matches, log into www.nebgolf.org.