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Kansas Golf Associaition

West team “Rains” in the Kanza Players Cup

Final round of foursome matches cancelled due to sleet, snow, rain, ice, and lack of dry gear!

The best golfers know that our game is played outdoors.  But for the first week of May in Kansas you wouldn’t expect to be dressed for the Scottish links on a day in November!

Sixteen of the state’s best mid-amateur golfers met at Mission Hills Country Club, May 1-2 for the 2nd annual Kanza Players Cup.  The east squad of eight won the inaugural event last May at Wichita Country Club.  Between the two squads there were only five new faces, so the rivalry factor is developing.

What no one anticipated was what the weather would do to make the competition the ultimate challenge – keeping your wits about you while dealing with cold and wet hands, grips and clothes!

With three rounds of matches over two days, the plea was made early and the players agreed to dispense with the Wednesday practice round and conduct the eight singles matches when the bright, sunny and “warm” opportunity presented itself.  Some of the participants had not played the recently renovated Mission Hills CC but it did not seem to matter to the West squad.

The East squad quickly grabbed three points with singles wins by Conrad Roberts, Kit Grove and Don Walsworth.   But then the inspired West team came back to claim a full point in each of the five remaining singles matches (wins by Aaron Sheaks, Corey Novascone, TylerDon Walsworth, William Gantz, Corey Novascone and Pete Krsnich braving the elements! Chapman, Zac Burton and Pete Krsnich).   Only one of the eight matches reached the 17th and 18th holes.

During Wednesday evening’s joint players’ dinner, much of the conversation centered on the weather forecast for Thursday.  Knowing that club members would not be caught outside in weather with rain and wind chills in the 20s, the Kanza Players Cup four-ball matches were delayed to a mid-morning start for Thursday.   Some holes were played in cold and dry conditions, but by noon dry became wet.

The East team of Mike Rack and Chris Hutchens, reigning Kansas Four-Ball Masters Division champions, secured a quick point with a 5&4 win over Aaron Sheaks (2012 KGA Mid-Am champion) and Michael Holloway (2012 KGA Public Links champion).   The West team came right back when Zac Burton and Tyler Chapman ganged up on Tyson Osborn, who was playing solo due to his partner’s unexpected work commitments, to secure an easy 7&6 win. snow covered putting green at Mission Hills CCTJ Vilkanskas and Grant Vollertsen played all frigid 18 holes for a halved match with Conrad Roberts and Kit Grove.

The final point of the day was critical.  Don Walsworth and Will Gantz for the East team had built a lead over Pete Krsnich and Corey Novascone.   But the Wichita duo fought back and tallied a full point with a 1 up win, giving West team a 7.5 to 4.5 lead.  With only 4 points at stake in the final round of foursome matches, the East team would need to earn no less than 3.5 of those points to retain the Trophy.

The East team huddled in the warm clubhouse and concluded the obvious; the weather would likely prevent any playing of golf on Friday in the Kansas City metro, several of the players had significant distances to journey home, and the likelihood of collecting 3.5 points in foursomes when one team member might not be able to play if no carts were allowed on the course, the East squad conceded the weather-shortened match.

Regardless of the difficult weather conditions, all of the participants agreed that it was event that will not soon be forgotten.  Thirty minutes after the last match four-ball match concluded the putting greens were covered with snow!

For complete results and the photo gallery go to www.kansasgolf.org.