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Groom’s Dream – A Kansas Senior Amateur Title


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By any measure, Steve Groom plays a lot of golf.  The Raytown, Missouri lifetime amateur golfer may play a competitive schedule that would wear out any young touring pro.   Being a Steve Groom, 2013 Senior Amateur championmember of three golf associations, Groom is a regular in open and senior events conducted by the golf associations of Kansas, Missouri and Kansas City.  And, of course, there are USGA national championships and those other high caliber club and regional events.   He has won countless golf championships and events and he’s been a player-of-the-year a few times as well.   At the age of 55, Steve Groom had not yet won a Kansas Senior Amateur.  It was a title he dreamed about.

As if a man on a mission, Steve opened the 36-hole test with an A+.  In a bogey-free round, the only one of the day from the 82-player field, Groom’s five birdies gave him a 66 and a 3-stroke lead over three others, two of whom were past champions.  Bryan Norton, a two-time winner, and defending champion Steve Newman, were joined by Dave Harris at the 2-under par 69 spot.  Five other golfers posted a 1-under par 70.  So with a second round to be played there were more than just a few fellow seniors capable of waking Groom from his “dream title”.

Round two started much the same way the first round played.  Seven pars kept Groom at 5-under par.  But Steve Newman was trying to spoil the dream with a stretch of four birdies from hole #3 though #6 resulting in a brief 1-stroke advantage for Newman.  NewmanSteve Groom bogeyed #7 and Groom birdied #8 to get Groom back in the lead, but only by a single stroke.  Norton was lurking a few strokes back and no one else was making a run at the leaders.  So with the back nine to be played it had become race between Groom and Newman.

Groom took firm control of his fate at the par five #10 hole.  While Newman was dealing with the trees and difficult putts resulting in a bogey, Groom played the hole perfectly with an approach to the front edge of the green and a straight uphill 30-footer for eagle. The putt just missed, but the resulting tap in for birdie put him back to the 3-stroke advantage with which he started the day.

The “dream” got getter for Groom when he birdie #13 and #14 to take a five stroke lead over Newman.  Even the two bogies Groom made in the last four holes, his only ones of the championship, were not enough to disturb the fulfillment of his long-awaited goal.  A second round 3-under par 68 and a total of 134 (8-under par) gave Steve Groom his first Kansas Senior Amateur Championship win in record-breaking style.  His first round 66 tied the record for lowest round score and lowest first round score and his 134 total set the new record for lowest winning total score.

In accepting and holding the Dick Scholfield Trophy, Steve was visibly moved by the moment.  The “dream” had come true and he really was awake!