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Kansas Golf Associaition

Wild Finish in Wellington


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Over 130 talented youngsters made their way to the 56th Boys Junior Amateur Championship Lukas McCalla - Boys Junior Championat Wellington Golf Club hoping to hold the coveted champion’s trophy. A cut was made after two rounds of stroke play and only 75 golfers remained to battle it out in the final round.

Caleb Kimmel was able to hang on and win the 14 & under age division after firing a superb first round 75. Grant Herrenbruck brushed off his discouraging first round score of 78 and was able to battle back the next two rounds shooting 69 then 70 for a remarkable comeback victory in the 15 yr. old age division. After already leading the 16 yr. old division going into the final round, Wells Padgett put his foot on the gas and left his other competitors in the dust closing his week with an extraordinary 70, winning his age group by a sizable 4 strokes. Mr. consistent, Blake Allen shot an identical 72 in every round of the championship. Just like Padgett, Allen’s steady golf was a profound performance that proved to be unreachable by all other challengers in his division. Allen would go on to win the 17 yr. old division in blowout fashion with a colossal 5 shot victory.

The big story of the week came from the third round’s final group of Alex Graf (E), Cole Dillon (+1), and Lukas McCalla (+2). Both Dillon and McCalla came sprinting out the gate tying with a front side 3-under par 32. Graf was unable to match the impossible pace set by McCalla and Dillon when he stumbled with an unfortunate triple bogey on hole #8, effectively knocking himself out of contention.

McCalla, a soon-to-be Washburn Rural senior, had this to say about the group’s spectacular front nine play, "On Thursday, the other guys in my group started out with birdies.  I felt I needed birdies just to keep up.  On the 5th hole I drove the par 4 green and 2 putted for birdie.  That started me off.”

Dillon and McCalla were deadlocked at even par for the championship beginning the 355-yard par four 15th hole.  McCalla was able to break away by dropping a go ahead birdie putt and never looking back. Even playing with the lead McCalla said his game plan didn’t change, "I didn't change my strategy once I took the lead on the 15th.  I used the same strategies all three days on the final holes.”

McCalla would go on to hold off Dillon by parring his final three holes in the pouring rain and finishing the tournament with an incredible final round score of three-under par 67. McCalla’s great final round performance gave him a total score of one-under par 219, the only player in the field under par for the championship and making him the 2015 Kansas Junior Amateur champion.