kansas-golf-magazine post-scores
Kansas Golf Associaition

Stevens and Lazzo Top Mid-Am Team Field While Newman and Chamberlin Three-Peat the Seniors

Results -- Photo Gallery

Eighteen is a significant number in the game of golf, but you would not think it to be the Mid-Am Team Champions - Matt Lazzo & Charlie Stevensdifference in age between the members of a champion two-man team.  But that was the case last week when 45 year-old Charlie Stevens, a multiple winner of KGA championships, recruited Matt Lazzo to be his partner in the reformatted Mid-Am Team Championship at Andover’s Terradyne Country Club.   Both are members at Wichita Country Club where Lazzo is a “junior” member at the age of 27.   The season-opening combination proved to be a winner on a golf course that required long, straight drives and pinpoint putting.

The senior competition again crowned Steve Newman and Tracy Chamberlin.  The Wichita duo now have a sizable collection of KGA Senior Team championship trophies, this being their third consecutive win.

The Mid-Am Team and Senior Team championships were combined in 2012 in order to have a more efficient presentation of the two events.  With waning field sizes, the KGA revamped the two events by moving them to the Spring when players say they would rather play a team event and not depend on their own game solely and shortening the contest from 54 holes to just two rounds to avoid another day “away from the office”.    The two rounds were composed of a modified Foursome (both partners play from the tee and then alternate into the hole the ball they prefer after the tee shots) and the traditional Four-Ball format.  The 45 teams found the Terradyne venue to be not only challenging but in superb condition.

Conrad Roberts and Bradley Lane, both of Lawrence, got off to a fast start with three birdies after a par on the opening par three first hole.   Alternate shot was not a problem for Senior Team Champions - Steve Newman & Tracy Chamberlin (left) & Lynn Dickey & Rob Gleissner (right)them as they added two more birdies on the front nine for a four-under par 31.   Avoiding any back nine bogeys, Roberts and Lane kept their synchronicity intact with three more birdies to close at 7-under par 64; good enough for the first round lead.  Two teams posted impressive 6-under par 65 rounds.  William Gantz, of Perry, and Jordan Roberts, of Manhattan, returned a scorecard with 11 threes on it.  That was two eagles (on par fives), four birdies and five pars.  Stevens and Lazzo had the other round of 65 on the strength of five birdies and an eagle on the 357 yard par four #7 hole by driving the green and making the putt.   Former champions, but with other partners, Pete Krsnich and Tyler Chapman of Wichita, posted a four-under par 67 to stay close to the leaders.   Defending champions from Wichita Jack Courington and Spencer Christian could only manage a two-under par 69.

The round two Four-Ball format allows a team to get aggressive since a partner can play safe and keep a team away from a bogey.   That’s exactly what Josh Weems of Lake Quivira and Michael Greene of Overland Park did with 8 birdies for a 63, which totaled with their first round 68 put them in the early lead at 11-under par 131.  Krsnich and Chapman tried to make a sprint to the lead with three birdies to close out the back nine, but their total was at 132.

The all-Lawrence pairing of Gantz/Roberts and Lane/Roberts made for some interesting drama as Gantz birdied the first two holes and his partner birdied the #4 hole to give his team a two-stroke lead over Lane/Roberts who had only parred those opening holes.   But Lane/Roberts finished the front nine with two birdies by Conrad Roberts and an eagle 3 by Lane on the drivable par 5 #9 hole to retake a single stroke lead with nine to play.  Unfortunately, both teams faltered on the back nine.  Gantz/Roberts never made another birdie and finished at 4-under par 67, a 132 total.  Lane/Roberts stumbled with three bogies over the last seven holes to finish at 133.

Weems and Greene never left the scoreboard checking off each succeeding group hoping that their lead would be maintained.   Stevens and Lazzo would burst their bubble.

Stevens and Lazzo took the aggressive approach and managed to avoid any bogeys on the day.  Stevens posted his two birdies early at #2 and #4 and then played along has he watched his “junior” partner make five birdies over the final 10 holes!   Their 7-under par 64 gave them a 13-under par total of 129 and a two-stroke margin of victory.

In the Senior Team Championship the 2014 Senior Four-Ball champions Tim Tyner, Council Grove, and RJ Opliger, Kansas City, managed a two-under par 69 in the modified four-some format and took a four stroke lead over defending champions Steve Newman and Tracy Chamberlin.   But the Newman/Chamberlin team took the challenge and came roaring back in the four-ball format on day two.  Their sharing of four birdies and an eagle gave them a 6-under par 65 for a total at 138.  Tyner/Opliger needed a par on the final hole to force a sudden-death playoff, but as fate would have it, they bogeyed the par four #18 hole to finish one stroke back at 139.

Rob Gleissner and Lynn Dickey, won the Super Senior division, with a total of 5-under par 137 to successfully defend their title from last year.