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Kansas Golf Associaition

McHenry’s Return to the Winner’s Circle at Father-Son Championship

and Ronnie McHenry won the KGA’s Father-Son Championship in 2012 at Colbert Hills as young Ronnie was starting his collegiate golf career at Washburn University in his hometown of Topeka.  The athletic father-son duo looked then like a team that could win several championships.  But in 2013 Bryan Norton and son Johnnie entered and won at Lawrence CC.  The Norton’s then won the next two years for a consecutive stretch of domination over three years.

There was one noticeable absence from the 2016 KGA Father-Son field at Topeka Country club in early August – the Norton’s.  Bryan was in England playing well in the British Senior Amateur.

The McHenry’s took advantage of the Norton absence and the chance to play a very familiar golf course to reclaim the KGA Father-Son title and become the third team in the event’s 18-year history to win multiple titles.   The march to victory was relatively easy.

Their opening round 4-under par 67 had only one bogey and plenty of “high-fives”.  Dad Ron opened with a birdie at the par four first hole and then both birdied the par five third hole.  The other par five on the front side was birdied by son Ronnie so the team turned in three-under par 33.   That one bogey came on the par four tenth hole but that bad vibe was quickly eliminated when Dad holed out for eagle at the par four 12th hole.   Two more birdies by Ronnie put the McHenry’s at the top of the leaderboard.

But there was one other team that posted a 4-under par 67.  Don Walsworth, Jr. and son Tripp came to Topeka from their Leawood home on a quest to claim a unique “double”.   They had won the Missouri Golf Association’s Father-Son Championship at Porto Cima in July.    Also, Don was playing some great golf this summer, having recently qualified for the US Senior Open to be played in Ohio the week following.   So, the KGA Father-Son was a bit of a “warm-up” for Don’s Senior Open debut (with son Tripp as his caddy).

The Walsworth split birdie duties with two each and without any bogeys on the day, their 67 seemed like a solid start for their goal.  The two talented teams would be paired together for the final 18.

Team Walsworth took an early lead with a birdie at the par three 2nd hole but then slipped back into a tie when they bogeyed the par four 5th hole.  Don’s birdie at the par five 6th hole was matched by Ronnie McHenry’s birdie at the short par four 7th hole.  The McHenry’s took the lead for good at the 8th hole when Ron stuck his wedge shot only inches from the hole.   With three more birdies on the back nine and the Walsworth team running out of heroics, the McHenry’s cruised to a six-under par 65 and a total of 10-under par 132.   That was a six stroke margin over the first round co-leaders.

Two teams tied for the runner up spot at six-under par 136.  Keith and Andy Kelly of Lenexa also shot 65 in the second round and climbed 13 spots to claim a KGA trophy.  Former KGA Father-Son champions Kevin and Adam Bahner from Manhattan shot a final round 66 to add to their KGA trophy collection.

The Junior Division was won by Mark and Cooper Steiner of Wichita.  Their five-under par 137 was a three stroke margin of victory in that division.