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Kansas Golf Associaition

Kansas Golfer Online - March 29

Wichita’s Woody Austin Wins His First Champions Tour Title

Willowbend Golf Club owner and PGA Tour player Woody Austin took his family on a great Spring Break trip earlier this month to the Monterey Peninsula for some golf with his teenage sons.  They played Pebble Beach, Spanish Bay and Spyglass.   That’s worthy of some “boasting” at school or with your junior golf friends.  But what came next was even better.

Woody stopped off in Tucson on his way back to Kansas to play in the Champions Tour stop at Omni Tucson National’s Catalina Course.  The plan was for son Parker to caddy for his Dad, but that changed when he became sick upon their arrival in Tucson.  So, little brother Peyton got the loop.

Woody opened with a 7-under par 65 and then through three rounds he (and Peyton) found himself in the hunt.   Legend Berhard Langer was also in contention playing with Austin.  Another 7-under par 65 in the final round, which included a hole out from a greenside bunker on the 15th hole for eagle, gave the 52 year-old Austin his first PGA Champions Tour win by one stroke over Carter and two strokes over Langer.  His total score was an impressive 16-under par 200.

Austin had only recently focused on the Champions Tour.  This was only his 28th start on the “senior” tour, having preferred to play against the young guns on the regular tour until last year.   He won a PGA Tour event in 2013 at the age of 49.

It will take some serious planning to have a better spring break trip than this one for the Austin family.  Do you think Peyton got the usual caddy fee from the winner’s check?


Firekeeper to host Inaugural Midwest Team Championship

An exciting Pro-Am Four-Ball is now on the calendar for 2016.  Prairie Band Casino in partnership with its Firekeeper Golf Course will offer golf professionals and top amateurs a 54-hole four-ball championship to be conducted June 28-30.

The entry fee will be $500 for professionals and $300 for amateurs.  Teams of two players can be any combination of pros or amateurs, men and women, and open age or seniors.  Different tees will be used based on age and gender.   Prairie Band is supplementing the pro purse with $20,000.

Interested professionals and amateurs are encouraged to contact Firekeeper Golf Course directly to obtain other details including the entry process.  Call 785-966-2100 or see www.firekeepergolfcourse.com.


Kansas Golf Hall of Fame announces new Inductees for 2016

The Kansas Golf Hall of Fame will induct two new members this year.  The results of recent balloting by a group of selectors empaneled by the Kansas Golf Foundation were announced in March.  Frank Kirk and Karen MacGee will be inducted at ceremonies to be announced and they will join 42 other men and women previously so honored since 1991.


Frank Kirk will be inducted in the category of Contributor to the Game.  Kirk devoted 44 years of volunteer service to a variety of golf organizations in Kansas and Missouri.   He was president of the Kansas City Golf Association in 1972 and president of the Kansas Golf Association in 1993.  He has served on the board of directors of those two associations plus the Western Golf Association, the Kansas Golf Foundation, the First Tee of Greater Kansas City and the Midwest Section PGA Foundation.   He was a founding member of Wolf Creek Golf Club and he was an outstanding amateur player in the 1970s.

Karen MacGee will enter the Hall of Fame in the Amateur Player category.  MacGee dominated women’s amateur golf in Kansas and Missouri for over two decades from 1958 to 1979 with 5 Kansas Women’s Amateur titles, 6 Missouri Women’s Amateur Championships and she won the Kansas City Women’s Match Play Championship 8 times.   She was also a past president of the Missouri Women’s Golf Association and a long-time volunteer for both the Kansas Women’s Golf Association and the Kansas City Golf Association.

KGA’s Tyler Cummins also a Hall of Famer

Tyler Cummins, the KGA’s Director of Membership Services and Junior Golf, received an unexpected phone call this month from the athletic department of Dodge City Community College.  Tyler is to be inducted into the school’s athletic hall of fame on May 7th and will be the first golfer so honored!

Tyler played on the Dodge City Community College men’s golf team for two years in 2003 and 2004 before heading off to a NCAA Division I collegiate golf career at Kansas State.  As a junior college golfer he was the Kansas Junior College Conference individual champion in 2004 and earned national junior college All-America honors in both 2003 and 2004.  He was also the KGA’s Player-of-the-Year in 2006.

Congratulations, Tyler!  A very nice honor!

Kansas Team Announced for 2016 Midwest Cup

The 2016 Midwest Cup will be played July 28th to 31st at St. Joseph Country Club in St. Joseph, Missouri.  Buoyed by close finishes in this event over the last three years, Kansas team captain Conrad Roberts recently announced the formation of the Kansas team and made the prediction of another strong showing by this team of 8 mid-amateurs and 2 seniors.  Other states participating in this unique team and individual competition are from Missouri, Nebraska, South Dakota, Minnesota, Illinois, Wisconsin and Iowa.

Team Kansas will be Bradley Lane (Lawrence), Conrad Roberts (Lawrence), Jack Courington (Wichita), Jeff Bell (Overland Park), TJ Vilkanskas (Manhattan), Grant Vollertsen (Garden City), Michael Winkler (Overland Park), Kit Grove (Lawrence), Tracy Chamberlin (Wichita) and Steve Newman (Wichita).

Congratulations, gentlemen, on qualifying for the Kansas team.  We’ll make room for another trophy on the shelf!