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Kansas Golf Associaition

Jeff Bell Rings Up a Mid-Amateur Win at Firekeeper

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It was a perfect irony that Jeff Bell, the 26 year-old from Overland Park, stood beside the Firekeeper “champion’s bell” to pose for his KGA Mid-Amateur winner’s photo after posting an impressive two-stroke win over veteran Charlie Stevens of Wichita and a strong field of other area mid-amateurs in early October.   The former KU golfer who is fairly new to the mid-amateur ranks can count this as his first KGA championship title, but probably not his last.

Bell was one of only four golfers in the 75-player field to break par for the two rounds, and only one other (Stevens) was able to break par each round.   He shot three-under par 69 in the opening round under ideal scoring conditions with sunny skies and little, if any, breeze.  The second round was a test of patience and stamina when a southerly wind in excess of 15 mph persisted and rain fell periodically to bring a chill for another distraction.

Bell’s second round started with four bogeys and one birdie on the front nine, but he found his rhythm on the 10th hole with a birdie and on the 11th hole, a short par five, with an eagle.   He played the final seven holes one-under par to close with a one-under par 71 on the day and a four-under par 140 total.

Stevens, the 2010 Kansas Amateur champion and a member of that year’s USGA State Team champion Kansas team, gave it a run at the much younger Bell.  After 27 holes Stevens was the leader by one stroke over Bell standing on the 10th tee.   Bell’s birdie-eagle postings at 10 and 11 put him back in the lead by two strokes over Stevens.   The ultimate difference between the two came at #15 and #16 when Stevens failed to convert birdie opportunities.   Stevens did make a birdie on both 17 and 18, but it was too late to catch the new young Kansas Mid-Amateur champion Jeff Bell.