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Kansas Golf Associaition

Wow, That Was a Close One!

Chamberlin/Newman win Senior Four-Ball on the final hole

The Wichita senior duo of Tracy Chamberlin and Steve Newman has dominated senior team events since they reached the age 50 milestone.  It seems as if the rest of the field is always playing for second.

But at July’s KGA Senior Four-Ball played at Sand Creek Station, where both Chamberlin and Newman have posted individual senior division wins in The Railer in prior years, they had to work hard to defend their title for this event.

Gary Lucas and David Carson, both Topeka Country Club members, found the right chemistry for their partnership at Sand Creek Station.  Seven birdies would normally give you a lead, but two bogeys brought them down to a first round 5-under par 67 where they found themselves paired with the favorites Chamberlin/Newman in the final group.  Chamberlin/Newman had one of their typical rounds at 6-under par 66, with seven birdies marred by only a single bogey.

With just a single stroke separating the two teams for the second and final round, and a two or three stroke cushion over the teams in striking distance, it was likely the winner would come from the last group.

Through the front nine, Lucas/Carson posted three birdies.  But, so did Chamberlin/Newman.  A bogey by both Lucas and Carson at the par four #8 hole added another stroke to the Chamberlin/Newman lead.    Then it seemed all over but the trophy presentation when Newman birdied the par five #10 hole, one locally referred to as “the beast”.   A player is entitled to a free t-shirt if they make a birdie on that hole.  Chamberlin/Newman now had a three stroke lead with eight holes remaining.

The next three holes were parred by both teams.  So, that was still a three stroke lead, now with only five holes to play.

Carson birdied #14, Lucas birdied #15, Carson birdied #16 and Lucas birdied #17!

Because Chamberlin also got his team a birdie on #16, the two teams moved to the final tee tied for the championship.  An unexpected situation just an hour before and now with some pressure on the nerves of all four players, play continued “quietly” to the 18th green where each ball had found the putting surface in two strokes.  Each player would have a chance for a birdie.

Carson’s attempt narrowly missed the hole.  Newman was next based on his distance from the hole, but as the Rules would allow, Chamberlin putted first.   His much shorter putt was successful, putting the pressure on Lucas to make to tie and send them to a sudden-death playoff.   Lucas sent his 20-footer on the perfect line only to see it grab just enough of the lip to send his ball away from the hole.

Both teams finished the second round at 6-under par 66, but Chamberlin/Newman had another KGA team championship trophy to take home based on their 36-hole total of 12-under par 132.

In the Super Senior division, the team of Bob Bezek (Ottawa, KS) and Jim Seward (Prairie Village, KS) ran away with the title with a 9-under par 135, five strokes better than the two teams in second place.   Bezek and Seward shared the team heroics in the second round when Bezek made three birdies and Seward also posted three birdies.  Seward’s eagle at the par five #16 hole gave them an amazing 8-under par 64 on the day and sealing it for these first time KGA champions.