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Kansas Golf Associaition

Kansas Golfer Online - May 2017


Jeff Bell Wins Second Consecutive KGA Mid-Amateur Title with Partner Elliott Soyez

Carson and Lucas Secure Breakthrough Senior Team Win, while Quattlebaum and York are Super Seniors

Results -- Photo Gallery

The 2017 KGA competitive golf season opened in early May at Reflection Ridge Golf Club.  This Wichita venue was an outstanding test for mid-amateurs and seniors playing three rounds in two days with a different format each round.

In the mid-amateur field playing a morning round with the Shamble format, Wichitans Pete Krsnich and Tyler Chapman took the early lead with a bogey-free 7-under par 65.  But they had to share that lead when 2016 KGA Mid-Amateur champion Jeff Bell and his partner Elliott Soyez posted the same score of 65.  Former KGA mid-amateur champions Aaron Sheaks and Derek Harrison teamed up to post a 6-under par 66 to keep an eye on the leaders.  Defending champions Conrad Roberts and Bradley Lane paced themselves with a 3-under par 69.

The second round played in the afternoon of the first day using the difficult foursomes format might have been where the winners were actually determined.  Bell and Soyez built a three stoke lead with another under par round that started with their only bogey on the first hole followed by three birdies and 14 pars.  Their two-under par 70 put them in at 135, three strokes ahead of Sheaks and Harrison who posted an even par 72 and earning the final pairing with the leaders for the third and final round.

The notable round of the afternoon was the surprising turn-around of the Krsnich/Chapman team.  They fell out of contention with a 15-over par round of 87.  That is the difficulty of foursomes play.  Any team that is slightly off will see their hole-by-hole score above par as they alternate strokes.   It happens to even the best of teams.

Wichitans Charlie Stevens and Matt Lazzo posted an impressive 2-under par 70 for a total of 140 after the 36 hole first day.  They won this event in 2015 and could easily make a run in the final round.   Jonathan May and his partner Craig Howell were also in at 140.   Lane and Roberts struggled in the afternoon round with a 5-over par 77.  Their 146 total put them 11 strokes behind the leaders, dimming their hopes of a repeat win.

The third round was played with the popular four-ball format where each partner plays his own ball and the team score is the lowest of the scores made by the two partners for each hole.  For some teams that means it’s time to get aggressive and Reflection Ridge is one of those courses with a good risk/reward factor.  The 28 year-old Bell had the perfect home course partner in 26 year-old Soyez.   The two long hitters dominated the course and the rest of the teams by cruising it with five birdies on the front nine and then six birdies on the back nine.   They birdied each of the last four holes to get to 11-under par 61 and a total of 14-under par 196.   That was a nine stroke margin of victory over Stevens and Lazzo who got hot on the front nine with six birdies but then cooled off during the back nine with a bogey and only two birdies to finish with a 65 and a total of 205.  Sheaks and Harrison finished in third at 206.  They witnessed the domination of Bell and Soyez and commented that “these two kids just step up and hit it straight and far, then roll the ball on the greens like they know their putts are going in the hole.”

Defending champions Roberts and Lane found the magic in the third round with an eight-under par 64, but they finished 14 strokes behind the winners.

A quick check of the KGA record book found that Bell and Soyez had not broken any records for the Mid-Am Team Championship, but their dominance certainly felt like a record-breaking performance.

As for the Senior Team Championship, if the team of Steve Newman and Tracy Chamberlin is in the field then everyone is playing for second place.   These two have dominated KGA senior championships for several years.  And yes, they were playing, particularly since Reflection Ridge is Chamberlin’s home course.

In the first round Shamble format, Newman and Chamberlin could only make three birdies and they did make one bogey.   Their two-under par 70 would not lead the field as usual.   Gary Lucas and David Carson from Topeka, knocked on the door last year in this event and finished as runner-up.   They had an idea to improve their finish in 2017 and they got off to a great start.   They made five birdies in a bogey free round to post a 67 and take the first round lead by three strokes.

The afternoon foursomes test was met with four birdies and three bogeys by Lucas and Carson.  Shooting a one-under par 71 managed to increase the lead over Chamberlin and Newman who posted a one-over par 73 and a total of 143.  Going into the final round Lucas and Carson would start with a five stroke advantage.

Playing together in the final round allowed Lucas and Carson to keep an eye on their closest rivals.  They built a six stroke lead after the front nine and then coasted through the back nine.  Newman and Chamberlin made a strong effort to catch the leaders.  Their five-under par 67 might have been good enough in past years to take home another trophy.   But Lucas and Carson stayed focused toward a final round score of two-under par 70 and a total of 208, good enough for their first KGA title.  As it turned out, the 210 total posted by Newman and Chamberlin was matched by two other teams; Mike Rack and Mark Steiner who shot 7-under par 65 in the final round, and Doug Kaup and Greg Goode who shot 68.

In the Super Senior Team championship the team of Bill Quattlebaum and Ben York were wire-to-wire winners.  A birdie fest for a 65 in the opening Shamble round gave them a one stroke lead that they extended in the second round with a solid one-over par 73 for a total of 138.  The Wichita duo played consistent golf in the third round to post a one-under par 71 and total of 209 which was four strokes better than two other teams in second place.  Dick Stuntz and Bob Bezek shared runner up honors with local John Alefs and Joe Rothwell.

 

East Team Takes Back the Trophy in Kanza Players Cup

Results -- Photo Gallery

Having experienced a bitter defeat in 2016 on a rainy day at Prairie Dunes Country Club, the East squad for the 2017 Kanza Players Cup was primed and ready to resume its dominance in this young intra-state rivalry for mid-amateur Kansas golfers.   Part of the formula would be the addition of some new, young talent for the East team.

Kanza Players Cup veterans for the East team included captain Conrad Roberts, two-time KGA Mid-Amateur Player-of-the-Year Bradley Lane, William Gantz who went undefeated in his 2016 matches and Jeff Bell the reigning KGA mid-amateur champion.   The rest of the team were either first timers or in the case of Tyler Cummins, someone that had previously played but not in 2016.  The newcomers were Park Ulrich, Chris McGown and Matt Quandt.

The West squad that won in 2016 would only need to secure 8 of the 16 potential match points at stake in order to retain the trophy.   Led by captain Charlie Stevens, the West team had several veterans of this series including Spencer Christian, Brian Fehr, Pete Krsnich, Tyler Chapman and Grant Vollertsen.  The newcomers for the West were Sean Robertson and Matt Lazzo.

Over the past five years, the East team has built a 3-2 record in the friendly series styled after the popular Ryder Cup match play team competition.

Lawrence Country Club was the venue and it proved to be a challenging course for match play.  Between the elements of small, undulating putting greens, thick rough, tree-lined fairways and playing in high velocity winds for two days, there was seldom a hole worth conceding or a match too lopsided.

The opening round of four matches played with the four-ball format resulted in a 2.5 to 1.5 lead for the East team.  Only one match reached the 18th hole and it was halved.  The East team won two matches by comfortable margins of 4&3 and 3&1.  The single West team win was posted by Krsnich and Chapman 2&1 over Bell and Roberts.

The four afternoon matches were played with the foursome format.  This is not a popular format for American golfers simply because it is not played that often.  Because of the unfamiliarity with playing only every other stroke, it makes for interesting results.   Bradley Lane and Matt Quandt must have had a great chemistry together as they won their match with Vollertsen and Robertson 6&5.   Stevens and Lazzo managed the only West team foursome win, so the second round gave the East team another 3 points, ending the day with a 5.5 to 2.5 lead.

The competition ended on the second day with a lineup of eight singles matches.  Each captain submitted his lineup the night before hoping the match ups would play to their strength.

Gantz kept his undefeated record over the last two years by halving a match with Krsnich.  The other seven points were distributed by 4 wins for the East and 3 wins for the West.   That gave the West only 6 total points, 2 points shy of retaining the trophy.

The East team garnered 10 total points.  Newcomer Chris McGown and veteran Bradley Lane each went undefeated in their matches.  Captain Roberts could not be faulted for his winless event as he put out a winning combination of teams and lineups to secure the team victory.

Invitations to participate for either the East or West team in the annual Kanza Players Cup are based on the KGA Mid-Amateur player-of-the-year points list from the preceding competitive season.  Mid-Amateurs who play well and often in 2017 will get the chance to participate in the 2018 Kanza Players Cup at Flint Hills National Golf Club in May.

 

Kansas Junior Golf Scholarships Awarded for 2017

The Kansas Golf Foundation has awarded Kansas Junior Golf Scholarships to five high school seniors for the 2017-2018 academic year. This year’s class joins 15 Junior Golf Scholars from past years whose grants are being renewed.

The 2017 Kansas Junior Golf Scholars and the colleges they will be attending next year are:

Raegan Boone (Eureka) – Washburn University

Justin Brummer (Tipton) – Kansas State University

Mikey Kelly (Haysville) – Barton Community College

Sofia Salinas (Ulysses) – Wichita State University

Kelsi Wood (Maple Hill) – Ft. Hays State University

Any Kansas high school student who has participated in organized junior golf may apply for the KJGS, although golf skill is not considered in making the selections. The scholarship is awarded based on academic performance, community service and leadership, financial need, and the student’s essay about how he or she has benefitted from the game of golf. Scholars must attend a Kansas college or university.

 

Kansas Golf Courses – Most are Nine Hole Layouts

With 256 golf courses in the state of Kansas, there are many that are once in a lifetime places to play. For us golf nuts, Prairie Dunes Country Club or Flint Hills National Golf Club would be the first to jump off the page.  However, did you know that there are 150 9-hole golf facilities in our state? In fact, if you’re a math person, that breaks down to 58% of clubs in Kansas are 9 holes. Since most of them are off the beaten path you’ve probably driven by many on your travels across the state. There’s roughly a course about every 30 miles in any direction. The kicker is you have to know where to look!

So in an effort to broaden your golf horizon here are the first two Kansas gems that are a must play if you’re in the area!

Cedar Hills Golf Course
1314 Quivira Rd
Washington, KS 66968
(785)325-2424
Manager: Ryan Huckett
http://www.washingtonks.net/Golf.html

Cedar Hills Golf Course is located just 3.5 miles south of Washington, KS on K-15 highway. Totaling just over 3,200 yards from the back tees, this blue grass track will knock your socks off. On my first visit to the course back in 2013, my jaw literally hit the gravel parking lot. With green fees only $15 during the weekday, the price is well worth admission!

Forewinds Municipal Golf Course
958 US-56
Hugoton, KS 67951
(620)544-8269
Manger: Brent Betsworth

Forewinds is an oasis amongst the western Kansas prairie. This par 36 has a course and slope rating of 35.6/116 from the Blue tees and stretches just over 3,200 yards. What got me attached to this facility is the Wednesday evening men’s league. It’s open to anyone willing to have a good time and the cost is only $5 which includes cart fee.