Meet the Interns

Nelson Searcy

Nelson is one of two long-term interns for Central Links. Originally from Lee’s Summit, MO, Nelson graduated from Rockhurst University this spring.

Nelson was a member of the Rockhurst men’s golf team and very active in the golf community. According to Nelson, his favorite golf course is Pebble Beach.

His dream job is becoming an Executive Director or President of a state golf association or working for the USGA. Golf has impacted him by providing him many life lessons and opportunities that have helped him become a better person in every way. He credits the First Tee program and playing with his grandfather for his interest in the game at an early age.

Ryan Matzke

Ryan is our second long-term intern for 2020. Originally from Silver Lake, KS, Ryan graduated from the University of Kansas.

Ryan is currently in the National Guard and his dream job is a commercial airline pilot.

He found his love for golf while playing high school golf. Ever since then, he has used golf as his favorite hobby. This intern opportunity allows him to dive deeper into golf administration. His favorite golf course is Spring Creek in Seneca, KS.

Dorothy Keenan

Dorothy is a summer intern and recently graduated from Rockhurst University this spring. Originally from Larned, KS, Dorothy will actually head to Texas A&M in the fall for a Masters in Sport Management.

Dorothy was a part of the Rockhurst women’s golf team and didn’t realize how important golf was to her until she couldn’t play anymore this spring with her team. She has made so many connections through the game and am so thankful for all the places golf has taken her.

Her favorite golf course is St. Andrew’s and her dream job is a marketing and community relations coordinator.

Max Roberts

Max is a summer intern that is currently attending the University of Kansas. Originally from Overland Park, KS, Max is scheduled to graduate in 2021.

Golf has impacted him by teaching life lessons than any other sport. It has taught him patience and practice are essential to achieve a goal. It has also connected him to many people and started friendships.

Max’s favorite golf course is Brookridge Golf & Fitness and his dream job is to be the General Manager of the Kansas City Chiefs.

Lauren Sieh

Lauren is another summer intern and is currently attending Southwestern College in Winfield, KS. She is a member of the women’s golf team.

Originally from Coweta, Oklahoma, Lauren found herself in Kansas for college. Her favorite golf course is Battle Creek GC in Broken Arrow, OK. Her dream job is to be a travel journalist.

Golf has opened up a lot of opportunities for Lauren and has given her life-long friends. It has also taught her that you can succeed with a little hard work.

Braydun Unruh

Braydun is our fourth summer intern and has a lot of family ties to our junior program in Kansas City. His two younger brothers, Keenan and Colby, have been long-time members of the KC Junior Tour.

Braydun is currently attending Calvary University and grew up in Overland Park, KS. His favorite golf course is Shadow Glen Golf Club.

Golf has been a great way to spend time with the people he loves, including his brothers and Grandfather. It has also taught him patience and perserverance. Braydon’s dream job is to be an equipment manager for the Kansas City Chiefs.

COVID-19 Update 05.07

Update on Suspension of Competitions – May 7th, 2020

At this time, the leadership of Central Links Golf has decided to extend the suspension of events through May 31st.

The following events are affected by the change:

  • Senior Series at Sand Creek Station – May 20
  • Senior Series at Salina Country Club – May 21
  • Stateline Tour at Lionsgate – May 26

While the state of Kansas has begun the process of reopening and golf courses have continued to operate, we did not feel that it was appropriate to host these events in May. The health of our players, volunteers, staff, host facility staffs and host communities is our top priority.

We fully intend to resume competition on June 1st and will take all necessary precautions to ensure safety.

We will release another update by Friday, May 22nd.

In the meantime, we encourage you to get out and enjoy the game safely. Your local golf course and golf shops need your support through this time.

Thank you,

Doug Habel
Executive Director
Central Links Golf


To see our previous statement, click here.

To view PDF version of this release, click here.

New Watson Challenge Dates Announced

2020 Watson Challenge Rescheduled Amid Coronavirus Concerns

LENEXA, Kansas, April 3, 2020 – The 2020 Watson Challenge, originally scheduled to be played at The National Golf Club of Kansas City on May 29-31, has been rescheduled following its postponement last week due to coronavirus concerns. The 2020 Watson Challenge will now be played at The National on August 4-6.

Last week’s postponement marked the first time since the tournaments’s inception in 2007 the event has had to be postponed. The only other interruptions of the tournament occurred when two final rounds were canceled due to weather, including last year’s tournament at Nicklaus Club at Lionsgate.

“This was a very difficult decision, but we felt with the current, ongoing health crisis, it was not in the best interest of the players, club, staff and volunteers to continue with the event in May,” said Tournament Director Doug Habel in regards to the difficult decision to postpone.

The date change may not be the extent of changes for the event this year. Amid the ever-changing times we now face, other alterations might be made to the event which will be announced at a later date.

“The Watson Challenge is one of the premier golf events in the Kansas City area, and it’s our intention to explore all possible options to still play the event this year in a safe way for all involved,” Doug Habel informed.

The public will be informed as more details and information become available in the coming weeks. We understand the rescheduling could cause conflicts for players, and we hope everyone can understand the predicament we are facing. Monitoring of the health crisis will continue on in to the future.

Click here to view the 2020 Watson Points List.

For any questions regarding the Watson Challenge, please reach out to Doug Habel at We appreciate your patience and support during this time.


Stateline Champions Crowned at the National

The 2019 Stateline Amateur Tour came to a close with its end of the season championship held at the National Golf Course of Kansas City on October 9th.

Over 90 players in four divisions competed to win the Tour Championship and division Player of the Year. In the Open division, Greg Diederich won the tour championship with a two-over, 74, featuring two birdies on the day. Diederich beat out Chris Beaubien and Jeff Mason, who both tied for second place with rounds of 76 (+4).

Jeff Mason’s second place finish was enough to edge out Chris Beaubien in the Player of the Year race. Playing in 7 events, Mason won two to finish the season with 78 points and a Player of the Year trophy.

In the Senior division, Scott Richey, Don Kuehn, and Steve Hammond all tied for first place with one-over, rounds of 73. Between the three, eleven birdies were carded. Steve Groom finished in fourth place with a two-over, 74. Groom’s fourth place finish propelled him to the Player of the Year finalist over Mark Addington. Groom played in eight events this year and won two to finish with 83.5 points, three more than Addington.

In the Legends Gross division, David Hamilton and Sam Vanlandingham would both finish tied for first after shooting rounds of 76 (+4). John Grant finished in third with a five-over, 77. David Hamilton’s added yet another win to his SLAT season. Playing in ten total events, Hamilton won five of them, finishing with 121 points. Bob Bezek finished second in the Player of the Year list with 87.5 points.

In the Legends Net division, John Grant’s great round gave him the trophy as Legends Net tour champion with a three-under, 69, net score.

Garret Routh had a great day after shooting a gross score of 74 to claim both the Player’s Gross and Net champion title. Routh’s round featured five birdies and gave him the lead in the gross division by three strokes over Marcus Moore. Routh’s 74 would net him a score of 69 to claim the Player’s Net champion.

Alex Reed finished third in the Player’s Gross division with a score of 79 (+7). His third place finish was enough to give him the lead on the Player of the Year list with a total of 82.5 points. Reed played in eight events and won four of them to best second place finisher Marcus Moore. Marcus Moore would take home the Player of the Year trophy in the Player’s Net division after playing well in the championship with a total of 76.33 points. Mittal Patel finished in second with 57.25 points.

For full results of the championship, see here. For Player of the Year points list, see here.

The KCGA would like to thank all of our Stateline Amateur players that came out to play over the season and we are so grateful to have such great talent that continues to show up each and every event. We’ll see everyone next year on the Stateline Tour at our first event at Milburn CC!

Campbell Wins Kansas Women’s Amateur by 6 Strokes


Prairie Dunes CC, Hutchinson, KS –

Round 3 Update:

Campbell Wins Kansas Women’s Amateur by 6 Strokes

Alanna Campbell kept her lead throughout the day at the Kansas Women’s Amateur Tuesday. Campbell came into the day with all eyes on her to make a stunning victory at Prairie Dunes Country Club on the 100th Anniversary of the event. Campbell will add her name to the trophy that includes names such as Marilynn Smith and Judy Bell. She finished the tournament with rounds 73-66-72 (211), winning the event by 6 strokes over Rachel Stous. Stous was four-over-par on the day finishing at 73-68-76 (217), earning her Runner Up status.

Sera Tadokoro made strides throughout her day shooting 71 (-1), after birdies on holes 3, 5, 7, and 11 with an unfortunate double bogey finish on hole 18. Tadokoro finished in 3rd Place.

Kenni Henson of Derby, Kansas, finished her day under par after having only two bogies and three birdies on her scorecard. Henson finished in 4th place with a three day total of 75-75-71 (221).

Megan Propeck won the Low Junior Competition, after shooting 74-72-77 (223). Propeck finished in 5th overall and won Low Junior by 3 shots over Julia Misemer (226).

There were two Holes-In-One on Tuesday. Megan Lucas made her ace on 10th hole with her 7-iron from 160 yards. Faith Hedges made her ace on the 4th hole, just minutes after Lucas made hers. Hedges used her 5-iron from 150 yards.

The Kansas Golf Association thanks all the players, volunteers, and staff at Prairie Dunes Country Club. The 2020 Kansas Women’s Amateur Venue will be announced in the soon future.


Round 2 Update:

Alanna Campbell Leads at -5

As the weather was heating up, so was the leaderboard this afternoon at The Kansas Women’s Amateur.

Leading the way was Alanna Campbell with eight birdies on her round, shooting 66 (-6). Campbell had back-to-back birdies on holes 2&3, 5&6, and 11&12. She also had birdies on holes 9 and 18. The incoming Junior at Iowa State University, is not unfamiliar with having a scorecard full of birdies. Campbell had 90 birdies during the 2018-2019 collegiate season, with 9 coming from her round at the Mountain View Collegiate.

Rachel Stous, KC Women’s Match Play Champion and Fore-State Team Member, had an impressive afternoon. Making her way to solo second place, Stous had a bogey free round this afternoon and shot 68 (-4). Key holes on her day were birdies 5&6, the 13th hole where she saved par by making an up and down and birdies on 11&18.

Megan Propeck had a good afternoon, shooting even par and moving herself up the leaderboard. Propeck continues to lead the Low Junior Competition going into the final round tomorrow.

Sera Tadokoro finished the 36-hole day with a total at three-over-par, after shooting even par during Round 1.

Megan Whittaker, Round 1 Leader, moved a few spots back after shooting 78 (+6) during her second round of the day.

With a lot of excitement at the top of the leaderboard, all eyes will be on Campbell and Stous tomorrow as they take on the final round of The 2019 Kansas Women’s Amateur

Round 1 Update:

Whittaker Leads After Round 1

Blue skies and calm winds made for an exciting morning at The 2019 Kansas Women’s Amateur this morning at Prairie Dunes Country Club. With a field composed of 60 elite female amateur golfers, all competing for the title shared by great names such as Marilynn Smith and Judy Bell.  This marks the 100th anniversary of the championship, first played in 1919.

Round 1 was led by Megan Whittaker of Elkhorn, Nebraska. Whittaker started her round with a bogey on the par-3, 10th hole finishing her front-9 at one-over-par. She made great strides on her back nine, after birdieing hole 2 and making an eagle on the par-5, fifth hole. Whittaker finished her round shooting 71 (-1).

Sera Tadokoro, incoming Junior on the University of Kansas Women’s Golf Team, was just one shot back from Whittaker after the first round. Key holes for Tadokoro included three birdies in a row on holes 4-6. Other notable players include, Alanna Campbell and Rachel Stous who are tied for 3rd place after shooting 73 (+1).

Megan Propeck leads the Low Junior by 3 shots after this morning. Propeck made key birdies on holes 5, 11, and 13, shooting 74 (+2). Julia Misemer and Kayla Pfitzner were tied for second place in the Low Junior competition; both shot 77 (+5).

With another round in progress for this afternoon, a new set of leaders will emerge. The tournament will conclude on Tuesday afternoon. View results:

Allen Comes From Behind to Defend KC Amateur Title

Blake Allen Comes From Behind to Defend KC Amateur Title

Championship Sunday at the Kansas City Amateur was one for the books. At the beginning of the day our top three competitors were Zach Sokolosky (-1), Joe Bultman (-2), and Sam Parrott (-4). Blake Allen had a different plan however, after making the turn with a four-under, front nine of 32. Allen’s birdies on Hole 5, 6, 8, and 9 catapulted him to the top of the leaderboard.

Our final group all made the turn at even par or higher, and Allen found himself with a two-shot lead over Sam Parrott through nine holes. Allen’s run continued on the back nine with another three birdies and a hole-out eagle on the Par-4, 16th hole. Two bogeys would temper the back nine and put Allen in the clubhouse with an amazing seven-under round of 65 and make him the leader in the clubhouse.

Parrott, Sokolosky, and Bultman yet to finish all came in over par for their round on the day. Parrott carded a 76 (+4), Sokolosky a 73 (+2), and Bultman a 76 (+4). Sokolosky and Parrot ended the tournament in a tie for second place with a three-day total of 216 (E). Grant Herrenbruck finished solo fourth place with an even-par third round of 72. Joe Bultman finished out the top five with a three-day total of 218. Justin Wingerter finished as our low junior of the tournament with a three-day total of 219 (+3).

Blake Allen’s great round of 65, the second lowest round of the tournament, gave him a seven-shot victory and his second, consecutive Kansas City Amateur title with a three-day total of 209 (-7).

Steve Grooms Wins Yet Another KC Amateur Senior Title

Steve Groom held on to his lead heading into day three of the KC Amateur. Despite a double bogey on 18, Groom’s two birdies helped card him a round of 75 (+3) and secured him another KC Amateur Senior title – a title he’s won at least 6 times. Jay Gregory made the biggest move of the day with a one-under round of 71 to get in the clubhouse with a 228 (+12). Groom followed in with a good round to win the title by four strokes with a 224 total (+8).

Don Kuehn Wins Legend Division by 8 Strokes

Don Kuehn followed up his great second round of 68, with another solid round of 72 (E). Kuehn had six birdies on the day that offset a couple mistakes to end with a 72 and win the Legends division by 8 strokes over Bob Bezek. Bezek had a great tournament with rounds of 72, 78, and 76 to finish at solo second with a 226 (+10). David Hornaday finished in third place with rounds of 75, 70, and 83 (228).

Derryck Curchin Wins First KC Amateur Players Title

Curchin put up his second-best round of the tournament with a 76 to secure his victory over Mark Pesek by three strokes. Curchin’s round was highlighted by two birdies on the day and gave him a three-day total of 231. Mark Pesek followed closely behind with rounds of 75, 83, 76 to finish solo second with 234.

It was a great finish for the 2019 KC Amateur Championship, and we wish a congratulations to all of our winners today. Thank you to everyone who made this event possible and we hope to see everyone back at Creekmoor next year at the end of July for the 2020 KC Amateur Championship!

Moving Day Brings New Leader, Parrot, at KC Amateur

Round two of the KC Amateur saw a lot of shakeups at the top of the leaderboard, including a new leader in the clubhouse.

After shooting an eight-under, 64, Zach Sokolosky struggled a little today and carded a seven-over, 79, for a two-day total of 143 (-1). Sam Parrott, who began the day tied for second at three under, shot a one-under round of 71 that featured a double bogey and three birdies. Parrot’s two-day total of 140 (-4) was enough to give him the lead heading into Sunday by two strokes.

Joe Bultman led a big charge on day two with the low round for the day of four under (68). With only one bogey and five birdies, Bultman shot up the leaderboard with a two-day total of 142 (-2) and in second place. Sokolosky is only three shots back and in solo third place heading into Championship Sunday.

Zach VanDolah and Blake Allen are tied for fourth at even par, 144. VanDolah shot a one-under, 71, to get himself into contention and only four shots back. Defending champion, Blake Allen, is also only four shots back after a one-over, 73.

Ryne Fisher tied for the low round of the day with Joe Bultman after shooting a 68 (-4) after two bogeys and six birdies. Fisher’s round was good enough to shoot himself up the leaderboard and into tied for eighth and six shots back.

Overall, eight players carded an under-par round on day two and only three players currently sit in the red after two days. The cut for the Open was determined by the low 36 and ties to advance to Sunday and play for the title.

Steve Groom Leads Senior Division

Steve Groom had the second lowest round of the day with a three-over, 75 to make his two-day total of 149 to lead the Senior division by one stroke over John Scarsella. Scarsella’s up and down round of three birdies, five bogeys and a double for 76 has him in second place over Mark Addington by one stroke. Addington had a two-over, 74, to add to his day one, 77, for a total of 151. All three players are no stranger to KCGA competitions and it will be a close finish tomorrow for Championship Sunday.

Hornaday and Curchin Hope to Hold on in Legends & Players

David Hornaday shot a two-under round of 70 to complete his two-day total of 145 (+1) and find himself on top of the leaderboard thanks to five birdies and three bogeys. Don Kuehn shot himself into contention with a four-under round of 68 that was bogey-free and put him in solo second at 146 (+2). Bob Bezek and Thomas Leonard sit tied for third at a two-day total of 150.

Derryck Curchin leads the Players division by three strokes with rounds of 75 & 80 (155). Mark Pesek is in close second place with rounds of 75 & 83 (158).

All divisions will play tomorrow morning starting at 8:00 am. Live scoring will be available through the Golf Genius app using 19KCAM or on our KCGA homepage.

It’s going to be an exciting finish!

Sokolosky Cards Bogey-Free 64 to Lead Day One at KC Amateur

The 2019 Kansas City Amateur kicked off on Friday July 26th at the Golf Club of Creekmoor in Raymore, Missouri with 140 players competing in four different divisions: the Open, Players, Seniors and Legends.

91 players consisted of the Open division, gross-only division playing from approximately 7,000 yards in windy conditions. 3 players carded even-par rounds of 72, sitting at tied for seventh: Mark Terranova, Justin Wingerter, and Matt Kelley. Only 6 players carded an under-par round for the first day of competition. Grant Grego, Grant Herrenbruck, and defending champion Blake Allen all tied for fourth with rounds of one-under, 71. Between the three players, eight bogeys were carded on the day and ten birdies. Grego’s round was highlighted by an eagle on the Par-5, 5th hole.

Tied for second after Round 1 was Brent Mertz and Sam Parrott, who both shot three-under, 69. Both Parrot and Mertz finished with five birdies on their round and two bogeys. The leader in the clubhouse came from Zach Sokolosky, Kansas University golfer, who carded an amazing round of 64 (-8), tying the course record in a competition round. Sokolosky’s bogey-free round featured eight birdies, five of them coming on the back nine. Sokolosky has a five shot lead and tees off at 1:21 pm on day two.

Brett Allen Leads Senior Division

18 players battled it out in the Senior division, a gross-only scoring division for players 50 and older playing from approximately 6600 yards. The low round of the day came from Brett Allen with a one-over, 73 that featured three bogeys and two birdies. John Scarsella and Steve Groom tied for second with two-over, 74’s.

Bezek Shoots Even Par for Low Round in Legends Division

15 players comprised the Legends division, a gross and net scoring division for players 60 and older that played from approximately 6,000 yards. Bob Bezek leads the Legends division after an even-par, 72 round that featured four birdies, two bogeys and a double. David Hornaday and Tom Freitag both carded rounds of 3-over, 75, to tie for second.

Tie for First in Players Division

16 players made up the Players division, a gross and net scoring division that played from about 6600 yards. After round one, the Players division saw a tie for first. Derryck Curchin and Mark Pesek both shot three-over rounds of 75. Curchin’s round was highlighted by three birdies. Pesek had two birdies on his round as well. Brian Moeller and Thai Hong tied for third with rounds of 81.

Round Two begins Saturday, July 27th at 7:30 am and will go until 2:51 pm. Follow along with live scoring using the Golf Genius app and 19KCAM or with the portal here! Following round two, a cut in each division will be made for Sunday. In the Open division, the top 36 and ties will move on to Sunday. In the Seniors and Players, the top 12 and ties will advance and the top 9 and ties will make Sunday in the Legends division.

The 2019 Prairie Invitational Recap

Sarah Bell Claims The Cusick Family Trophy

A Champion has been decided after the third and final round of The Prairie Invitational. Sarah Bell, of Jackson, Missouri, won the championship by 2 strokes over Sera Tadokoro. Bell found herself in the lead on the back nine after making back-to-back birdies on holes 13 and 14. Bell knew she was in the lead after someone mentioned it to her on the 17th hole. Feeling pressure going into 18, she said to herself “Sarah, it’s your last hole, just stay mentally strong. Don’t think about anything, just play this like it’s a normal hole,” and she did just that. Finishing her round with a par secured her as the leader in the clubhouse. Bell shot 74-78-71-223 and was the only golfer in the field to shoot under par during the tournament.

Tadokoro started the round as the leader and fell a couple of shots back after a double bogey on the 16th hole. She earned her Runner Up title, shooting 74-74-77-225.

Other notable players include Whitney Pyle who finished in 3rd Place shooting 77-76-74-227. 2017 Prairie Invitational Champion, Kristen Samp won the Midwest Section PGA Champion Award which is the award given to the best player in the field representing the Midwest Section PGA; Samp shot 77-75-77-229. The Low Junior Award was given to Danica Badura of Aurora, Nebraska for shooting 76-79-79-234 and the Low Senior Award was given to 7-time USGA Champion, Ellen Port who shot 79-75-77-231.

For full results:

Players Division Champions Awarded, Top 21 Open Division players move onto Round 3

Players Division

Maggie King took home The Prairie Invitational Players Division Championship Title by four shots over Neely Adler. King, a Junior at Saint Thomas Aquinas High School, shot 80-79-159 with impressive birdies today on holes 8 and 16. Audrey Rischer of Columbia, Missouri finished in 3rd place shooting 83-84-167. Jaclyn Koziol of Loch Lloyd, Missouri and Lauren Muller of Blue Springs, Missouri tied for fourth.

Jacci Kelly of Lee’s Summit, Missouri, was the Players Division Net Champion. With net scores of 71-73-144 she took the championship by 7 shots over Harley Hiltibrand or Brule, Nebraska.  Judy Moning of Raymore, Missouri finished in third place, and Sandra Pepper of Leavenworth, Kansas and Izzy Puk of Omaha, Nebraska tied for fourth place.

Open Division

21 Players in the Open Division will continue to Round 3 at The National Golf Club of Kansas City. Sera Tadokora leads the division shooting two rounds of 74. Tadakoro had a strong front 9 with two birdies and seven pars.

Aristelle Acuff is right behind Tadokoro by one stroke. Acuff made strides throughout her round bringing in 5 birdies on her day. Gianna Augustine, Rachel Stous, and Kenni Henson share 3rd place with two-day totals of 151, 3 shots back from the lead. Augustine birdied her first three holes of the day, though she struggled throughout the front 9, she played consistently on the back 9. Henson also had an impressive back 9, shooting (-2), 34.

2016, 2017, and 2018 Prairie Invitational Champions, Kayla Eckelkamp, Kristen Samp, and Emma Whitaker, are all four shots back from the lead. Going into the final round, many players are within reach of The 2019 Prairie Invitational Title.

Rigsby, Bell, and Tadokoro Lead The Prairie Invitational after Round 1

Cooler than usual temperatures and moderate winds made for a perfect day of golf at The National Golf Club of Kansas City.

In the Open Division, several golfers ended their round tied for the lead at (+2) 74. Abigail Rigsby was the early leader after birdieing her opening hole and getting an eagle on her second hole of the day. Sarah Bell, Sophomore at Oral Roberts University, got off to a hot start birdieing her first two holes. Sera Tadokoro, the University of Kansas Junior, also had a great round finishing even par on the front nine and two over on the back.

The 2016 Prairie Invitational Champion, Kayla Eckelcamp, Gianna Augustine and Rachel Stous are tied for 4th, (+3) 75.

Gianna Augustine

Rounding out the top ten was the 2018 Prairie Invitational Champion, Emma Whitaker, along with Danica Badura and Aristelle Acuff all are tied for 7th place, (+4) 76.

With the top of the leaderboard crowded, the Cusick Family Trophy is still within reach for many Open Division Competitors.

The Players Division

Maggie King (+8)  leads the Players Division by one stroke over Neely Adler (+9) after the first round. Following her double-bogey start, King made her comeback on the back nine shooting even par. Adler had an exciting beginning with an eagle on the par 5, second hole and had birdies on holes 8 and 15.

Harley Hiltibrand, Sam Maceli, and Audrey Rischer are tied for 3rd place at (+11) 83.

Other notable players include the 2018 Players Division Champion, Hope Robinette (+16). Robinette is currently tied for 11th place. 2017 Players Division Champion, Barbara Cusick (+18) is tied for 16th place.


Danica Badura hits her third shot into the green on hole 18 at The National Golf Club of Kansas City

Follow along on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook tomorrow for updates @prairieinvitational for live scoring click here.

Alex Springer Earns First Watson Challenge Title

Mother Nature Ends Watson Challenge Early – Alex Springer’s Great Second Round Crowns Him Champion

Round 3 of the Watson Challenge has been cancelled due to excessive rain and unplayable course conditions. The Championship has been shortened to a 36 hole championship. After a great round two, Alex Springer has been crowned the 2019 Watson Challenge Champion with an eight-under, two day total of 136. Tom Watson and Andy Spencer finish tied for second with a two-day total of 138 (-6).

Congratulations to Alex Springer for earning his first Watson Challenge title. We look forward to next year’s event and hope the weather cooperates a little more. We hope to see everyone out at Blue Hills Country Club in 2020!

New Leader, Alex Springer, After Moving Day at Watson Challenge – Round 2 Recap

On moving day of the Watson Challenge, a new leader emerged after 36 holes of competition and after another lengthy weather delay. On top of battling the field, players were forced to endure another rain and lightning delay before the second round of the Watson Challenge could begin. 7:30 am starting times were pushed back until 9:45 am.

Alex Springer, Mackenzie Tour player and Central Missouri graduate, made a move in to first place with another great round of 68 (-4) for a total of 136 (-8). Springer started off strong with a birdie on Holes 3, 4 and 6 to find himself with a one shot lead over Tom Watson. Springer’s front nine ended with a bogey on Hole 9, but his back nine featured another three birdies and a solo bogey on Hole 13. Six birdies and two bogeys would be enough to put Springer’s name atop the leaderboard after moving day over second place Tom Watson and Andy Spencer.

Watson’s round featured three birdies through the first 12 holes and the only two blemishes came on the last two holes of the round. A bogey on Hole 17 and 18 would keep Watson from tying Springer as leader in the clubhouse. Spencer also had a few hiccups on the day to erase his five birdies and card a two-under round of 70 to put him tied for second at a 138 (-6) total score with Tom Watson.

The rest of the field sits at least five shots behind second place with Michael Letzig and Tanner Owen at a one-under, 143 total and tied for fourth place. Letzig shot a two-under par round of 70, after a slightly disappointing one-over, 73 on Round 1. Owen fought back after a round one score of 74 that featured a 9 on the Par-5, 12th hole. A three-under, 69, second round that saw four birdies, an eagle, a bogey, and a double would shoot Owen in to the top five.

Four players are tied for sixth with an even-par total score of 144. Clay Devers, Jackson Foth, Nicklaus Mason, and Park Ulrich all sit on the outside looking in.

Championship Sunday will surely bring some exciting golf and leaderboard changes as players vie for the title of Kansas City’s best golfer. Springer is battling for his first ever Watson Challenge in two appearances. Spencer is vying for his third Watson Challenge victory in a row. Watson is trying for his sixth Watson Challenge victory, and first since 2013. Round 3’s final pairing will tee off at 10:00 am with Alex Springer, Tom Watson, and Andy Spencer.

Follow along with the Golf Genius app using the code WATSON19 or click here.

For all professional pictures of the event, see the KCGA Facebook.

Watson’s 67 Shines Through the Rain – Round 1 Recap

In it’s 13th year, the Watson Challenge began with an unlikely turn of events that included a 5 and a half hour rain delay at the Nicklaus Club of Lionsgate. 7:30 am starting times turned in to 9:30 am and then to 1:30 pm after two separate storm delays that lasted a total of 5.5 hours with powerful winds and heavy rain.

Despite the unexpected start to the tournament, round one did not disappoint. Local media and spectators turned up at the Nicklaus Golf Club in Overland Park to see the best golfers compete in Kansas City at the new venue. Media officials snapped pictures and fans paraded around the course as the featured group of the day had some jaw-dropping performances.

Five-time champion, Tom Watson, two-time defending champion, Andy Spencer, and club professional, Robert Russell, created quite the following around the golf course. Leader in the clubhouse, Tom Watson, carded a five-under, 67. After making the turn at even par with two birdies and two bogeys, Watson went on to birdie four in a row and finish with a birdie on the Par-4, 18th. Andy Spencer finished tied for second with a round of 68, (-4), that included five birdies and one bogey. Local favorite Robert Russell started out hot with two birdies, but followed with a little hiccup on the Par-5, 6th hole. Russell fought back with three birdies to card an even-par round of 72.

Also tied for second place after Round 1 is Clayton Devers and Alex Springer with rounds of 68. Devers had a steady round that included only one bogey on the Par-3, 2nd hole and five birdies. Alex Springer’s round featured an eagle on the Par-5, 4th hole and followed it up with a birdie on Hole 6. With two bogeys on the day, Springer had a total of four birdies and the eagle to shoot four-under.

Despite the weather and course conditions, 11 players carded an under-par round. Notable names include two juniors: Nicklaus Mason (-2) and Davis Cooper (-1), Garret (-2) and Blake Allen (-1), and Blue Hills golf professional Sean Dougherty (-2).

Four players sit an even par: Tim Barry, Jackson Foth, and local favorites Park Ulrich, and Robert Russell.

Round two will kick off tomorrow at 7:30 AM and tee times will continue until 10:00 AM. The final pairing of round two will include Tom Watson, Alex Springer, and Andy Spencer. The KCGA and fellow fans of golf hope round two of the Watson Challenge will bring less rain and even better golf.

For live scoring, see here.

Amanda Booth and Rebecca Thomas Take Overall Title at Tee Fore Two

Rolling Hills CC, Wichita, KS – It took an extra hole for Amanda Booth (Wichita, KS) and Rebecca Thomas (Wichita, KS) to claim their first title in the Tee Fore Two Championship over defending champions Denise Desilet (Wichita, KS) and Patricia Sherwood (Wichita, KS).  Booth and Thomas began the day with a two-stroke lead after Monday’s Four Ball format and made the turn in the difficult Chapman Alternate Shot format with the same margin.  Desilet and Sherwood chipped away at the lead with a birdie on the par-3 13th hole and narrowly missed claiming a second straight title with a missed birdie putt on the 18th.  Booth and Thomas gave away the lead with a bogey at the 18th.  Both teams returned to the 1st hole for a playoff continuing in the Chapman format.  Booth and Thomas parred the first playoff hole to claim the title.

In the net division, Laurie Hughey (Wichita, KS) and Susan Mueller (Wichita, KS) began the day five strokes back after Monday Four Ball.  Chasing Beth Parmley (Loma Linda, MO) and Peggy Hinde (Pittsburg, KS) in the challenging Chapman format, they fired a gross 75 for a net 61 to win the Overall Net Championship by two strokes. The pair made eagle on the 2nd hole and never looked back.

The Monday afternoon Shootout began with 20 teams playing for the championship.  Preliminary action whittled the field down to Betty Skillett & Nancy Thomas, Karen Exon & Cindy Cooper, Bobbi Sauder & Diana Solis, Susan Mueller & Laurie Hughey, Danell Wilbur & Pam Marlow, and Karen Irwin & Lou Ann Buss.  Skillett/Thomas were eliminated on the 14th hole, and Sauder/Solis exited on the 15th.  Exon/Cooper were eliminated after a tough 3-putt at the 16th.  It took a chip-off to eliminate Mueller/Hughey on the 17th.  It looked like Wilbur/Marlow had the advantage on the 18th green, but Buss/Irwin made a long putt for par to change the dynamic and would eventually claim the shootout title.

Kim Wright made a hole-in-one on the 6th hole in the Chapman format. The next women’s championship is The Prairie Invitational at The National Golf Club of Kansas City on July 22-24 followed quickly by the Kansas Women’s Amateur at historic Prairie Dunes CC in Hutchinson, Kansas on August 5-6.

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Harding & Misemer Take Home KC Junior Titles

The 2019 Kansas City Junior Championship was one of a kind. After multiple days of missed classes due to extreme weather this winter, students had to extend the school year into the week of the KC Junior. Because of this, the tournament was played as a 3:30 shotgun start both days at Brookridge Golf & Fitness.

Boys Division

Our boy’s division, after day one, was highlighted by Michael Winslow shooting a 69 (-2). Winslow caught fire during his back nine going -4 during a five-hole stretch. Liam Coughlin was in sole possession of second place with a 70 (-1) with an impressive three-hole birdie streak on holes four-six.  After round one, four other players shot even par, all within striking range of the two leaders.

Round two was nothing short of exciting from our boy’s division with several players at the top of the leaderboard. One of those players within striking distance was Will Harding who shot 71 in the first round. Harding took advantage of the scorable conditions and started his round making birdies on the first five holes and finishing at 65 (-6). Harding’s two round of 71-65, 136 was good enough to claim the championship over Winslow 69-70, 139. Finishing up the leaderboard was Joe Bultman 71-69, 140 in third, Ian McCrary 69-72, 141 fourth, and Justin Wingerter 71-71, 142 and Nicklaus Mason 71-71, 142 tied for fifth.

Will Harding and Michael Winslow’s exceptional play was rewarded by getting an exemption into the 2019 Watson Challenge on June 21-23 hosted by The Nicklaus Golf Club at Lionsgate.

Girls Division

Our girl’s division was featured by the great play of Julia Misemer and Libby Green. The key hole during the first round was hole 11 with Misemer making a birdie and Green making a double bogey. Green (74) would overcome that three shot difference and take a one-shot lead after round one over Misemer (75). Lia Johnson would find herself 4 shots off the lead with a solid round of 78 carding 11 pars for the day.

Misemer and Green battled for the top of the leaderboard during the second day, which lead to a playoff. Green going into the day holding a one-shot lead, was tied with Misemer after the first hole. Green would find herself with a one-stroke lead again with just two holes remaining. However, Green went on to make bogey on 17th and Misemer making a par. Both made par the 18th hole and finding themselves in a tie for 1st (Misemer, 75-76, 151) (Green 74-77, 151). The playoff started on the 10th hole where Green made a bogey and Misemer made par to claim the 2019 Girl’s Junior Championship. Lia Johnson (78-79, 157) and Audrey Rischer (81-76, 157) tied for third place.

Misemer earned an exemption and paid entry fees into the 2019 Prairie Invitational. The Prairie Invitational will be held at The National Golf Club July 22-24.