It was an eventful first year for Central Links Golf, the newly merged association between the former Kansas City Golf Association and Kansas Golf Association. Despite the pandemic, the association saw a record number of golfers registered for events.
Players of the Year have been determined for the 2020 season. It was a hard-fought battle between many golfers for their titles. Players of the Year are decided based on performance at events and points earned. Points lists can be found here>>
Men’s Players of the Year
Kansas City Men’s Player of the Year, Kansas Player of the Year, and Kansas Mid-Am Player of the Year – Park Ulrich
In Kansas City:
Park Ulrich was the runaway winner of the 2020 KC Amateur Player of the Year. Park finished over 500 points ahead of this year’s runner up. Park started his run in June by finishing 3rd in the Kansas City Four-ball Championship which he and his partner turned into a Heart America Four-ball Championship in September at Lawrence Country Club. In July, Colbert Hills was the site of his first title in 2020, the Kansas Amateur. Park claimed the trophy after an impressive run through a strong field. Just two weeks later he finished 4th at the Kansas City Amateur Championship. Park made a deep run in the KC Match Play championship before another top-6 finish at the Kansas Mid-Amateur championship in late October. Park also qualified for his first USGA Championship this year when he and is partner were medalists at the US Four-ball Qualifier at Canyon Farms. He will play in the championship at Chambers Bay in May.
Ulrich became the first player to claim both the Kansas Player of the Year and Kansas Mid-Amateur Player of the Year in the same year in 2020. Ulrich dominated the Kansas golf scene in both individual and team competitions. On the team competition side, Ulrich was part of two winning teams at the Heart of America Four-Ball Match Play Finals with Davis Cooper in August and the Mid-Amateur Team in September with Doug Albers. Ulrich captured the 110th Kansas Amateur Match Play Championship in July at Colbert Hills. Ulrich also recorded a runner-up finish at the Kansas City Amateur in August and a top ten finish at the Kansas Mid-Amateur in October to round out his dominating season.
Kansas City Senior Men’s Player of the Year – Steve Groom
Steve Groom has been one of the top players in Kansas City for many years. Steve claimed yet another Senior Player of the Year title in 2020. Steve won two major titles in 2020: the KC Amateur Championship and the KC Senior Match Play Championship. In addition to multiple top 3 finishes in StateLine events, he had a strong top 10 finish in the Kansas Senior Amateur Championship in August.
Kansas Senior Men’s Player of the Year – Sean Thayer
Garden City’s Sean Thayer captured the 2020 Kansas Senior Player of the Year award by edging two time defending Senior Player of the Year Greg Goode of Salina in a very close points race that came down to the final event of the season. Thayer recorded victories at the Konza Prairie Amateur in June, Senior Series Championship in September and teamed with Greg Goode to take the Kansas Four-Ball Masters Division title in June. Thayer also posted top five finishes at the Kansas Senior Amateur, High Plains Amateur and the Railer Stroke Play Championship. Thayer also was medalist at six Senior Series events and posted top ten finishes in seven others. In the season ending Kansas Mid-Amateur, Thayer tied for low senior honors with Greg Goode to take the 2020 Kansas Senior Player of the Year crown by a slim 24 point margin over Goode.
Women’s Players of the Year
Senior Women’s Player of the Year – Martha Linscott
Martha Linscott wasted no time garnering her first Senior Women’s Player of the Year Award after becoming eligible only this year. Linscott has been an exceptional competitor in this area for many years having competed in 11 USGA Championships in her career, so this award is a fitting accomplishment.
She opened the season with a strong finish in the Kansas City Women’s Match Play Championship against a field of mostly collegiate players, advancing to the quarterfinals. She followed that performance with a 7th place finish at the Kansas Women’s Mid-Amateur Championship. She was the only senior golfer to make the cut at The Prairie Invitational, earning her first Low Senior award at that championship. She cemented the award with her stellar play in September with a tie for 6th place at the North & South Senior Women’s Championship at Pinehurst, NC, and a victory at the Kansas Women’s Senior Championship at Manhattan CC. Congratulations Martha!
Women’s Player of the Year – Audrey Judd
The Women’s Player of the Year points list was surprisingly dominated by mid-amateurs. Audrey Judd of Olathe, Kansas narrowly edged fellow mid-amateur Katy Winters or Wichita, Kansas for the Player of the Year honors.
After taking a year off from competition after completing her collegiate eligibility at the University of Nebraska, Audrey Judd opened strong at the Kansas City Women’s Match Play. She was the medalist in the stroke-play qualifying round and advanced to the quarterfinals by defeating Kansas Women’s Mid-Amateur Champion, Carmen Titus, in the round of 16. She just missed advancing to the semifinals with a 2&1 loss to active University of Kansas player and 2020 Missouri Women’s Amateur Champion, Abby Glynn. She followed that performance with a T3 at the Kansas Women’s Mid-Amateur Championship, earning a spot in The Prairie Invitational. Her competition wrapped up with a Runner-Up performance at The Prairie Invitational in what was a very strong field of golfers including the best collegiate players and mid-ams from the entire region. Congratulations Audrey!
Junior Players of the Year
Boys Player of the Year – Davis Cooper
The 2020 Junior Boys Player of the Year is Davis Cooper of Overland Park, Kansas. Cooper had a fantastic season that was highlighted by a victory in the Kansas City Junior Championship and Heart of America Four-Ball Championship with his partner Park Ulrich. Cooper finished runner-up in the Kansas Junior Amateur at Salina Municipal and finished as a quarterfinalist in both the KC Junior Match Play and Kansas Amateur Match Play Championship at Colbert Hills. He finished out his summer season as a pivotal member of the KS/NE Junior Cup team that defeated Nebraska at Prairie Dunes CC. We wish Davis all the best as he has joined the Kansas University’s Men’s Golf team this fall and embarks on his college golf career!
Girls Player of the Year – Julia Misemer
The 2020 Junior Girls Player of the Year is Julia Misemer of Overland Park, Kansas. Misemer had another strong season this year, winning the Kansas City Junior Championship at Swope Memorial and defending her 6A State Championship title at Hesston Golf Course by four shots. Misemer also placed tied for third at the 2020 North & South Junior Championship at Pinehurst and finished third at the Kansas Junior Amateur Championship. She capped off a great summer by qualifying for the 2021 Women’s Four-Ball Championship with partner Brooke Biermann and was an important member of the 2020 Mid-America Junior Cup team that recently retained the Cup against St. Louis. Julia is in her junior year of high school at Blue Valley West and we can’t wait to see what she does next season!