2021 Players | of the Year Announced

It was another great season for Central Links Golf and its member clubs and players. Players of the Year have been determined for the 2021 season. It was a close battle for some award winners, but all worked extremely hard to earn their respective Player of the Year title.

Women’s Players of the Year

Women’s Amateur Player of the Year: Katy Winters

Third place finish in the Prairie Invitational, Sixth place finish in the Kansas Women’s Amateur, Third place finish in the Kansas Women’s Mid-Am, Runner Up finish in Fall Triple Threat

Women’s Senior Amateur Player of the Year: Pam Simpson

Kansas Women’s Senior Champion, fourth place finish at Kansas Women’s Mid-Amateur

Women’s Super Senior Amateur Player of the Year: Denise Desilet

Tee Fore Two and Fall Triple Threat Champion, Kansas Women’s Senior Runner Up

Women’s Legends Amateur Player of the Year: Jettie Bezek

Kansas Women’s Super Senior and Fall Triple Threat Champion, top 15 finish at Prairie Invitational (Opal Hill Division)


Men’s Players of the Year

Kansas Amateur Player of the Year: Cooper Schultz

2021 Kansas Amateur Champion, 2021 US Open Sectional Qualifier, 2021 US Amateur Qualifier (made match play)

Kansas Mid-Amateur Player of the Year: Brian Fehr

2021 Kansas Mid-Amateur Champion, 2021 Kansas Amateur match play qualifier, Quarterfinalist in 2021 KC Match Play, top 10 finish in 2021 Railer, Team qualifier for 2021 Kanza Players Cup & Director’s Cup competitions

Kansas Senior & Super Senior Amateur Player of the Year: Greg Goode

2021 Kansas Four-Ball Masters Division Champion, 2nd place at 2021 Senior Series Championship, top 10 finishes in the Kansas Mid-Amateur, Railer, High Plains, KC Amateur, Konza Amateur, and Kansas Senior Four-Ball

Kansas Legends Player of the Year: Don Kuehn

Top 10 finishes in 2021 Railer, Legends of Kansas Championship, Kansas Senior Team Championship, KC Amateur, and Kansas Senior Four-Ball

Kansas City Amateur Player of the Year: Sam Parrott

Kansas City Amateur Champion, 4th place in Missouri Amateur Stroke Play

Kansas City Senior Player of the Year: Dave Cunningham

Kansas Senior Amateur Champion, Kansas City Four-Ball Championship Runner Up, 6 Stateline Amateur Tour Wins


Junior Player of the Year

Girls Player of the Year: Kate Tilma

Top 5 finish at Kansas Junior Girls Amateur Championship, KS Optimist Qualifier Medalist, Qualified for the US Women’s Four-Ball and US Girls Junior, Runner Up at 2021 KSHSAA 5A Girls State Championship

Boys Player of the Year: Luke Scheufler

Konza Prairie Amateur Champion, Kansas Junior Tour Champion (Boys 16+), Kansas City Boys Match Play Runner Up, Runner Up in the Kansas Boys Junior Amateur, Qualified for the US Boys Junior and a Kansas/Nebraska Cup team member

Albers Wins KC Match Play

The KC Match Play Semi-Finals and Finals were originally scheduled for May 16, however, the rainy Kansas City weather prevented them from being played as scheduled. On Monday, May 24, the Semi-Finals were held at Swope Memorial Golf Course. Zach VanDolah defeated Ben Pearson after 20 holes. Doug Albers defeated Alex Springer 3&2.

On Wednesday, May 26, the Championship match was held. Albers won the first hole with a birdie and VanDolah came back to tie the match on the third hole with a birdie. Albers proceeded to win holes 6 and 7, going two up into the back nine. Albers and VanDolah went back-and-forth with Albers going three up on 14. VanDolah fought back by winning the 15th hole, but Albers prevailed winning 2&1.

KC Match Play Down to Two

After a week off from competition after Mother Nature postponed the semifinal matches of the KC Match Play Championship, we are finally down to two competitors. The top four agreed to play Monday, May 24th at Swope Memorial at 4:00 p.m. Doug Albers was facing Alex Springer and Ben Pearson was up against Zach VanDolah.

1 seed Pearson had a strong front nine and was 2 up over VanDolah making the turn. Zach fought back to tie the match through 13 holes after two birdies, but Pearson rebounded with a win on the 14th hole. VanDolah tied the match once again with a birdie on 17 and with two pars on 18, the match would go extra holes.

VanDolah and Pearson both parred the 19th hole, and after almost driving the green on the Par-4, 20th hole, VanDolah had a great chance at birdie. He would convert his birdie chance and win the hole and match against 1 seed Pearson.

In the second semifinal match, Doug Albers was in full control most of the match. He quickly got out to a 3 up lead through the first five holes and again through 10. Springer tried to dip in to the lead with a birdie on the 11th hole, but after a few pars and a bogey on 15th, the match was heading to 16 tee dormie. Albers and Springer would both par the 16th hole, and Albers clinched his spot in the final with a 3 & 2 victory.

The Championship match is set between Zach VanDolah and Doug Albers. A date and time is to be determined and will be updated on the website and social media. Live scoring will be available.


Final Four Postponed due to Weather

Championship Sunday at Swope Memorial never began as thunderstorms rolled in to Kansas City. The semifinal matches of the KC Match Play Championship were first delayed until noon with the hopes of at least getting one round of match play in, only to have the golf course become unplayable due to the amount of rain throughout the morning.

An unfortunate delay to our first championship of the year, but the semifinals will be scheduled at a later date that is yet to be determined. Opponents will work with each others schedules to determine an open date and more information will be relayed at that time. A champion of the 2021 KC Match Play Championship will be crowned of the following players: Doug Albers, Ben Pearson, Zach VanDolah, or Alex Springer. Stay tuned.


Top Seeds Set for Semifinals in KC Match Play

Despite some early rain, day two of the Kansas City Match Play was completed in narrowing down the field from 16 to its top four semifinalists. 1 seed Ben Pearson continued on after an easy victory of 5 & 4 over Jesse Helms and then defeated Brian Fehr 3 & 1 to clinch the first semifinalist spot.

2 seed Doug Albers defeated Jordan Bobert in his Round of 16 match 5 & 3 and then took out Drew Carlson 3 & 2. He faces 3 seed Alex Springer in his semifinal match after Springer defeated Ian Boat 2 & 1 and then Hank Simpson 5 & 3.

5 seed Zach VanDolah defeated 4 seed Lane Wallace in his quarterfinal match in 21 holes after taking out Jim Gates 2 up in the Round of 16. In unusual fashion, four of the top five seeds have advanced to the semifinal round.

The semifinal matches are scheduled for Sunday morning at 8:00 a.m. The weather forecast predicts some thunderstorms, but we hope to begin on time and any weather delays will be updated on the website and event page.

Full results for the event can be found here >>


Day One Concludes for KC Match Play

The 2021 Kansas City Match Play Championship returned to its traditional May date after COVID forced its reschedule to last Fall for 2020. The Friday morning stroke play qualifier began at Swope Memorial with 100 players vying for the top 32 spots to advance to match play, including the first female in the field – Julia Misemer.

Doug Albers, Leawood, KS, and Ben Pearson, Overland Park, KS, both tied for low medalist honors in the qualifying morning session with a three-under, 69. Albers’s card was highlighted with five birdies and the only blemish coming on the Par-4, 7th hole with a double bogey. Pearson carded six birdies on the day with a few bogeys. Watson Challenge Champion, Alex Springer, finished at one-under, 71, along with Lane Wallace, Zach VanDolah, and Kade Prentice to make the only six players under par.

Tied for 26th position at 77 (+5) was the magic cut off number and saw 15 players in a playoff for the final 7 spots to advance to match play in the afternoon to fill the field. The top ten seeds were set: Ben Pearson, Doug Albers, Alex Springer, Lane Wallace, Zach VanDolah, Kade Prentice, Ryne Fisher, Brian Fehr, Will Harding, and Daniel Duffin. 9 of the lower seeds won their match to advance to the Round of 16. Pearson, Fehr, Springer and Harding all won handily with 6 & 5 victories. Kade Prentice defeated Jeff Mason 4 & 3 and Hank Simpson clinched their ticket to the next round with 4 & 3 and 4 & 2 wins. 20 seed Nick Noland upset 13 seed Michael Garden 2 & 1 and 26 seed Michael Foster upset 7 seed Ryne Fisher in 20 holes.

The field is down to the top 16 and matches are set to begin at 7:30 a.m. Saturday morning depending on the weather conditions. Any weather delays will be communicated to players and updated on the website.

Holiday | Golf Gift Guide

Stay Warm

Trendy. The golf hoodie trend is here to stay. No matter where you stand on this debate, we can all agree hoodies provide warmth in the cold winter months. Here are some of our favorites for the course:

Own your inner Fleetwood. Another trend making a comeback is the golf cardigan. Tommy Fleetwood can be seen wearing Nike’s Dri-FIT Player in Navy.

Wooly warm shirts. Winter runners have figured out how to stay warm & active. These cozy shirts from Runnin Rabbit blend polyester & merino wool to wick away moisture while keeping you warm. Men’s Re-Run | Women’s Ribbit

Techy Favorites

Stay swinging. Keep your swing in shape this winter with Swing Caddie. Paired with a golf net, golfers can keep their game up anywhere – including the garage! Bonus: all proceeds from the Swing Caddie link here will benefit Youth on Course in Kansas City.

DJ for your crew. Bushnell’s Wingman speaker provides a way to listen to music and receive audible GPS distances – all while mounted to your cart with BITE magnetic technology.

Handicap Index. We would be remiss if we didn’t suggest a GHIN Handicap Index as a great gift for the avid golfer in your life. Handicaps can be purchased through a member club or online Eclub in Kansas City and Kansas here.

Accessorize

Handy. Asher golf gloves have become the newest way to express your style on the course. Asher also offers custom gloves that match your colors and logo. Asher gloves: Men’s | Women’s

Travel in style. The most innovative backpack for golfers. The Birdie Bag from Stitch Golf can convert from a backpack to a carry-on and even into a cooler. This backpack includes easy to use cooler inserts, which keep items cold for 24 hours. The work insert offers storage space for work materials.

A Year unlike any other. We can all agree that 2020 has been a very weird year. Hot Birdie Golf has made several clever items that reflect this year and celebrate the 2020 Masters tournament being so unusual. Ballmarks | Tee Shirts

Best foot forward. Duca del Cosma has disrupted the golf shoe industry by focusing on design with top-quality leather material and Arnflex comfort technology. The company’s attention to detail has lead to several award-winning pairs of shoes, even recognized by Golf Digest’s Hot List. We love the Women’s Festiva Coral Golf Shoe and the Men’s California Navy/Red Golf Sport Shoe.

Made for women. We are obsessed with these new hats made by women for women. All the players at the Kansas Women’s Amateur were gifted one and they were certainly a crowd-pleaser. Vimhue hats are designed for a range of different ponytail heights and can be adjusted for circumference. Get free shipping with code: “MERRY”. X-Boyfriend | Sun Goddess

For the Home

Lie + Loft. This company of creators connects golf to home through beautiful modern artwork. Check out the Course Map Collection featuring contemporary golf course artwork. Central Links Golf members can get 20% off with code CLG20.

Drink up. Upgrade your favorite golfer’s drink with these Golf Ball Shaped Ice Cubes from Uncommon Goods.

Hole-in-One. Did someone you know make a hole-in-one this year? Honor their achievement with a custom piece from ClaireWDesign. The painting includes a picture of the hole and information regarding the hole-in-one that was made.

What did we leave off our list? Drop a comment below and let us know!

Snowball Open

Who is Eligible: Anyone with an active GHIN number & valid handicap index 

Who Can I Play with: Anyone – teams can be two men, two women, or mixed   

  • Team members must both play at the same golf course but may play on different tees if desired. 
  • You may play on more than one team if desired 
  • The full team entry fee applies for each team on which you play 

Format: 2-Person Net Stableford Best Ball with 85% handicap (per WHS Allowances) – the best Stableford point total of the two partners is used on each hole 

  • 25-30% of teams will win a prize  
  • Prizes will be Central Links Golf Gift Certificates which may be used at any Central Links Member Club for merchandise (other uses are at the sole discretion of the club)  
  • Special Prize for the pair with the lowest score and lowest temperature played 

Where: Any Central Links Golf Member Club 

When: December 4-6 – play your round at your club or the course of your choosing between December 4 and December 6.  The overall leaderboard will be available all weekend long. Prizes will be calculated on Monday, December 7, and results will be published as soon as they are available. 

Why: Let’s have fun and cap off a great year of golf with a friendly competition 

How Much: $40 per team paid at the time of registration (green fees/cart fees not included) 

What This Is: a FUN opportunity to get some friends together to enjoy a great day on the course 

What This Is NOT: a super-competitive event  

What We Expect: Golfers to play by the Rules of Golf, play the ball down, enter scores into the app honestly, and post scores to GHIN after finishing on the date of play 

FAQs: 

How Do I Register? You can register on our website HERE. 

How will I get my prizes? You will receive your certificate via email which may be redeemed at any CLG member club. 

Can junior golfers participate? Yes, junior golfers may participate.  If a junior golfer plays with an adult and the team wins a prize, only the adult will receive a certificate.  If a team of two juniors wins a prize, the prize money will go to Youth on Course.  These steps are taken to comply with KSHSAA/MSHSAA requirements about high school athletes accepting gift certificates as a prize. 

How will I submit my score? You will need to download the USGA Tournament Management App from the Apple App Store or Google Play.  On Thursday, December 3rd, you will receive a GGID and Rules Sheet via email to enter your scores for your team through the mobile app.  Login using the GGID only (if your club uses USGA TM, do not use your club ID to login).  You may view the Leaderboard all weekend in the app or on our website. 

Do I post my score to GHIN?  Yes – you should post your score to GHIN on the same day that you play just as in any other round. 

2020 Players | of the Year Announced

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.

In Kansas:

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!

Golf Booms in 2020

Despite the COVID-19 Pandemic Holding Many Industries Back, 2020 has Provided a Boom for Golf 

Throughout March and April of this year, many golf clubs, facilities, and organizations were forced to shut down as the COVID-19 pandemic began. However, despite many lengthy shutdowns, we are seeing that only a few months later, that golf has been as busy as it has ever been.

Central Links Golf has seen great participation in 2020 events and has aimed to make sure golfers can be healthy and safe while continuing to provide quality events for players, staff, volunteers, and member clubs. 

Executive Director of Central Links Golf, Doug Habel, says “Golf has been one of the few outlets for people in 2020. We have seen an increase in participation across the board in our tournaments, and tee times have been extremely difficult to come by. The COVID-19 protocols we put in place, as well as those put in place at facilities, have seemed to be effective in limiting the spread of COVID-19 through golf” when commenting on the successes seen in 2020.

As for the data, the numbers speak for themselves.

Across all Central Links Golf Member Clubs, there has been a 41.45% increase in rounds posted to GHIN handicaps in 2020, resulting in 880,697 total rounds posted in GHIN this year (as of October 27th). A few significant club increases include Lake Quivira Country Club in Lake Quivira, KS and The Deuce at The National in Parkville, MO, both seeing 72% and 69% increases in rounds posted this year, respectively (both increasing from about 9,000 rounds in 2019 to over 16,000-17,000 rounds in 2020 so far). 

As far as the national ranks go, according to the National Golf Foundation’s “The Q”, there was a 19-25% increase in rounds played during July, August, and September. The summer months provided an increase in rounds by nearly 27 million… now that is a lot of golf!

While there has been this golfing boom this year, clubs, facilities, and organizations have still been able to maintain consistent protocols to keep golfers safe when attending. The PGA website provides some operational examples during COVID-19 to get “Back2Golf”, and some of these examples are listed below.

  • Clubhouses enforce mandated mask policies
  • Single-rider carts, which are always sanitized, are encouraged when riding
  • Pin modifications, plus removal of rakes, trash cans, and ball washers have helped reduce the mass touching of shared surfaces

When speaking to member clubs, Central Links Golf hears the impact of the golf rush that 2020 has brought. Baile Stephenson, Club Services and Marketing Manager at Central Links Golf says “Our area clubs continue to report record numbers of rounds. Ultimately, we are happy to be here providing opportunities to link communities and generations together through the game of golf.” 

Amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, but also any time that the golfing industry is facing a challenge, the community wants to do all that it can to provide people the opportunity to play this wonderful game we call golf. 

Brian Fehr Wins 32nd Kansas Mid-Amateur

Results
Photo Gallery

Manhattan’s Brian Fehr earned his first Central Links Golf individual championship on Tuesday at Nicklaus Golf Club at LionsGate in Overland Park.

Fehr posted a remarkable 6-under par 66 in the cold and wet conditions to rally from four shots back to win the 32nd Kansas Mid-Amateur Championship by three shots over Olathe’s Tim Zande.

Leawood’s Doug Albers took third while Jeff Spradlin and Hank Simpson rounded out the top five with a tie for fourth.

Garden City’s Sean Thayer, Salina’s Greg Goode and Springfield’s Scott Whittaker tied for low honors in the senior age division.

Thank you to the full field of participants for braving the difficult weather conditions. We appreciate the membership and staff at Nicklaus Golf Club hosting the 2020 championship. We look forward to seeing everyone in 2021 at Terradyne Country Club for the 33rd Kansas Mid-Amateur!

Kansas Wins Ozark Senior Challenge

Ozark Senior Challenge Results

Team Kansas defeated Team Missouri in the 2020 Ozark Senior Challenge on Thursday at Twin Hills Golf & Country Club in Joplin, MO. Kansas was victorious by 20.5 to 7.5 point margin in the annual Ryder Cup competition between the Missouri Golf Association and Central Links Golf which dates back to 2007.

Association Senior Cup Team
Tom Vilkanskas, Dennis Switzky, Joe Rothwell, Sam VanLandingham, Randy Vautravers, Doug Kaup, Tom Nielsen, John Emerson, Dave Steeples, Mike Grosdidier

Association Senior Cup Results

Team Missouri bested Team Kansas by a 11 to 9 point margin in the Association Senior Cup Matches on Thursday at Twin Hills Golf & Country Club in Joplin, MO.

About The Senior Cup Matches

The respective teams are selected from each association’s Senior Series programs. Players age 50 to 64 comprise the Ozark Senior Challenge teams while players age 65 & older compete on the Association Senior Cup teams. The Ryder Cup style competitions include Four-Ball and Foursomes matches on day one and Singles matches on day two.

Tyler Shelton Repeats as KC Match Play Champion

What a victory for Tyler Shelton. It took six rounds of golf, a weather delay, and a 5 down comeback semifinal win, but he is our 2020 KC Match Play Champion. This is his second KC Match Play victory, with the first coming in 1994.

Shelton finished stroke play qualifying on Friday morning as the 22 seed with an even par round of 72 that featured one birdie and one bogey. He matched up with Patrick Roth in the first round of match play and after winning Holes 16 & 17 went on to win the match, 1 up.

In the Round of 16 on Saturday morning, Shelton faced a familiar name in Kansas City of Mark Terranova. After getting out to an early 3 up lead, Shelton faced a tough competitor in Terranova who tried to stage a comeback. Winning Hole 15, Shelton had a comfortable 2 up lead heading in to 16 and clinched the match with a par on the 17th hole to win 2 and 1.

Shelton stayed steady in his Quarterfinal match on Saturday afternoon, going up against Stateline Amateur player Alex Reed. Shelton again got out to an early 3 up lead and after trading a few holes got back to a 3 up lead heading in to the par-5, 12th hole. Reed and Shelton halved the next three and with a win on the 15th, Shelton was heading to the semifinals on Sunday.

In his first match of the day, Shelton faced a tough opponent in Kyle Hummer, who had defeated Kansas Amateur Champion, Park Ulrich, and 2 seed Ryne Fisher. What an exciting match it was. Instead of getting out to an early lead, Shelton saw himself down 5 after the front nine. Hummer had the early momentum with three birdies through the first five holes.

“When you’re five down, you really think you’re done. But I just hung in there and kept going,” said Shelton after the match. And kept going he did. Shelton chipped away at Hummer’s lead with a win on Hole 10 and 12. Hummer quickly responded with a win of us own on Hole 13 and Shelton was down 4 heading to 14 tee. Shelton birdied 14 to cut in to the lead and with a bogey by Hummer on 15, Shelton was two down with three holes to play. Hummer made a clutch par putt on 16 green to keep his lead. Hummer had a little trouble on 17 and with a bogey, left the door open a little for Shelton on 18. An errant tee shot, gave Shelton the opening he needed and was able to capitalize with a par on 18 to send the match to extra holes.

Despite an hour and a half of a weather delay, Shelton and Hummer returned to 1 fairway to resume their extra holes match. Both players would par Holes 1 & 2. Hummer’s tee shot on Hole 3 (21st hole) was left and he had to chip through the trees to the green. Laying two in the greenside bunker, Hummer chipped to about 15 feet for par. He would barely miss and Shelton had two putts to win the match. With a clutch par putt, Shelton completed his epic comeback and was headed to the finals.

In a windy and rainy afternoon, the 1 seed Luke Horseman and 22 seed Tyler Shelton faced off to claim the KC Match Play crown. Horseman struck first with a birdie Hole 2, but Shelton quickly followed with a win on Hole 4 and 6. Luke tried to battle back and tie the match with a birdie on Holy 7, but Tyler responded yet again with wins on 8 & 9 to go two up through the front nine. With another win on Hole 10 and then 12 & 13, Shelton found himself 5 up heading to 14 tee. Horseman continued to fight and made a clutch par putt to put some pressure on Shelton. He responded with a par putt of his own to clinch the match.

It was a great weekend and we had such a strong field this year. This is one of our premiere events and we are excited to see the growth of the field size and talent this year.

Thank you to Swope Memorial for hosting us yet again and for being so flexible and helpful. The course is in fantastic shape and we love having events out there. Thank you of course to all of our volunteers as well. It’s been a busy and exciting 2020 for us and we hope to see everyone again next year. The tournament is scheduled to be played in its usual month of May in 2021.

>> Full Results Here


Day Two Recap

And then there were four.

Saturday at Swope Memorial featured two rounds of match play between a very competitive field. The top 8 seeds remained in the bracket at the start of the day and only the 1 seed remains.

1 seed, Luke Horseman secured his place in the semi-finals with a narrow victory over Nebraska freshman, Will Harding, 1 up, and an extra holes match against junior golfer Nicklaus Mason, winning with a birdie on the 21st hole.

The three remaining players are 21, 22, and 23 seed respectively. Michael Garden (21) looks toward his match up with the 1 seed, Horseman, after taking out Jeff Spradlin and Greg Goode. Kyle Hummer (23) and Tyler Shelton (22) will compete in our second semi-final match tomorrow morning. Hummer had to go through Kansas Amateur Champion Park Ulrich and 2 seed Ryne Fisher to earn his spot in the semifinals. Shelton took out Mark Terranova on the 17th hole and secured his place in the semis with a 4 & 3 win over Alex Reed.

It should be an exciting finish to the 2020 KC Match Play Championship as we are guaranteed to have a new winner. Live scoring for each match will be available.

>> See Results Here


Day One Recap

After a beautiful Friday of golf, the Kansas City Match Play Championship is in to the Round of 16.

An 18-hole stroke play qualifying round kicked the tournament off Friday morning at Swope Memorial Golf Course. 84 players competed to earn their spot in the top 32 golfers and make match play.

Low medalist of the morning qualifying round was Luke Horseman, of Weston, after shooting an impressive nine-under round of 63. Horseman, the current Kansas City Amateur Champion, had a bogey-free round with four birdies on the front nine and five on the back.

Ryne Fisher and Zach VanDolah, both of Kansas City, finished tied for second in the qualifying round with rounds of 65 (-7). VanDolah and Fisher had 15 birdies combined on the day with the only blemish coming on Hole 15 for Fisher.

A total of 15 players carded under-par rounds for qualifying. Five players were tied at 31st place after all rounds had been turned in at 75 (+3). A playoff began on Hole 5 and with two birdies, the last two seeds were determined. Tyler Norris finished as the 31 seed and Eric Lester as the 32.

The Round of 32 afternoon matches began at 2:00 pm off Holes 1 & 10. The #1 seed, Horseman advanced with a win over Lester, 7 & 5. Michael Garden (21) and Ryne Fisher (2) also cruised to the Round of 16 with a 6 & 5 and 5 & 4 victory respectively. The lower seed took 8 out of the 16 matches this afternoon.

Some upsets included Brent Mertz (18) over Jeff Mason (15) in 19 holes, Colton Allen (24) over Scott Schaeffer (9), and Tyler Shelton (22) over Patrick Roth (11).

We will return to Swope Memorial tomorrow morning to see who makes it to the Quarterfinals in the afternoon.