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.