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.
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.