Jackson Foth Claims His First KCGA Major Title at the KC Match Play Championship

By Taylor Albritton, KCGA Boatwright Intern

The 2018 Kansas City Match Play Championship kicked off Friday, May 18th with a full field of 78 players teeing it up at Swope Memorial Golf Course.

With a beautiful opening day and optimal conditions, the golfers fought for the chance to make match play after 18 holes of stroke-play qualifying Friday morning. The top 32 scores advanced to match play later that afternoon with the cut line at 75 (+3). Five players carded a 75 on their round tied at 29th and a playoff was required to narrow down the field. Five players went off at #5 at Swope Memorial, battling for four spots left for match play.

Mark Terranova, Blake Mullen, Scott Schaeffer, Ritch Nigh, and Alex Downing fought through a 3 hole playoff, and ultimately Alex Downing was left on the outside looking in. Some other featured names who made match play include Ryne Fisher, Matt Kelley, Luke Lutgen, and defending champion Travis Mays.

With the match play field set, the round of 32 began Friday afternoon. As the 32 seed, Terranova pulled off the upset by defeating the 1 seed, Park Ulrich. A few other upsets included Ryne Fisher, 24 seed, over Ryan Faherty, 7 seed, and Blake Mullen, 30 seed, over Nick Nash, 3 seed.

The round of 16 began Saturday morning after a two hour rain delay. Terranova and Mullen continued their upset bids by beating Jim Seward, the 16 seed and Luke Horseman, the 19 seed. Cam Wiltse took out Doug Albers 3 and 2 and the round of 16 saw defending champion Travis Mays lose to Jay Gregory 6 and 5.

The quarterfinals began that afternoon between the top 8. Terranova went up against Jeff Mason and secured a spot in the semi-finals 2 and 1. Cam Wiltse defeated Jay Gregory 4 and 2 while Michael Madrigal took out Blake Allen 2 and 1. The last quarterfinal match between Jackson Foth and Blake Mullen was decided handily by Foth 7 and 6.

Championship Sunday began after another brief weather delay in the morning. Mark Terranova went up against Cam Wiltse in the first semi-final match of the day. Wiltse struggled on the opening few holes, and Terranova took advantage. Never losing his lead, Terranova won his way to the championship match 3 and 2.

The second semi-final match between Michael Madrigal and Jackson Foth saw a competitive first nine. Both players battled back and forth, but Foth ultimately made the turn at 1 up after a birdie on #9. After a few mistakes by Madrigal on the back nine, Foth came out on top 4 and 2 with five birdies and an eagle on his round.

The championship match was set between Mark Terranova, the 32 seed, and Jackson Foth, the 22 seed. Foth got off to a early lead after three birdies in a row. Terranova continued to fight back throughout the front nine, but after a couple more birdies, Foth made the turn at 2 up. Terranova and Foth were step for step through the first four holes on the back nine. After a bogey on 14 by Terranova, Foth saw himself 3 up with four holes to go. After a great 20-foot birdie make on the Par-3, 16th, Foth became the 2018 Kansas City Match Play Champion at 3 and 2.

Both players played great golf all weekend, along with the many others who joined us for this weekend. It was a great championship, and a big congratulations to the new KC Match Play Champion: Jackson Foth.

As always we couldn’t do any of this without the many volunteers who help us as well as Swope Memorial Golf Course for hosting. We can’t wait to see everyone back next year!

For a full field of results, see here. See our Facebook page for an interview with Jackson Foth after his win.

KCGA Competitions Preview

As we begin our 103rd year of supporting amateur golf in the Kansas City Metro, the Kansas City Golf Association is pleased to announce the 2015 Competitions schedule is now available on our website at www.kansascitygolfer.org.  Tournament registrations will open on March 3rd, 2015 at 10:00am.  Please contact the KCGA office at (913) 649-5242 with any questions related to KCGA competitions.

Regional Championships

The 100th Kansas City Match Play Championship will be held at Swope Memorial Golf Course May 8th-10th.  The Kansas City Match Play is one of the longest running championships in the area and has a long list of notable champions, including Tom Watson in 1964 and 1967. Phil Bartimus is the defending champion.

The Kansas City Junior Championship is the premier junior tournament in the Kansas City area.  This year’s championship will be conducted at Prairie Highlands on June 2nd and 3rd, and the event will identify the best junior golfers, both boys and girls, in the region.  The boys’ champion will receive an exemption into the 2015 Watson Challenge, under residency requirements. The defending KC Junior champions are Eric Pahls and India Gaume.

The 9th Watson Challenge will be conducted at Mission Hills Country Club on June 12th,13th & 14th.  Last year’s champion, Robert Streb, is in 2nd place in the PGA Tour FedEx Cup points standings at the time of this writing and has been a PGA Tour winner at The McGladrey Classic in October 2014. The Watson Challenge offers the strongest field of amateur and professional golfers in the Kansas City area.  Proceeds from The Watson Challenge benefit The First Tee of Greater Kansas City.

The Prairie Invitational, formerly The Women’s Amateur of Kansas City, is the region’s top event for both amateurs and professionals.  The 2015 event will be played at Staley Farms Golf Club on June 30th and July 1st.  The event was renamed The Prairie Invitational in 2014 with the intent to identify the Best Female Golfer in the Midwest, whether amateur or professional.  Catherine Dolan was the first Prairie Invitational Open champion with a two-under-par 142 total.

The Kansas City Amateur Championship will be held at Shoal Creek Golf Course on July 17th through July 19th.  The Kansas City Amateur is a three-day, 54-hole stroke play event aimed to determine the best amateur player in the Kansas City area.  PGA Tour player Gary Woodland is among the list of notable champions. Zac Dittmer is the reigning KC Amateur Champion.

StateLine Amateur Tour

The StateLine Amateur Tour is a great opportunity for amateurs in the Kansas City regional golf community to compete on some of the best courses in the area in an atmosphere similar to inside the ropes at a big-time tour event or national amateur championship.  All events are one day, 18-hole competitions.  The StateLine Amateur Tour has eleven events on the schedule featuring different divisions of play.  This year’s tour schedule is highlighted by events at Loch Lloyd Country Club, Blue Hills Country Club, The Nicklaus Club at Lionsgate, and Lake Quivira Country Club.

Kansas City Junior Tour

The Kansas City Junior Tour provides opportunities for varying levels of junior golfers.  Two flights separate the Kansas City Junior Tour – the Prep division and the Players division. Junior golfers ages 9-12 may compete in the Prep division, which plays nine holes at each of the events.  Junior golfers ages 13 and older may participate in the Players division, which plays eighteen holes at each event.  The Players division is divided into flights for boys/girls ages 13-15 and boys/girls ages 16 and over and boys varsity.  This year’s Tour Championship will be at Shadow Glen Golf Club.

The KCGA hopes all golfers in the Kansas City Metro will consider competing in a KCGA-sponsored event and support The First Tee and golf in the Kansas City area by attending The Watson Challenge as a spectator.