Winslow Wins The Watson Challenge by Five Shots

Round 3 Results >>

The final round of the competitive Watson Challenge, held at Mission Hills Country Club, concluded on Saturday afternoon. Joseph Winslow emerged as the champion, showcasing his exceptional skills and winning the event by five shots over Ben Hadden. 

Winslow started the day one shot back from Julian Taylor, starting strong on his front nine, carding three birdies and an eagle. “The greens this week were unbelievable. The first two days, I putted ok but felt like I was due for a really good putting round, and it happened,” Winslow said during the awards ceremony. Winslow finished his final round three-under. He shot 70-67-67 (-6). His Challenge win also earns him an exemption into next year’s AdventHealth Championship Korn Ferry Tour event. 

Ben Hadden, the only other player to shoot under par, scored 72-67-70 (-1) for the three-day tournament. His journey in this event was particularly touching, as he caddied for his dad a decade ago. Now, he stands as the runner-up in the same event, finishing his round with an up and down to save par and secure the solo second place. 

Jackson Foth was the Watson Challenge Amateur Champion. He placed solo fifth place, carding 69-71-71 (+1).

Joseph Winslow, the newly crowned champion of the Watson Challenge, is now set to take on the PGA Tour Americas. The tour consists of 10 events over 12 weeks, starting in a week and a half.

We extend our heartfelt gratitude to Mission Hills Country Club for their exceptional hospitality and for hosting this event. Their contribution has been instrumental in making this Watson Challenge a success.

Pairing, Live Scoring, and Results can be found here >>

Taylor Leads After Round Two at the Watson Challenge

Round 2 Results >>

The second round of the Watson Challenge began Friday morning at Mission Hills Country Club. Julian Taylor, the current frontrunner, wrapped up his round with a birdie on 18, shooting an impressive 67 (-3). “Putting was the best part of my game today,” Taylor said, “I drove the ball really poorly.” Taylor made eight birdies in his second round and hopes to keep that hot streak going into the final round. 

Joseph Winslow, who shot 67 (-3), is in second place, one stroke ahead of Ben Hadden. Winslow carded seven birdies in his second round, which helped to push him to second place. “My mental game was the best part of my game today. I stayed focused and patient,” Winslow said, walking off the eighteenth green. He is looking forward to the final round tomorrow. 

Ben Hadden made a remarkable leap from 10th to 3rd place after his second round. His bogey-free back nine, coupled with four birdies, propelled him to a 67 (-3) score, securing him a solo third place. Hadden’s performance is a testament to his skill and determination, and he’s definitely one to watch in the final round. 

Jackson Froth and Davis Cooper are tied for fourth at even par. They are still in excellent standing to earn the title of best golfer in Kansas City. 

Will King scored a 66 (-4), the best round of the day. 

The final round of the Challenge will begin at 8:00 a.m. Saturday. Tom Watson will attend the award ceremony following the round.

Pairings, Live Scoring, and Results can be found here >>

The 2024 Watson Challenge is Underway

The highly anticipated Watson Challenge teed off Thursday morning at Mission Hills Country Club. The field, comprising 51 top-notch golfers, is vying to claim the title of the best golfer in Kansas City. 

Setting the pace at an impressive two-under-par, Davis Cooper and Charlie Hillier. Cooper, the 2022 Challenge Champion, is determined to reclaim his title, while Hillier, with a solid performance on the front nine, is looking to make his mark in the tournament.

Cooper started strong, making birdie the first hole. The most challenging part of his round today was judging the wind. Cooper and his caddying worked to judge the wind to determine what type of shots he needed to hit. Dealing with the wind prevented him from hitting the ball as well as he would have liked; however, he was still happy with his final score. 

Hillier carded a thirty-two on the front nine, three-under-par. He stayed consistent even with the tricky pin locations on the course today. Leading into the second round, “I am looking forward to getting the putter going,” Hillier said. The difficult pin locations did not cause him to be too unhappy with his putting after his first round. 

Andy Spencer, Julian Taylor, and Jackson Foth shot 69 (-1) to finish tied after their first round. They are both looking forward to their second round, continuing to strike the ball well and miss in the right places. 

Players to watch going into Friday’s round include Joseph Winslow, who shot 70 (E). Connor Knabe, Michael McGee, and Alex Springer are all tied for fifth place after shooting 71 (+1). Six players tied for tenth at two-under. 

Round two begins at 8:00 AM Friday.

Results >>

Watson Challenge Field Announced

The Watson Challenge will be held at Mission Hills Country Club from June 6 to 8, 2024. Tom Watson’s vision for the Watson Challenge began in 2007 to “Determine the best golfer in Kansas City.” The event raises funds for The First Tee of Kansas City, benefitting our area children.

Spectator Information: Off-site parking and shuttle will be located at Pembroke Hill High School. Tickets are available at the gate for a suggested donation of $25 to the First Tee of Kansas City. Media will be allowed entry with valid employer credentials.

Past Champions

2024 Field

Wade Binfield, Professional
Brookridge Golf and Fitness
Collegiate All-American, Turned Pro in 2010, 2015-2018 PGA Tour Canada, 2019-2021 & 2023 Korn Ferry Tour Member.

Ed Brown, Amateur
Shamrock Hills Golf Club
2021 & 2023 KC Sernior Amateur Champion, 2023 KC Sernior Match Play Champion, 2019, 2021, & 2023 Missouri Mid-Amateur (Senior) Champion, 2021 Open Dicision Club Champion at Swope Memorial, 2011 Open Division Club Champion at Shamrock Hills, 2019 Senior Club Champion at Shamrock Hills.

Bret Burgmeier, Professional
Wolf Creek Golf Club
Shot 63 in a Midwest Section PGA event.

Kyle Capps, Professional
Hallbrook Country Club

Drew Carlson, Amateur
Milburn Country Club
Qualified for The Watson Challenge in 2019, 2022, & 2024, 2022 KC Match Play Finalist, 2023 Kansas Amateur Quarterfinalist, Milburn Country Club – Club Champion, Winner – Falcon Wealth Advisor Tour Championship, 2024 Kanza Cup Winner

Maxence Catherine, Amateur
UMKC Men’s Golf Alumni
Three-time 2nd Team All-Conference, Freshman of the Year at UMKC, Three-time All-American Scholar.

Davis Cooper, Professional
Nicklaus Golf Club at Lionsgate
2022 Watson Challenge Champion, 2021 Windon Memorial Champion

Wylie Curtis, Amateur
Shawnee Mission East High School
2022 Midwest Junior Champion, 2023 Team State Champion.

Gregory Diederich, Amateur
The National Golf Club of Kansas City
2022 Club Champion at The National Golf Club of Kansas City.

Calvin Dillon, Amateur
University of Central Missouri
2020 Missouri Junior Amateur Champion, 2019 KC Junior Match Play Champion, 2023 NCIS Championship Runner-Up, 2023 & 2024 GCAA All-American Scholar, 2022 KC Amateur Runner-Up. This is Calvin’s third Watson Challenge appearance.

Tyler Docking,
2024 Runner-Up KC Match Play

Sean Dougherty, Professional
Golf TRK
2011 & 2015 PGA Championship Participant, 2015 PGA Cup Team Member.

Alex Downing, Amateur
Shamrock Hills Golf Club
2x Academic All-American, 3x Falcon Wealth Advisor Tour Player of the Year, 2022 Kansas Amateur Runner-up, 2 Career Hole-in-Ones – Both on Par 4s

Tyler Dunn, Professional
Blue Hills Country Club
Third Place at 2009 Watson Challenge, 2014 Midwest Section PGA Player of the Year & Assistant Player of the Year, 2020 Midwest Section Assistant Player of the Year, 2015 & 2018 PGA Professional National Championship Participant.

Ryan Eckroat, Professional
Ironhorse Golf Course
2011 & 2012 Member of the Southwest PGA Gibson Cup, 2013 Member of the Southwest PGA Goldwater Cup, 2017 Champion of the Northern California PGA Section, Qualified for the Watson Challenge 2020-2023.

Ryne Fisher, Amateur
Blue Hills Country Club
2x Kansas City Amateur Champion, 2x Kansas City Masters Champion, 1x Kansas City Match Play Champion

Jackson Foth, Amateur
Lake Quivira Country Club
2018 KC Match Play Champion, 2018 Pine to Palm Champion, 2013 Heart of America Four-Ball Champion, and three Watson Challenge Top 10s. This is Jackson’s seventh Watson Challenge appearance.

Ben Hadden, Professional
Shawnee Golf and Country Club
2021 PGA Tour Canada Member, 3x United Airlines Pro-Am Champion, Salina Country Club Record Holder at 60 (-11), 2019 NAIA All-American

Austin Hardison, Professional
Excelsior Springs Golf Course
2018, 2020, 2021 Midwest Section PGA Assistant Champion, 2023 Midwest Section PGA Professional Champion. This is Austin’s fourth Watson Challenge appearance.

Andrew Hatten, Amateur
Blue Hills Country Club
Two-time Missouri 4-Ball Champion, 2007 Missouri Mid-Amateur Runner-Up. This is Andrew’s third Watson Challenge.

Charlie Hillier
Wolf Creek Golf Club
2023 Brazil Open Champion, 2023 Top 5 Latino America 2024 Korn Ferry Tour Member, University of Kansas 2015-2019

Harry Hillier, Professional
Wolf Creek Golf Club/Kansas University
2022 Nebraska Open Champion, 2024 Race to Tieke Champion, 12th Place in 2023 New Zealand Open, Current Member of the PGA Tour Americas

Alex Hogan, Amateur
Blue Hills Country Club, Rockhurst High School
2023 KC Junior Champion

Austin Jarchow, Professional
Shamrock Hills Golf Club
University of Central Missouri Golf Alumni, High School Golf at Lees Summit West, 2-time Qualifier for Professional National Championship.

Will King, Amateur
Kansas University
2023 NCAA Division I Qualifier, 2023 Gopher Invitational Champion, 2024 All-Big 12 Tournament Team, Finished tied for eighth at 2024 Big 12 Championship. This is Will’s second Watson Challenge.

Connor Knabe, Amateur
Former K-Sate Men’s Golf Team
This is Connor’s sixth Watson Challenge.

Michael Letzig, Professional
The Club at Porto Cima
Missouri Amateur Champion, 15 years as a professional Golfer, and five years on the PGA Tour. This is Michael’s seventh Watson Challenge.

Henry Mayor
Mission Hills Country Club/Rockhurst High School
2021-2023 Mission Hills Country Club Junior Club Champion, 2023 Hurrican Junior Tour Fall Classic Champion in Chicago.

Ian McCrary, Amateur
Kansas State University
Member of the Kansas State Men’s Golf Team. This is Ian’s second Watson Challenge.

Michael McGee, Amateur
Indiana University
2023 US Mid-Amateur Qualifier

Bryan Norton, Amateur
Mission Hills Country Club
Three-time Kansas Senior Amateur Champion.

Bryson Oots, Amateur
William Jewell College
State Champion 2022, Kenneth Smith Award Winner, 2-time NCAA Division II Champion, and Individual Selection for the Division II Regional Tournament.

Sam Parrott, Amateur
Central Links Golf
2018 DII GCAA All-American, 2018 GCAA All Region, 2019 Holiday Inn Express Classic Champion, 2021 KC Am Champion, 2021 CLG Player of the Year. This is Sam’s fifth Watson Challenge appearance.

Jared Paul, Professional
Southwestern College
One College and two Professional victories. This is Jared’s third Watson Challenge appearance.

Ben Pearson, Amateur
Falcon Ridge Golf Club
Third Place in 2023 Kansas Mid-Amateur, Second Place in 2022 Kansas Mid-Amateur, 2023 KC Four-Ball Champion, Second Place in 2023 Hear of America, Semi-Finalist in 2023 KC Match Play. This is Ben’s second Watson Challenge appearance.

Chance Rinkol, Amateur
University of Iowa
AJGA Joplin Junior Champion, 2023 Midwest PGA Section Junior Golf Student of the Year, and Founder of Red Bags Shootout.

Robert Russell, PGA
Nickalaus Golf Club at Lionsgate
2023 Watson Challenge Champion

Andy Spencer, Professional
Wolf Creek Golf Club/University of Kansas
Status on the Challenge Tour, Three-time Watson Challenge Champion, having won in 2017, 2018, and 2021.

Alex Springer, Amateur
Sycamore Ridge Golf Course
2019 Watson Challenge Champion. Alex will make his seventh appearance at the Watson Challenge.

Tyler Strong, Amateur
Praire Highland Golf Course
2023 Kansas Junior Amateur Champion, 2023 Junior Player of the Year, Committed to K-State Golf in the Fall.

Julian Taylor, Professional
Tiffany Greens Golf Course
3-time All-American, 14 collegiate wins, NAIA Golfstat Cup winner. This is Julian’s second Watson Challenge Appearance.

Park Ulrich, Amateur
Nicklaus Golf Club at Lionsgate

Zach VanDolah, Amateur
Tiffany Greens Golf Club
2023 Kansas Player of the Year, 2022 & 2023 Kansas City Player of the Year, 2023 Kansas City Amateur Champion, 2022 Kansas Mid-Amateur Champion, 2022 Kansas City Match Play Champion. Zach will be playing in his fifth Watson Challenge.

Brad Volker, Professional
The Nicklaus Club at Lionsgate
2018 Midwest Section Player Development Award Winner. This is Brad’s sixth Watson Challenge.

Kevin Ward, Professional
The Golf Stable/Mission Hills Country Club/Wolf Creek Golf Club
Founder of The Golf Stable, 2023 Midwest Section PGA Teacher of the Year, Golf Digest Top in the State, 2004 “Show Me, Sunflower” Champion, 2004 Kansas Golfer Summer Four-Ball Finalist

Michael Winslow, Amateur
Wichita State University
2024 AAC All-Conference, 2018 Kansas Junior Amateur Champion, 2018 5A State Champion, Runner-Up in 2024 Kansas Amateur, Runner-Up in 2024 Missouri Amateur.

Joseph Winslow, Professional
Wolf Creek Golf Club
Tied for Fourth in PGA TOUR Americas Brazil Open, Winner – PGA TOUR China Yantai Championship, 3x Kansas High School State Champion

Heeil Yang, Professional
Member of the Korean Professional Golfers Association.

Two additional golfers will earn their spot in the Watson Challenge Field after playing the Watson Challenge Junior Qualifier on Friday, May 31st. Full results from that event can be found here >>

CLG Announces Future Sites For Watson Challenge


Lenexa, Kansas — Central Links Golf announces two future sites for the Watson Challenge. The event will be played at The Nicklaus Golf Club at Lionsgate in June 2023 and at Mission Hills Country Club in June 2024.

“We’re excited to bring the Watson Challenge back to Lionsgate and Mission Hills. They are two very different, but excellent venues for the event. Both courses will do an outstanding job of identifying the best player in the Kansas City area.” – Tournament Director, Doug Habel

The Watson Challenge is an annual 54-hole golf championship hosted by Tom Watson. The event is held “To Determine the Best Golfer in the Greater Kansas City Golf Community.” The event has a 50-golfer field, consisting of the top PGA Club Professionals from the Midwest Section PGA, and the top amateurs living in the greater Kansas City golf community.

The 2022 Watson Challenge | at Indian Hills Country Club

For Immediate Release

Mission Hills, Kansas – The Watson Challenge, hosted by namesake Tom Watson, is set to take place Thursday, June 2 through Saturday, June 4 at Indian Hills Country Club. The Watson Challenge offers the strongest field of amateur and professional golfers in the Kansas City area.

The Watson Challenge is an annual 54-hole golf championship held “To Determine the Best Golfer in the Greater Kansas City Golf Community.” The event has a 50-golfer field, consisting of the top PGA Club Professionals from the Midwest Section PGA, and the top amateurs living in the greater Kansas City golf community.

Players competing include Tom Watson, 2019 Watson Challenge Champion, Alex Springer, Indian Hills Country Club Director of Golf, Mike Ricket, and for the first time in the Challenge’s 15-year-history, a woman will be in the field. Gianna Augustine, PGA Teaching Professional at the Overland Park Golf Division was awarded an invitation to the event.

After many years of renting the land that is currently Kansas City Country Club, the 130 acres that are now home to Indian Hills Country Club were developed by legendary golf course designer, A.W. Tillinghast. Indian Hills has previously hosted the 2001 U.S. Girls’ Junior Championship, the 2012 Watson Challenge, and more than 50 USGA and State Amateur qualifying events. The challenging 6554 yards, par 70 championship course will force golfers in the field to hit tee shots into narrow landing zones and compete on the course that Tillinghast called “one of the greatest opportunities I have ever had for creating a notable golf course.”

The event will raise funds for the First Tee of Kansas City. Tickets are available at the door and a $25 donation to the First Tee is suggested. Parking and shuttles are available at Prairie Elementary.

For tournament information, pairings, and players click here >>

Round 1 Pairings >>

Media Contact:
Baile Stephenson
(913) 649-5242 x4

Watson Challenge Begins Thursday

For Immediate Release

PARKVILLE, MO – The Watson Challenge, hosted by Tom Watson, is set to take place Thursday-Saturday at the National Golf Club of Kansas City. After the COVID-19 Pandemic prevented the tournament from being played last year, 49 local amateurs and professionals will play in this year’s event. 

All eyes will be on Tom Watson, tournament namesake, as he tries to win his sixth championship. Watson tees off at 8:30 AM Thursday morning.

Another player to watch is the 2019 Watson Challenge Champion, Alex Springer. Springer recently played in the AdventHealth Championship at Blue Hills Country Club, placing T30 in the Korn Ferry Tour event. Other past Watson Challenge Champions playing in this year’s tournament include Andy Spencer and Rob Wilkin.

Lake Quivira Head Golf Professional, Chris Mabry and 2020 Central Links Golf Player of the Year, Park Ulrich are both players to watch. Ulrich dominated in the 2020 Central Links Golf tournament season, winning the Kansas Amateur, Heart of America Four-Ball, and Mid-Amateur Team Championship. Both Mabry and Ulrich will be aiming for their first Watson Challenge victory.

Nic Ingram, Andrew Rumbaugh, Frank Booth, Tim Barry and Cole Elling are home course favorites representing the National Golf Club.

Tournament Pairings & Starting Times can be found on the tournament website here >>

The event is not open to the public.

Tournament Director contact: Doug Habel | (913) 649-5242 x1