The Kansas City Match Play Championship presented by Granite Garage Floors Kansas City began on Friday afternoon. The tournament started with a stroke-play qualifying round where the top 32 golfers made the cut into the match play portion of the event. The round of 16 matches and Quarterfinal matches were played Saturday, followed by the Semifinal matches and Championship match on Sunday.
Curtis Yonke, a former professional golfer on PGA Tour Latin America, clinched his first amateur win since having his amateur status reinstated. Yonke shot 69 (-3) during Friday’s stroke play qualifying round, making him the #6 seed going into match play.
Yonke won his first match Friday afternoon against Quinn Earwood. After losing his early lead in the match, Yonke made a down-hill five-footer on 18 (his ninth hole) to win the hole. “When I made it, I feel like it gave me a lot of momentum,” Yonke said. He proceeded to win two of the next three holes, leading to his 3&2 victory.
On Saturday morning, Yonke won his match 6&5 against Jeff Mason and his Quarterfinal match against Rj Opliger 3&2.
Yonke played his Semifinal match against Friday’s Medalist, Kit Grove. Grove who made a hole-in-one during the qualifying round shot 67 (-5) on Friday. Yonke made early strides in the match and won 4&3.
Matthew Rau won his Semifinal match Sunday morning against Benjamin Pearson 3&2. Yonke and Rau went head-to-head in the Final match. After an unfortunate three-putt on the second hole, Yonke knew he needed to make his 8-footer for birdie on three, as Rau had an easy birdie. “When I made, I felt like it was crucial from keeping momentum away from him,” Yonke said.
Yonke certainly kept the momentum in his favor, he won holes 5, 6, and 7 before making the turn at 3 up. On the back nine, the match alternated from 2 up to 3 up before Yonke went 3 up on 16 to win the match.
“This is my first amateur win since getting my status back and it was really cool and a ton of fun. It was one of my goals this year and to achieve it this week, especially on Mother’s Day with my wife and girls with me, was really special. My wife is the reason I get to play a decent amount of golf, so this one goes out to her,” Yonke said, “My hope is that this is just the begging of a successful amateur career for me.”
Yonke’s win also gets him an exemption into the Watson Challenge on June 1-3 at Nicklaus Golf Club at Lionsgate.
View full results here >>
Final Four at the Kansas City Match Play
Four golfers will continue to the Semifinal matches on Sunday Morning at the Kansas City Match Play Championship.
Benjamin Pearson vs. Matthew Rau
Kit Grove vs. Curtis Yonke
Pearson won his morning match against Chance Rinkol 2&1, and his Quarterfinal match against Drew Carlson 4&2.
Rau won his morning match against Cam Wilste after 19 holes, and his Quarterfinal match against Joseph Kinny 3&2.
Grove, the qualifying round Medalist, won his morning match against Justin Wingerter 6&5, and his Quarterfinal match against Nathaniel Spencer 3&1.
Yoke, a former professional golfer on PGA Tour Latin America, won his morning match against Jeff Mason 6&5, and his Quarterfinal match against RJ Opliger 3&2.
The Semifinal matches will begin at 7:30 AM Sunday morning.
Pairings, live scoring, and results can be found here >>
Day 1 Recap
The Kansas City Match Play Championship Presented By Granite Garage Floors Kansas City began today at Swope Memorial Golf Course.
Grove Makes Hole-in-One and Earns Medalist Honors with Carlson
The Stroke Play Qualifying round took place on Friday morning at Swope Memorial Golf Course. The top 32 golfers advanced into the Match Play Bracket.
Kit Grove and Drew Carlson shared medalist honors after shooting five-under-par in Friday’s qualifying round. Grove made four birdies and a hole-in-one on the front nine. His ace, on the eighth hole, was followed by a birdie on the ninth. Grove made two birdies and two bogies on the back nine to shoot 67. Carlson made six birdies and one bogey on his round, including two sets of back-to-back birdies on holes 12 & 13 and 15 & 16.
2021 KC Match Play Champion, Doug Albers, is looking to add a second KC Match Play Title to his name after shooting 70 (-2).
The Round of 32 Matches began Friday afternoon.
#1 Seed Drew Carlson vs. #32 Seed Kris Casburn >> Carlson, who earned Medalist in Round 1, won his match 3&2.
#2 Seed Kit Grove vs. #31 Andrew Conrad >> Grove, who earned Medalist in Round 1, won his match 2&1.
#15 Seed Justin Wingerter vs. #18 Seed Connor MacGee >> Wingerter the 2018 KC Junior Champion and MacGee who just qualified to play in the Watson Challenge went head-to-head this afternoon, Wingerter won 2&1.
#4 Seed Lucas Larson vs. #29 Seed Matthew Rau >> A fun match to track, Larson and Rau went back and forth throughout the afternoon. Eventually, Rau won 1 up.