Mother Nature Ends Watson Challenge Early – Alex Springer’s Great Second Round Crowns Him Champion
Round 3 of the Watson Challenge has been cancelled due to excessive rain and unplayable course conditions. The Championship has been shortened to a 36 hole championship. After a great round two, Alex Springer has been crowned the 2019 Watson Challenge Champion with an eight-under, two day total of 136. Tom Watson and Andy Spencer finish tied for second with a two-day total of 138 (-6).
Congratulations to Alex Springer for earning his first Watson Challenge title. We look forward to next year’s event and hope the weather cooperates a little more. We hope to see everyone out at Blue Hills Country Club in 2020!
New Leader, Alex Springer, After Moving Day at Watson Challenge – Round 2 Recap
On moving day of the Watson Challenge, a new leader emerged after 36 holes of competition and after another lengthy weather delay. On top of battling the field, players were forced to endure another rain and lightning delay before the second round of the Watson Challenge could begin. 7:30 am starting times were pushed back until 9:45 am.
Alex Springer, Mackenzie Tour player and Central Missouri graduate, made a move in to first place with another great round of 68 (-4) for a total of 136 (-8). Springer started off strong with a birdie on Holes 3, 4 and 6 to find himself with a one shot lead over Tom Watson. Springer’s front nine ended with a bogey on Hole 9, but his back nine featured another three birdies and a solo bogey on Hole 13. Six birdies and two bogeys would be enough to put Springer’s name atop the leaderboard after moving day over second place Tom Watson and Andy Spencer.
Watson’s round featured three birdies through the first 12 holes and the only two blemishes came on the last two holes of the round. A bogey on Hole 17 and 18 would keep Watson from tying Springer as leader in the clubhouse. Spencer also had a few hiccups on the day to erase his five birdies and card a two-under round of 70 to put him tied for second at a 138 (-6) total score with Tom Watson.
The rest of the field sits at least five shots behind second place with Michael Letzig and Tanner Owen at a one-under, 143 total and tied for fourth place. Letzig shot a two-under par round of 70, after a slightly disappointing one-over, 73 on Round 1. Owen fought back after a round one score of 74 that featured a 9 on the Par-5, 12th hole. A three-under, 69, second round that saw four birdies, an eagle, a bogey, and a double would shoot Owen in to the top five.
Four players are tied for sixth with an even-par total score of 144. Clay Devers, Jackson Foth, Nicklaus Mason, and Park Ulrich all sit on the outside looking in.
Championship Sunday will surely bring some exciting golf and leaderboard changes as players vie for the title of Kansas City’s best golfer. Springer is battling for his first ever Watson Challenge in two appearances. Spencer is vying for his third Watson Challenge victory in a row. Watson is trying for his sixth Watson Challenge victory, and first since 2013. Round 3’s final pairing will tee off at 10:00 am with Alex Springer, Tom Watson, and Andy Spencer.
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For all professional pictures of the event, see the KCGA Facebook.
Watson’s 67 Shines Through the Rain – Round 1 Recap
In it’s 13th year, the Watson Challenge began with an unlikely turn of events that included a 5 and a half hour rain delay at the Nicklaus Club of Lionsgate. 7:30 am starting times turned in to 9:30 am and then to 1:30 pm after two separate storm delays that lasted a total of 5.5 hours with powerful winds and heavy rain.
Despite the unexpected start to the tournament, round one did not disappoint. Local media and spectators turned up at the Nicklaus Golf Club in Overland Park to see the best golfers compete in Kansas City at the new venue. Media officials snapped pictures and fans paraded around the course as the featured group of the day had some jaw-dropping performances.
Five-time champion, Tom Watson, two-time defending champion, Andy Spencer, and club professional, Robert Russell, created quite the following around the golf course. Leader in the clubhouse, Tom Watson, carded a five-under, 67. After making the turn at even par with two birdies and two bogeys, Watson went on to birdie four in a row and finish with a birdie on the Par-4, 18th. Andy Spencer finished tied for second with a round of 68, (-4), that included five birdies and one bogey. Local favorite Robert Russell started out hot with two birdies, but followed with a little hiccup on the Par-5, 6th hole. Russell fought back with three birdies to card an even-par round of 72.
Also tied for second place after Round 1 is Clayton Devers and Alex Springer with rounds of 68. Devers had a steady round that included only one bogey on the Par-3, 2nd hole and five birdies. Alex Springer’s round featured an eagle on the Par-5, 4th hole and followed it up with a birdie on Hole 6. With two bogeys on the day, Springer had a total of four birdies and the eagle to shoot four-under.
Despite the weather and course conditions, 11 players carded an under-par round. Notable names include two juniors: Nicklaus Mason (-2) and Davis Cooper (-1), Garret (-2) and Blake Allen (-1), and Blue Hills golf professional Sean Dougherty (-2).
Four players sit an even par: Tim Barry, Jackson Foth, and local favorites Park Ulrich, and Robert Russell.
Round two will kick off tomorrow at 7:30 AM and tee times will continue until 10:00 AM. The final pairing of round two will include Tom Watson, Alex Springer, and Andy Spencer. The KCGA and fellow fans of golf hope round two of the Watson Challenge will bring less rain and even better golf.
For live scoring, see here.