Bender, Groom Claim Match Play Championship Victories

The Junior and Senior Match Play Championships were held at Swope Memorial Golf Course, October 13-15. Stroke play qualifying as well as the first round of matches in the Senior bracket took place on Friday.

Fourteen players competed for eight spots in the Junior Match Play qualifying round which was nine holes that started on Friday afternoon. One-over par, 37, was the qualifying score to advance to match play. Garrett Clark was the one-seed after shooting one-under, 35.

In the senior qualifying round, Bob Bezek defeated Mark Worthey in a playoff for the last spot in the Senior Championship. In the first round of the Senior Match Play, Jay Gregory defeated Bob Bezek 3&2. Ed Brown defeated Pete Robbins in 19 holes. Ritch Nigh, Charlie Schorgl, Steve Groom, Mark Addington, & Jim Doyle were all victorious in their first-round matches as well.

Saturday morning rounds were quarterfinal matches for both the Junior and Senior Match Play Championships. Justin Wingerter took down Garrett Clark, winning the match one-up in the junior bracket. Will Harding defeated Liam Coughlin and Jackson Likes took down Thomas Luger to move on to the semifinals on Saturday afternoon. The quarterfinal match between the two-seed, Joe Bultman and the seven-seed, Ryan Bender provided lots of excitement Saturday morning. Bultman was five-under par through thirteen holes and Bender was four-under through fourteen holes. Bender won the 18th hole with a par to send the match into extra holes. Bender defeated Bultman in 19 holes to advance.

In the Senior bracket, Ed Brown took down the one-seeded, Jay Gregory, Saturday morning, by a score of 5&3. Also advancing to the afternoon semifinal was Ritch Nigh, Steve Groom, and Mark Addington.

Will Harding defeated Justin Wingerter in the Junior Match Play semifinal two-up. Ryan Bender also won his semifinal match 3&1 against Jackson Likes.

Ed Brown won his match against Ritch Nigh in the first Senior semifinal. Steve Groom defeated Mark Addington 3&2.

The Championship matches were set for Sunday morning. Ryan Bender and Will Harding faced off against each other for the Junior Match Play Championship. Steve Groom and Ed Brown matched up for the Senior Match Play Championship.

Bender and Harding were AS after the front nine. Bender birdied holes 12 and 13, taking a two-up lead on Harding heading into the closing holes. Harding cut the deficit to only one-down after making birdie on hole sixteen. Bender closed the match with a birdie on the 17th hole.

Steve Groom made the turn three-under par against Ed Brown and found himself five-up. After making double bogey on hole ten, Groom played the next three holes in two under par to defeat Ed Brown 6&5.

Congratulations to our champions, Ryan Bender and Steve Groom on their outstanding play! We would also like to thank the staff at Swope Memorial Golf Course, our volunteers at the KCGA, and all players who participated in the event.