Groom Defends Title, Bultman Claims First Junior Match Play Win

Swope Memorial Golf Course – Kansas City, MO

The 2018 Boys/Senior Match Play Championship began on Friday, September 28th at Swope Memorial Golf Course with a morning 18-hole stroke play qualifying round for the Senior division. 27 players vied for 16 spots to get in to match play.

The top qualifying score belonged to David Kirschbaum with an even par, 72. Billy Mandina claimed the last qualifying spot for match play with an 80.

The Juniors qualified later Friday afternoon in a 9-hole stroke play round with 17 players vying for 16 spots. Rees Conder and Joe Bultman tied for the first seed with three-under, 33’s. Cole Fischman claimed the last qualifying spot with a 44.

In the Senior’s Round of 16, the higher seed took 5 out of the 8 matches. 1 seed David Kirschbaum defeated Billy Mandina 1 up. The 13 seed John Scarsella defeated 4 seed John Samples 3 and 2 while the 2 seed Steve Groom needed 19 holes to overtake 15 seed Pete Robbins.

The Round of 16 for the Juniors took place Saturday morning alongside the Senior’s Quarterfinals. The higher seed defeated the lower seed in only 3 out of the 8 matches played. 1 seed Joe Bultman took care of business winning his first round match over Cole Fischman. 6 seed Liam Coughlin defeated 11 seed Cole Elling 2 and 1 while 2 seed Rees Conder defeated 15 seed Daniel Duffin 2 up.

Unlike the Round of 16, 3 out of the four higher seeds took the win in the Senior Quarterfinals. Mark Worthey defeated John Scarsella 1 up and Steve Groom took care of Gregory Goode 2 and 1. Mark Addington got it done in 19 holes over Tom Leonard. 1 seed David Kirschbaum was taken out by 8 seed Chris Wallace in a great match that went to 19 holes.

In the Junior Quarterfinals, the higher seed won three out of the four matches. 6 seed Liam Coughlin overtook Daniel Gutgesell in a very competitive, 1-up match. 12 seed Nicklaus Mason defeated 13 seed Blake Muller 4 and 3 while 1 seed Joe Bultman defeated 9 seed Calvin Dillon 4 and 2. 2 seed Rees Conder was beaten by 10 seed Michael Winslow 6 and 5.

The Senior semifinals were set and played Saturday afternoon between Mark Worthey (5) vs Chris Wallace (8) and Steve Groom (2) vs Mark Addington (3). The first semifinal match between Mark Worthey and Chris Wallace saw Wallace going 3 up through 6 with Worthey making a birdie on the Par-5, 9th to cut the lead to 2. Worthey would fight back and cut Wallace’s lead to one after the Par-5, 12th hole, but Wallace would win the next three holes to clinch the match 4 and 3.

In the second semifinal match with Steve Groom and Mark Addington, Groom would get off to a hot start going 5 up through 8 holes. Addington would try to claw his way back, cutting the lead to 3 through 12 holes, but the lead would be too much to overcome and Groom secured his place in the Senior final with a 3 and 2 win.

The Junior semifinal and Senior final took place Sunday morning at Swope Memorial. The first semifinal Boys match between Joe Bultman and Nicklaus Mason saw Bultman go one up after the first hole with a par. Mason answered back with a birdie on the third hole of the match. 6 out of the next 7 holes would be halved and saw Bultman with a 2 up lead heading to the Par-4, 15th hole. Bultman needed a clutch birdie putt on the Par-5, 17th hole to clinch his spot in the Junior finals.

The second semifinal between Michael Winslow and Liam Coughlin was a very competitive and tight semifinal match. Coughlin quickly went two up through the first four holes. Winslow was able to get one back with a birdie on the Par-5, 9th hole. The two players fought back and worth through out the back nine. Winslow’s big break came when he drove the green on the Par-4, 15th hole. A birdie on the 15th and a birdie on the Par-5, 17th would get the match to all square heading to 18. Winslow would need three shots to get to the green after a wayward tee shot, while Coughlin would reach in two. Coughlin drained his birdie putt for 35 feet on the 18th green to defeat Michael Winslow and secure his ticket to face Bultman in the finals.

The Senior finals match between Chris Wallace and Steve Groom got off to a surprising start with Groom quickly going down three after losing the first three holes. Groom bounced back quickly, winning three out of the next four holes and found himself one up making the turn with an eagle on the Par-5, 9th. Groom’s momentum continued throughout the back nine, winning the 10th hole and 12th hole with yet another eagle. Wallace won the Par-3, 13th hole trying to cut Groom’s deficit to 2 up. Groom would win the 14th hole and after almost driving the green on the Par-4, 15th, Groom would make a great birdie putt to claim the 2018 KC Senior Match Play Championship and defend his 2017 title.

The Juniors final took place Sunday afternoon at Swope Memorial between 1 seed Joe Bultman and 6 seed Liam Coughlin. Bultman got out to an early lead winning the first two holes with back to back birdies. Coughlin got the match back to all square after winning holes 5 and 6. Coughlin stumbled a little on the 9th and 10th hole to allow Bultman another two up lead. After a great drive and chip at the Par-4, 15th, Coughlin made a clutch birdie putt to cut the lead to 1. The match stood Bultman 1 up heading in to the par-5, 17th. Coughlin was forced to lay up after hitting his drive into the right rough. Bultman’s second shot from the fairway came up ten feet short of the green. With Coughlin laying three at the edge of the green, Bultman knew he needed a good chip to have a good chance for birdie. Who needs a birdie, when you can chip in for the eagle and the win? Bultman holed his chip shot from off the green to claim his first KC Junior Match Play title.

It was a great tournament for both the Senior and Junior division. The talent we have here in Kansas City is only getting better and better. Congratulations to both Joe Bultman and Steve Groom on their championship titles as well as Liam Coughlin and Chris Wallace for a hard fought tournament and runner up title. Thank you to all of our participants in this year’s championship as well as all of our volunteers who help us do what we do each and every tournament.

A full field of results can be seen here. Check out our social media pages for pictures of the champions and live video of each division’s win.