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GolfNew Wyandotte County Open champion Kyle Ritchey, right, is presented the championship trophy by Sunflower Hills master professional Jeff Johnson. .(Photo by Alan Hoskins)
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GolfPat Seber-Bradley wins record sixth women’s championship. (Photo by Alan Hoskins)
A pair of par-busting newcomers re-wrote the record book in the 37th annual Wyandotte County Open at Sunflower Hills over the weekend.
Kyle Ritchie broke the Sunflower Hills course record with a sizzling 7-under par 65 Saturday and then beat fast-finishing Mike Green on the third hole of a sudden death playoff Sunday after both had shattered the WyCo Open tournament record with 4-under 140’s. The first to ever break par for the 36-hole tournament, they broke the old record of 144 first set by Bob Chatterton in 1985 and later matched by Richard Laing in 1992 and Stan Wiehe last year.
Ritchie’s 65 bettered the old course record of 66 held by Rob Sedorcek and Robert Russell and came on a day the tournament had a record three players finishing under par in a single round. In addition to Ritchie’s 65, Green turned in a 68 and 2013 Bonner Springs graduate Tristan Abts a 2-under 70.
With a three-shot lead to start the final round, Ritchie stretched it to six strokes at the turn Sunday and looked on cruise control – until the pesky 187-yard 13th hole when he hit his tee shot in the water, chipped long on his third shot and three-putted for a triple bogey six. “I sure didn’t expect it to go in the water,” said Ritchie. “I went up an extra club. I really played pretty well but for one bad shot.”
His woes were further compounded by the fact that Green ran in a 50-footer from the fringe for a birdie, picking up four shots on the hole and then pulling even on No. 14 when Ritchie bogeyed. “I was pretty lucky making that 50-footer,” said Green, who had also gained a stroke when Ritchie bogeyed No. 14. “I really thought it was pretty much over and then I picked up six strokes in four holes.”
Ritchie did go back in front with a par on the tough No. 15 but gave it back when he hit his tee shot in the bunker on the 229-yard 16th. It stayed all even from there although both missed chances to take the lead. Ritchie missed a downhill 4-footer for birdie on No. 17 after Green had shanked his second shot almost to the tee box on No. 11 and needed a great third shot to save par. Both birdied No. 18, Ritchie from six feet, Green from two before Green missed a 12-foot birdie putt on the first playoff hole that would have won it.
Both had big drives on No. 3 but Green’s was just in the rough and it proved fatal. “I measured it from a tree with my rangefinder and then hit a 200-yard pitching wedge 43 yards over the green,” said Green. His third shot hit a tree and dropped straight down and Ritchie finished it off by chipping to within a foot for the tournament-clinching par.
Ritchie was flawless with his bogey free 65 on Saturday, posting birdies on the first two holes and three of the final four. “I hit a putt way too hard on No. 9 and it went right in the hole and then chipped in on No. 15 but my iron game was pretty solid,” said Ritchie.
A Memphis graduate where he played two years after Katrina had wiped out the golf program at Tulane, the 28-year-old Ritchie gave the pro tour a shot for about a year before deciding it was not for him. A graduate of the KU School of Law, he now practices in Kansas City.
Green, 25, meanwhile, is pondering a professional golf career. “I’ve played in some Web.com qualifying events.,” he said.
Seber-Bradley wins record sixth women’s WyCo title
Pat Seber-Bradley became the first woman to wins six WyCo championships Sunday with a 161 total that was five shots better than India Gaume, an up-and-coming eighth grader at Pembroke Hill. Donna Reid, a four-time champ, was third.
“It never gets old,” said Seber-Bradley, who opened with an 89 and a two-shot lead over Gaume on Saturday. “I never got in any trouble, no bunkers, no water. And I putted extremely well, 28 putts on Saturday and 27 on Sunday.” Two of them produced birdies, a 5-footer on No. 2 and a 10-footer on No. 8.
37th Wyandotte County Open
CHAMPIONSHIP – 1. Kyle Ritchie, 140 (won sudden playoff, third hole); 2. Mike Green, 140; 3. Stan Wiehe, 146; 4. (tie) Parker Miller, Reece Nigh, 147; 6. Tristan Abts, 149; 7. Jerry Reid, 154; 8. Tim Skorija, 155.
A – 1. Ritch Nigh*, 149; 2. Carter Likes, 149; 3. Steve Pope, 157; 4. Hal Taylor, 158; 5. (tie) Bob Chatterton, Dale Nash, Mark Browne, 159; 8. Tim Nick, 160.
B – 1. Mike McNellis, 158; 2. Brian Taylor, 160; 3. Roger DeLong, 162; 4. Jim Thompson, 163; 5. Doug Rohr, 166; 6. Stuart Hunt, 168; 7. Jim Walsh, Rick Egnatic, 170.
C – 1. Paul Baker, 162; 2. Dave Klein, 163; 3. Joe Yoakum, 165; 4. Bob McNellis, 168; 5. Jerry Lamb, 160; 6. Paul Palmer, 171; 7. Jerry Verbeck, 172; 8. Dan Maskil, 176.
D – 1. Tony Reed, 170; 2. Doug Winkelbauer, 174; 3. Mike Super, 175; 4. (tie) Jackson Likes, Tom Broderick, Tim Hinkle, 178; 7. Mike Klein, 180; 8. Chad Cowher, 181.
E – Zak Kolich*, 186; 2. Chris Sardou, 186; 3. Nathan Brown, 192; 4. Ted McClellan, 193; 5. Dan Ksaizek, 195; 6. Greg Schmidt, 196; 7. Danny Woolworth, 197; 8. Daniel Chaffin, 201.* - Won scorecard playoff.
A – 1. Pat Seber-Bradley, 171; 2. Indian Gaume, 176; 3. Donna Reid, 183;
B – 1. Donn a Nelson, 197; 2. Melba Gerber, 198; 3. Jane Lamb, 202.
SATURDAY – Kansas City’s longest putt – Chuck Vallejo. Closest to pin: Mike Super, No. 4; Tom Broderick, No. 8; Joe Yoakum, No. 13; Jim Walsh. Longest putt, No. 9: Pat Duckers. Long drive, No. 10 – Zak Kolich,
SUNDAY – Closest to pin: Mike Green, No. 4; Kevin Rome, No. 8; Jordan Anderson, No. 13; Dennis Baska, No. 16. Longest putt, No. 9, Tom Broderick; Long drive, Travis Somers, No. 10.