McFadden, Dawson reign in 38th WyCo senior golf tourney

Don Dawson, left, took low net honors, Ed McFadden the overall championship in the 38th annual WyCo Senior Championship at Sunflower Hills Friday. (Photo by Alan Hoskins)

by Alan Hoskins
Special to Wyandotte Daily

Big finishes earned Ed McFadden and Don Dawson top honors in the 38th annual Wyandotte County Senior Golf Tournament at Sunflower Hills Friday.

McFadden finished the final seven holes with three birdies for a 2-under par 70 to win the overall championship; Dawson was one just one over with the putter the final six holes to take net honors with a 59.

The overall championship was the second for McFadden, who also won in 2015, and came in dramatic fashion – a scrambling birdie on his final hole to edge Jerry Reid. Finishing on the par 5 second hole, McFadden hit his drive in trees on the right, found a tree on the second shot and then lobbed a 54-degree wedge 50 yards over trees and holed a 12-foot putt.

“I putted real well; my putter saved me,” said McFadden, who had five birdies. Two over par through nine holes, McFadden bogeyed three of the next four holes (Nos. 12, 13 and 15). Another scrambling birdie at No. 14 helped ease the pain. “I was in trees 120 yards out and hit a 9-iron over the trees to 10 feet. But it could have been a bogey.”

McFadden’s other birdies came at No. 5, a 115-yard wedge to 10 feet; No. 11, where he two-putted the par 5; and No.18, where he hit a wedge shot from the rough over a sand bunker to within a foot.

A 1972 graduate of Bishop Ward, the 66-year-old McFadden has played Sunflower Hills almost from its opening in 1977.

“My cousin, Bill Lindquist, was instrumental in getting Sunflower built,” he said. In sales with Jay Wolfe Auto for more than 30 years, he’s currently with Jay Wolfe Toyota near the airport.

Dawson’s win was not only his first senior win, it was his first win in any tournament. “I used to play in the ’90’s but started back this year,” said Dawson, a 30-plus year employee at KU Medical Center. “I made time,” he said of his return to the game.

His round of 86 was highlighted by a pair of back-to back birdies, knocking in a 12-foot putt on the par 5 17th hole and a 4-footer on the par 4 18th.

“My putter got hot,” Dawson said. “I played a lot better the last nine. I three-putted a lot on the first nine but was only one over the last six holes.”

Bob Stephan, 87, and Jerry Reid, 71, were each one stroke off their age in the closest to age competition.

38th WyCo Senior Golf Championship

Low gross champion, Ed McFadden, 70; Low net champion, Don Dawson, 59
Senior kids (55 to-61) – Low gross: 1. Todd Milberger, 72; 2. Mike McNellis, 73; 3. Bob McNellis, 79; 4. Roger Dill, 83. Low net: 1. Chris Faddis, 69; 2. Brad Burton, 70; 3. Daniel Burgess, 72; 4. Jeff Baker, 73.

Freshmen (62-66) – Low gross: 1. Mike Moore, 73; 2. Jim Padelli, 79; 3. Ray Loya, 82; 4. Bill Campbell, 83. Low net: 1. Scott Ramsey, 68; 2. Jay Sutera, 70; 3. Mike Super, 71; Craig McKinley, 72.

Sophomore (67-68) – Low gross: 1. Rick Egnatic, 76; 2. Marcus Allen, 80; 3. Greg Loethen, 81; 4. Randy Kancel, 83. Low net: 1. Tony Kovach, 68; 2. (tie) Jim Wolf, David Pierce, Tim Cavlovic, 69.

Juniors 69-71) – Low gross: 1. Rick Richardson, 78; 2. (tie) Bob Chatterton, Ray Giesler, 81; 4. Jim Orth, 88. Low net: 1. Kevin Johnson, 67; 2. Dan Kalazek, 71: 3. (tie) Don McCann, Frank Moss, 73.

Adults (72-74) – Low gross: 1. Jerry Reid, 71; 2. (tie) Bob Janesko, Bill Toepfer, 78; 4. Steve Burke, 79. Low net – Gary Burgess, 63; 2. Robert Ulmer, 66; 3. Carl Roach, 67; 4 (tie) Roger DeLong, Craig Carbery, 70.

Seniors (75 and over) – Low gross: 1. Dave Klein, 80; 2. Phil Stines, 86; 3. Paul Palmer, 87; 4. Dane Manis, 88. Low net – 1. Everett Marmon, 66; 2. (tie) Bob Stephan, Ron Favrow, 69; 4. John Smarekar, 70.

Proximity prizes
Closest to pin: Paul Palmer, No. 4; Ted McClellan, No. 8; Tim Cavlovic, No. 13; Bob McNellis, No. 16. Closest pin (second shot): Bill Campbell, No. 10; Gary Burgess, No. 18. Longest putt, Tom Butler, No. 18.

Community meeting scheduled today on golf course

A community meeting is scheduled on Sunflower Hills Golf Course at 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday, May 11.

The meeting will be about the future of the clubhouse. The public may comment about Sunflower Hills.

The meeting will be at the George Meyn Center, 126th and State, Wyandotte County Park, Bonner Springs.

KCKCC’s all-Kansas golf team qualifies for national tourney

The 2021 KCKCC golf team headed for next week’s NJCAA Division I national tournament is made up of, from left, Keegan Ellington, Carson Towey, Mark Towey, Blake Mullen, Colby Unruh, Dylan Freund and Jacob Hall. (KCKCC photo)

by Alan Hoskins, KCKCC sports information

Playing in the toughest NJCAA Division I golf conference has some benefits – for Kansas City Kansas Community College, a berth in the 2021 national tournament.

Six of the 20 teams in the national will come out of the region – Jayhawk members Hutchinson, Garden City, Dodge City and KCKCC and two Iowa powers, Indian Hills and Iowa Western.

The national will be played on The Rawls, the home course of Texas Tech University in Lubbock, Texas. Practice rounds are scheduled for Saturday and Sunday with the 72-hole stroke play tourney to be held Monday through Thursday, May 9-12.

The Blue Devil squad will be made entirely by Kansas players, sophomores Blake Mullen of Olathe West, Mark Towey of Bishop Carroll and Dylan Freund of Cheney and two freshmen, Colby Unruh of Overland Park and Carson Towey, younger brother of Mark.

In his 21 years of coaching, Gary Shrader has taken 10 teams to the national tournament. And it’s a good bet the Blue Devils will be the most followed team in the tourney.

“The last time we were at the national tournament in Foley, Ala., the keynote speaker asked if any of the schools had all their players living in their state,” Shrader said. “We were the only ones.”

In all likelihood the Blue Devils are doing it again with their all-Kansas squad because of the heavy influx of international players on the other national qualifiers.

“We’ve had a great following all season with parents and grandparents at our meets, something other teams don’t have,” Shrader said. “It’s kind of refreshing.”

The Blue Devils earned a berth in the national by beating out Barton County for sixth place in the district tournament played at Crestview in Wichita. Hutchinson nipped Indian Hills by one stroke for the district championship followed by Iowa Western, Garden City, Dodge City and KCKCC, which edged Barton County by five shots.

Mullen, who won two tournaments early in the season, led KCKCC, finishing 18th (225) followed by Carson Towey, 31st (232); Unruh, 34th (235); Mark Towey, 38th (238); and Freund, 40th (240).

“We just got a little better every tournament with some of our most competitive rounds in the district,” Shrader said. “We beat some good teams and were probably about a half a stroke a round from having a real good season. We’re real happy to have a chance to play in the national, especially with Kansas kids reaching that level. Although we’ve had some ups and downs, it’s been a good year. The kids have been very good ambassadors for the college.”