Mackenzie Thayer holds lead at KWGA state




Garden City golfer Mackenzie Thayer shot a second round even-par 72 Wednesday to post a 36-hole total of 147 to own a one-shot lead over Gianna Misenhelter of Overland Park in the Kansas Women's Golf Association State Amateur being played at Colbert Hills Golf Course in Manhattan.

Thayer, who won the Class 6A state individual championship and led the Lady Buffs to a runner-up team finish in 2011, will take that one-shot advantage into today's final round.

She, Misenhelter and Audrey Meisch of Wichita, who is in third place at 156, will be in the 10 a.m. final group.

Abbey Campbell, also of Garden City, rallied with a 76 on Wednesday, following an 82 in Tuesday's opening round, and is tied for seventh place.

Thayer, who will be a junior this fall at the University of Kansas and is a member of the Lady Jayhawks golf team, opened Tuesday with a 75 despite carding a triple bogey in the round. She had trailed Misenhelter by two shots after the first round.

Campbell is scheduled to tee off her final round at 9:40 a.m. There are 27 players in the championship amateur field.

Results in Scoreboard, Page B2.

KJGA Championship

A strong contingent of Garden City juniors competed Tuesday and Wednesday at Salina Municipal Golf Course in the Kansas Junior Golf Association Team Championship.

Daniel Gaspar finished the 36-hole tournament with a total of 142 (72-70), and finished tied for sixth overall and third in the 14-15 year-old division, while Taylor Larsen shot a 143 (71-72) and was tied for ninth overall and fourth in the same age group.

Sion Audrain had rounds of 72-73--145, and tied for second in the 12-13 year-old division. His total also put him tied for 18th overall with all age groups. Logan Durst had a strong comeback on Wednesday with a round of 75 to go with his opening 83 and tied for 16th in the 14-15 year-old division. That left him tied for 64th in the overall competition.

In the 11 and under division, where players only played nine holes each of the two days, Garden City's Lake Audrain had rounds of 50-48--98 and finished 17th.

Lindsay Bradstreet, a member of the GCHS Lady Buffs golf team, had rounds of 85-89--174 and tied for eighth.

By virtue of his finish, Gaspar qualified for the KJGA Junior Match Play, which was slated to begin today at Salina Country Club. The two-day match play event has 16 players in the bracket. Gaspar was slated to face Christian Ghilardi of Lenexa and is scheduled to tee off at 7:46 a.m.

Overall section teams also competed in the tournament with the South Central team taking honors with 1,641 strokes. Metro Kansas City was second at 1,646 while the Northeast Section was third with 1,652. The West team, of which Garden City and area players competed, was fourth at 1,676 while North Central (1,680) and Southeast (1,733) rounded out the team scores.

National events for Larsen

Garden City's Taylor Larsen also had qualified for the match play portion of the KJGA tournament, but didn't enter due to the fact that he leaves on Friday for Houston where he will compete in the USGA Junior Boys Championship at The Club at Carlton Woods in Woodlands, Texas.

It is believed that Larsen is just the second Garden City junior boy to qualify for the prestigious US Junior Championship, the first being Jason Phillips in 1993 when he competed at Waverly Country Club in Portland, Ore.

Larsen, the reigning Western Athletic Conference Player of the Year from spring golf, also has earned a trip to Bridgeport, West Va., where he will compete in early August at the National Insurance Trusted Choice Championship which will be played at the Pete Dye Golf Club.

In June, Larsen had shared medalist honors in the Kansas Amateur Championship sectional qualifier at Buffalo Dunes with a 1-over-par 73.

Kansas Am field set

The 104th Kansas Amateur, which begins Tuesday with a two-day, 36-hole stroke play qualifying, will have a field of 156 players at Mission Hills Country Club. Thirty-three of those players were exempt from qualifying.

Included in the field are a number of Garden City and area golfers, including 1999 Kansas Amateur champion Sean Thayer of Garden City. He is the only player west of Hutchinson to have won the prestigious title. Defending champion is Chase Hanna, who just completed his freshman year at Kansas University.

Also in the field is Daniel Gaspar of Garden City; Juan Ollarzabal of Garden City, and Trenton Specht of Garden City. Specht was the 2013 City Men's champion. Former Sublette native and current Topeka resident Gary Lucas also is in the field. Gaspar, along with Larned's Colton Massey, is the youngest player in the field at age 15.

The 2016 Kansas Amateur returns to The Golf Club at Southwind for the fourth time, previously being played in 1990, 1997 and 2006. The 2015 Kansas Amateur is scheduled to be played at Wichita Country Club.

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