Thayer, Vollertsen to compete in Midwest Cup

8/1/2013

By BRETT MARSHALL

By BRETT MARSHALL

bmarshall@gctelegram.com

Just one week removed from competing in the Kansas Amateur Match Play Championship in Mission Hills, Garden City's Sean Thayer and Grant Vollertsen will represent the state of Kansas in the Culver's MidWest Cup Golf Championship on Friday through Sunday at Wild Horse Golf Club in Gothenberg, Neb.

The two veteran golfers had mixed results at last week's Amateur, which was played at Indian Hills Country Club.

Vollertsen won his first round of match play before losing to eventual champion Chase Hanna in the second round, 4 and 3. He had qualified with a 36-hole total of 144 (74-70) while Thayer, the 1999 Kansas Am champion, made match play after surviving a nine-player playoff. He was eliminated in a first-round match.

The Midwest Cup is an event that started in 2006 and brings together teams from eight states, with the golfers being age 25 and over.

Other states which will compete include Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska, South Dakota, Missouri and Wisconsin.

The format for the tournament includes individual stroke play on Friday and then a combination of individual and team stroke/match play on Saturday and Sunday.

Tournament Director Eric Hjortness originated the event with the inaugural tournament being played at Cantigny Golf Club in Illinois. Since then, host courses have included Geneva National in Wisconsin (2007), Maple Bluff Country Club in Wisconsin (2008), Rich Harves Farms in Illinois (2009), Glen Oaks Golf Club in Iowa (2010), Erin Hills in Wisconsin (2011) and Hasting Country Club in Minnesota (2012).

This will be the first year for Kansas to field a team in the event. Other team members for Kansas include Kit Grove of Lawrence and Wichitans Aaron Sheaks, Michael Holloway, Tyler Chapman, Tracy Chamberlain, Steve Newman and Corey Novascone. Vollertsen is the reigning High Plains Amateur champion, an event he won last August at The Golf Club at Southwind.

The event, which has a 501(c)(3) tax-deductible status, was established to provide mid-amateur (25 and over) age golfers an opportunity to compete on top courses, develop camaraderie amongst golfers from different states, assist in making donations to charitable organizations and put on a first-class event. In its short history, the event has donated more than $25,000 to notable charities, including the Evans Scholars Foundation of the Western Golf Association along with various golf associations and programs.

"We're looking forward to participating in this event for the first time," Thayer said earlier this week. "It has a lot of appeal to the golfers our age and it should be a fun event where they combine individual and team play to determine the winner."

Wild Horse is regarded as one of the top public courses in Nebraska. Individual winners of the event receive invitations into some of the nation's most prestigious tournaments.

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