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Amateur team play comes down to narrow victory

Published 8/8/2011 in Pro-Am

By BRETT MARSHALL

bmarshall@gctelegram.com

Doyle McGraw and Kevin Colvin have both played in numerous Southwest Kansas Pro-Am events in recent years, but it wasn't until late Saturday afternoon at The Golf Club at Southwind, did they find themselves and their other two amateur teammates — Grant Shellenberger and Scott Mackey — in the winner's circle of the 36-hole scramble competition.

"The team was pretty awesome and everybody helped out a lot," McGraw said after his team finished at 28-under-par to allow them to finish just one shot ahead of the team of Mark Runge, Kent Colvin (Kevin's father), Mike Henry and John Avellar.

The McGraw-Colvin-Shellenberger-Mackey group had rounds of 56 on Friday at Buffalo Dunes Golf Course and 59 on Saturday while the Runge-Colvin, Hendry-Avellar team shot 57 on Friday and 59 on Saturday, playing one group in front of the winners.

"When one of us needed a drive or make a putt, we were able to get those shots done," said McGraw, who ironically was born at St. Catherine Hospital in May of 1945, and recently found the receipt that his mother brought home, totalling $27.00. "To win is a fun part of the tournament, but seeing an event bringing people to Garden City, the hospital and all the volunteers doing a great job, you know it's going to a good cause. St. Catherine has really stepped up and made the tournament what it is."

McGraw said the team's critical shot of the tournament came on Sunday when Colvin, the last player on the team to putt, faced a 20-footer to save par and then proceeded to knock it in.

For Colvin, who works with his father at High Plains Pizza, headquartered in Liberal and one of the original founders of the Pro-Am, said the entire Saturday turned out to be such a fun experience.

"My first win, a lot of fun, a good team and great bunch of guys," Colvin said. "Getting the helicopter (air ambulance roto-wing service coming soon) for Garden City's hospital is a wonderful opportunity for our area."

Colvin said it was particularly emotional for him and his family since recently his grandmother, Kent's mother, had been flown on an Eagle Med airplane from Liberal to Wichita for a medical emergency. Without it, he said, she might not have gotten the treatment needed.

"Having the Adams Tour come in, and provide the professional side of the tournament experience and bring these great young players in, it has made the tournament just really a great event," Colvin said.

Sixty teams of four players comprised the 240-player field that competed for nearly $25,000 in merchandise gift certificates. Last year, the tournament donated $45,000 to the Newborn Intensive Care Unit and nurse education through the Dr. Stephen Meyers Endowment Fund, which provides extended education for the nurses who work in the NBICU.

See results in Scoreboard, Page B2.

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