The team title in the Southwest Kansas Pro-Am became a two-team chase Saturday.
Fittingly, both teams ended up sharing the crown after lighting up both courses in the second round.
Coming in at 30-under par 113s were the teams of Marty Cook, Jeffrey Weeast, Trevor Watkins, Andrew O’Brate and Chad Magner, and the American Implement team of Chad Koster, Mike Wall, Barry Lucas, Marcus Amerin and Kory Koehn. Forty-one teams competed in the two-day event.
The co-winners were four shots ahead of their nearest competitors at 117.
Cook’s group, which shot 58 at Buffalo Dunes Friday, followed that with a 55 (17 under par) at The Golf Club at Southwind Saturday.
Lucas’ group, co-leaders after Friday’s 57 at Southwind, came back Saturday at Buffalo Dunes with a 56 (16 under par).
Koster had said after Friday’s round that his team’s goal for Saturday was to get back on the course, have fun and then hope they shot well.
They fulfilled both, Lucas said.
“All five of us work together, but we don’t get to spend time like this together,” he said. “We had a blast. Competing well was the icing on the cake.”
His team started on the back nine and took pars on just two holes, both par-3s (12 and 8). The rest of the round was a birdie-fest.
Lucas' team didn't have a pro on Friday, and they had Chris Thompson on Saturday. Thompson shot 68 on Saturday.
“Our pro helped us out on two holes, and gave us two birdies, which really helped,” Lucas said.
To put together two consistent rounds on two different courses with two very different start times (1 p.m. Friday vs. 7:30 a.m. Saturday), was something to be proud of, he added.
“After Friday, we just wanted to go out with the main thing to have a lot of fun, which we did,” he said. “We started off on No. 10, and Kory Koehn about knocked it in for an eagle from the fairway, so that started us off right, and we just kept going from there.”
They were expecting windier conditions Saturday morning, Lucas added, but that never happened.
“It was just two perfect days to play golf, which you don’t get out here in southwest Kansas very often,” he said.
Cook's team didn't have a pro on Friday. They had amateur Witchayapat Sinsrang of Dodge City Community College play with their group on Saturday. Sinsrang shot 72 on Saturday.
The team had three pars, an eagle putt on hole three, and the rest birdies to get the tie.
“We got off to a really good start on the back and had a little stumble in the middle, but we got through those and got through pretty much unscathed,” Cook said. “The whole weekend, we made a lot of putts. That’s what you’ve got to do if you want to stay in contention.”
Cook said that at the turn, he knew that Lucas’ group had already finished.
“I kind of snuck a peak at what they shot. I got up to the No. 1 tee box (the team's tenth hole) and I told Andrew O’Brate, ‘Listen, I don’t want to tell the rest of these guys, but we need 9-under — 9-under ties.”
The former golf coach from Stanton County was right on, and that’s exactly how his team finished its round.
Conditions for their round — and for the entire week — were ideal for the area, Cook said, and that made this tournament enjoyable.
One team finished alone in third shooting 117. Two teams tied for fourth at 118. Three other teams tied for sixth at 119.