Finally, after 12 tries and three runner-up finishes, Nick Mason is the Southwest Kansas Pro-Am champion.
Though Mason doubted he’d ever win the event, especially after several close calls previously, the win was never in doubt Sunday at The Golf Club at Southwind, as he entered the day with a six-stroke advantage and ended the day with the same six-stroke lead, finishing at 12-under to claim the title.
“I’ve finished second three times, and had the lead probably six times,” Mason said of this event. “I’ve had a six-shot lead before. I never thought I’d win it.”
That previous six-shot lead came in 2012, when Mason went into the final round as the leader, as well, only to falter and post a 77, getting surpassed by Kelly Kraft’s 70 to lose by a stroke.
Mason also had second-place
On Sunday, Mason did have one bogey on No. 4 and a double bogey on No. 15, but that was all there was in terms of faults. He birdied four other holes to more than make up for it, and was never really pushed by any other competitor.
Trent Whitekiller and Dan Woltman — the latter was the reigning champ — tied for second at 6-under, and Clay Ederer was fourth at 5-under.
Mason asked where he stood after No. 17 and was told he still had his six-stroke lead.
“That’s a lot better,” Mason said with a laugh, mentioning it was better than a six-stroke lead with an entire round to go. “Six shots with one to play I think I can handle, even though I was still nervous on that last putt. A six-shot lead on 18 is pretty safe. It was awesome.”
Mason was nearly mistake-free all weekend, posting just two bogeys and the one double, while carding 16 birdies.
“He won by a wide margin,” Woltman said of Mason. “I told him I’m just trying to close the hole a little bit and make it stressful, but I never got anything going unfortunately.”
And Mason never really gave him an opening.
“I played solid,” Mason said. “I was never really in trouble. To win this tournament is huge. I look forward to this every year, coming to Garden City with all the people I’ve met and know, and how good of an event they run.”
The win not only snapped his skid in Garden City, but a nearly two-year streak of winless golf, as well.
“It’s a big thing for me to win it,” he said. “To get another win, at this tournament, which is one of my favorite tournaments all year, is just awesome.”
The Golf Club at Southwind and Buffalo Dunes Golf Course
1. Mason 64-68-70—202; t2. Whitekiller 65-75-68—208; t2. Woltman 70-68-70—208; 4. Edeler 70-69-70—209; t5. Arman 71-68-71—210; t5. Lestishen 72-68-70—210; t5. Zech 70-69-71—210; t8. Tolan 72-70-69—211; t8. Argotsinger 70-69-72—211; 10. Painton 73-69-70—212; t11. Ihrig 71-74-68—213; t11. Yonke 67-75-71—213; t13. Mays 74-70-70—214; t13. Devers 71-70-73—214; 16. Larsen 74-70-71—215; t17. Jordan 73-71-72—216; t17. Jeter 71-72-73—216; t19. Rossetti 70-74-73—217; t19. Hogue 73-72-72—217; 21. Ansett 71-75-72—218; 22. McCrackn 72-74-74—220; 23. Weems 73-72-76—221; t24. Vaughn 74-73-75—222; t24. Ellis 72-75-75—222; t24. Paulsell 72-74-76—222; t24. Allcorn 73-76-73—222; t24. Griffith 74-73-75—222; 29. Robbins 73-79-72—224; t30. Green 75-72-79—226; t30. Laske 74-74-78—226; 32. Romano 75-74-78—227; 33. Locke 72-77-79—228; t34. Raigoza 85-68-76—229; t34. Thompson 74-71-84—229; 36. Knight 79-75-79—233.