Treg Fawl is a few candles shy on the birthday cake of turning 30.
But what he’s accomplished so far and what he could accomplish in the future boggles the mind.
Fawl on Sunday captured his seventh individual championship in the McPherson City Golf Tournament. Add in four championships in the two-man division with his father, Tony, and he sits at 11.
Fawl is well on his way to setting the bar so high that it’ll be like Cy Young’s 511 career victories in baseball. He’s now just two titles shy of the late Ray Hague’s nine individual championships, but his 11 overall titles are just over half of what Hague accomplished as he came away with 20 “majors” as he liked to call them when he was still with us — and how we miss him as there was never a dull moment when he was around.
However, it won’t take Fawl long to catch Hague during those years where he’s doubling up with titles in both divisions.
Unless there’s a new sheriff in town — like when Travis Engle rolled into McPherson for a couple of years, won two championships and then left for Chicago — Fawl controls his own destiny, especially if Jacob Lackey doesn’t decide to make McPherson his home once he finishes college.
There’s Kelly Sorenson and Jamie Piper, who had really nice tournaments this week and shot rounds that could have been good enough to win in the past, but Fawl was still a five-shot winner.
His 64 on Saturday at Rolling Acres was a beauty of a round and when I asked him about it when he finished, he grumbled that given how well he struck it, it could have been a 59. And having played some rounds with him, I could see that given conditions had never been more ideal.
Fawl has amazing hand-eye coordination, one reason he was a star receiver during his McPherson High football playing days and a deadly 3-point shooter on the basketball court. He never won a state championship in golf, though he came close when he shot a bogey-free 67 his junior year at Emporia, only to come up one stroke short.
He hits the ball a country mile and generates blinding clubhead speed. What impresses me most, as somebody who has played the game competitively for a half-century, is how with such a fast swing he’s still able to keep the ball in play. I would be in traction for a week if I ripped at it like he does.
He’s also uber-aggressive on the greens, seldom leaving a putt short. He has the confidence to make those 3-footers coming back.
Fawl’s victory capped a great weekend of golf. Friday’s weather for the early players was somewhat difficult, but everybody took advantage of Saturday’s pristine conditions to take apart Rolling Acres. Mother Nature got even on Sunday with conditions that felt like early April and had a British Open-like feel as the wind blew, the rain sprinkled and the temperatures dropped like a rock. All three courses were as good as they’ve ever been, thanks to the course superintendents and their staffs.
The tournament went off without a hitch and kudos again to Dennis and Nanci Shaw for serving as directors. I ran this tournament for about 15 years and eventually Dennis and Nanci have guided it for about another 15. Dennis did talk of perhaps turning it over after this year, but I wouldn’t be surprised if they’re back for one more year. We’re fortunate to have them shepherd what is the big local golfing event of the year.