Treg Fawl walked off the No. 9 green at McPherson Country Club nearly two weeks ago with his new bride Molli Schmidt following a lovely ceremony.
Friday, he hopes to walk off that same green with the lead in the 31st annual McPherson City Golf Tournament.
And few would probably bet against it. Fawl has won three straight City titles and four of the last five. He was a nine-shot winner last year after winning in a one-hole playoff the year before against Ryan Schmid. In 2011, he was again a nine-stroke winner.
The tourney gets under way Friday at MCC, with the second round Saturday at Rolling Acres (pre-determined pairings were posted here earlier). Sunday’s action will be completed at Turkey Creek.
Fawl, who just completed his collegiate golfing career at Central Christian College and has taken a teaching job in McPherson beginning in August, is attempting to continue his relentless pursuit of history. Another title would be his fifth, which would inch him ever closer to the record of nine won by the late Ray Hague, who dominated the McPherson golf scene for 20 years. He died in 2011 after losing his battle with cancer, but until then was still playing at a high level.
Top challengers to Fawl figure to be former two-time champion Nick Ikenberry (the last golfer to win the title since Fawl’s run) and Jamie Piper, last year’s runner-up. Fawl’s teammate at Central Christian College, Brady Sherman, also could contend if he gets on a hot streak.
Fawl also is hoping to win his fourth doubles title with his father Tony. They have won only in odd years and were a two-stroke winner last year over another father-and-son team, Mark and Doug Gayer.
The Fawls figure to be pushed in the two-man division as there are a number of good teams. Craig Corrigan and Kurt Kinnamon, who have been champions with other partners in the past, are joining forces for the first time this year and could be an explosive team. Mark Wash and Steve Sell, both of whom have won multiple team titles with other partners, are entered and they were second in 2010. Ikenberry is playing with Chuck Singleton this year and should be a top-five contender.
The tournament was moved up a week this year and the field is missing some top-quality players even though entries have spiked to 72, up from last year’s 56. Schmid and Chad Alexander, the 2012 team champions, are not in the field, nor are the Gayers. Former two-time individual champion and multiple team champion Cliff Hawkes also is missing.
Spectators are welcomed to view the action. Sunday’s final round starts at 1 p.m., with everyone going off No. 1. The top players, as usual, will go off last.
• Note -- See the tournament history and Saturday’s pre-determined pairings in earlier posts.