Friday, August 29, 2008

Doing the Double Dip

Justin Bardgett teamed up with 2008 Missouri Stroke Play Champion, Darren Lundgren to win the only other major championship that both of them could compete in, the 2008Missouri Four Ball Championship. Bardgett won the Match Play at WingHaven Country Club in June with a convincing final match performance against Skip Berkmeyer. Lundgren followed that up with an equally dominating performance, winning the Stroke Play at Meadow Lake Acres by three strokes over an impressive field.

I knew going into the event with the way the rough was up and the speed of the greens that teams were not going to go very deep the first day. But, after players have a couple rounds under their belts, on a course they can start feeling comfortable on, they’ll start shooting lower scores. However, with the hole locations that I had set for day two I did not expect this low of scores. So, my hats off to the boys for golfing that well.

After the first round, it looked like the magic was gone for the two major champs as they fired a lack luster 69 which put them three strokes off the lead, but more importantly behind more than a dozen teams at 66, 67 and 68. "We thought 62 was the number we needed to win going into the final round," said Bardgett after the tournament. Well they came up one shot short of their goal firing a low round of the championship 63 getting them to 12-under for the tournament with quite a few teams on the course. Early reports were that defending champions Travis Mitchell and Tyler Stalker were again playing well and playing directly behind Bardgett and Lundgren so they would be aware of exactly what they had to do.

With Lundgren and Bardgett waiting for more scores to come in to see how their 12-under total matched up, Mitchell and Stalker knew they had to make birdie on 18 to tie and Mitchell drained a clutch 50 foot birdie on the final green to match the leaders and join the waiting game. I was standing next to the 18th green at the time, and about 10 feet out from the hole he new that he made it. The ball was moving at a pretty good clip when it hit the hole and was dead center.

After all the teams completed play it was just Lundgren/Bardgett and Mitchell/Stalker teams still standing. So it was off to the first hole for a playoff. However only after one hole the playoff was over with the Bardgett and Lundgren team holding the Championship hardware for 2008.
It was a great week on a wonderful course in Blue Hills Country Club. The course could not have been in any better shape. So thank you to the great staff and membership of Blue Hills for allowing us to host the event.

Until I see you on the first tee.


It's Getting Closer!

Next week is the BMW Championship in St. Louis at Bellerive Country Club. Yes, I know that Tiger is not going to be there, but the rest of the top players in the world will. These guys are competing in the year end Fed Ex Cup Playoff’s for some big money. So if you can, make the trip out to the event to see how the big boys tackle the new design of the Bellerive Course. I am planning on getting out there over the weekend to see some great golf. It is not very often we have the best in our home state, so take advantage of this.

Ticket information here:

Until I see you on the first tee!


Thursday, August 21, 2008

It was a Quieter Day at the MGA

It is a lot quieter around the MGA office today. Yesterday was the interns, Julia and CeAnne’s, last day. They were great!! They did many great things for the Association this summer and there are not enough words to say how much they will be missed around here. Well, let’s take one thing back; we won’t miss that rap music they made us listen too. That is the only thing that will not be missed!!

CeAnne and Julia head back to school now and get ready for their upcoming golf seasons this fall. CeAnne goes to William Woods and Julia goes to the University of Missouri. We here at the MGA thank them for the wonderful job they did this summer and wish only the best to them.

Until I see you on the first tee,


Thursday, August 7, 2008

Time of Her Life!

I am proud to report that our 2008 USGA Intern Julia Potter is having some great success at this weeks US Women's Am. She made match play and then won her first match yesterday 3 & 2 and play's her second round match today starting at 10:00 a.m. west coast time. Enjoy this great article about her that was on the front page of the USGA website Wednesday morning. I am super proud of her and wishing her only the best the rest of the week. We are cheering hard for her.

Until See you on the first tee!!


USGA Boatwright Intern Potter Making Most Of Vacation Time

By David Shefter, USGA

Eugene, Ore. – Julia Potter didn’t need to persuade her boss for a break to compete in this week’s U.S. Women’s Amateur at Eugene Country Club.

Not when your summer occupation involves golf.

The 20-year-old from Granger, Ind., and a junior-to-be at the University of Missouri is one of many USGA-supported P.J. Boatwright interns serving various golf associations and organizations. In 1991, the USGA established the P.J. Boatwright Internship Program to give experience to individuals interested in pursuing a career in golf administration, while assisting state/regional golf associations, as well as other non-profit organizations dedicated to the promotion of amateur golf, on a short-term, entry-level basis.

Potter has spent the last few months with the Missouri Golf Association learning all aspects of golf administration, from conducting championships to understanding how to accurately rate a course.

But when she qualified for the Women’s Amateur, she needed to ask MGA Executive Director Scott Hovis for time off. Hovis, a former Boatwright intern himself at the MGA (1994) who spent five seasons on various professional circuits before getting his amateur status back in 2001, understood the situation. An elite player, Hovis qualified for his first USGA event five years ago (U.S. Mid-Amateur) at Sea Island Golf Club, but did not make the match-play cut.

“We’ve managed to work around her playing schedule,” said Hovis by phone in Kansas City where he was playing in an event.

Potter recently worked the Missouri State Amateur, an eye-opening experience where she assisted Hovis in all aspects of the competition, including the selection of hole locations.

“I think what I’ve learned with the job has actually helped me prepare better for golf tournaments,” said Potter after carding a 2-under-par 70 Tuesday and finishing stroke-play qualifying at 1-under 143, easily within the match-play cut. “I’m really lucky to have a boss who not only understands my golf schedule, but is also there encouraging me.”

During Potter’s sophomore season, Hovis sent an e-mail to the University of Missouri coaches seeking an intern for the summer. Potter had already decided to spend the summer in Columbia, so she applied and landed the position.

“As a player, we don’t really understand all the time and effort that’s put in by not only the [staff] but the volunteers,” said Potter. “Learning how to run tournaments and what it is to work in an office … has been a great experience and I don’t regret a second of it.”

But while she’s received an education in tournament administration, the internship hasn’t solved one major phobia. Potter still hates to fly. The situation has improved since her freshman season when she had several panic attacks. En route to Oregon, she flew with Missouri teammate and fellow Women’s Amateur qualifier Lindsey Haupt of St. Louis, which eased the tension.

Good conversation kept Potter’s mind occupied enough to avoid any harrowing situations.

“It was really nice to have a teammate and somebody I know on the plane with me,” said Potter, who captured her second consecutive Indiana State Amateur title earlier this summer.

Her anxieties apparently didn’t carry over to the golf course, where she was competing in her first USGA championship after six years of trying. Potter came up short in sectional qualifying for the U.S. Women’s Open in June, but finally broke through at her Women’s Amateur qualifier in Indianapolis, garnering the last spot via a playoff after carding a 76.

Now the left-hander is into match play, where she’s had previous success. Potter won the 2004 and ’05 Indiana Girls’ Junior title and has competed in the Women’s Western Amateur.

“If I play like today, I’ll feel really confident in my game,” said Potter, hoping to become the first female southpaw to raise a USGA trophy (four males have done so). “Match play is just completely different. It’s just head to head. Anything can happen.”

The fact that Potter is competing at all is remarkable. Four years ago, doctors inserted a metal rod in her back to stabilize a back condition known as scoliosis, which is where a person’s spine is curved from side to side, and may also be rotated. The abnormality can make the spine look like an ‘S’ or a ‘C’ instead of a straight line.

Stacy Lewis, a member of the 2008 USA Curtis Cup team, suffered from the same condition and surgery five years ago helped her continue playing at a high level. She nearly won the 2008 U.S. Women’s Open in her professional debut.

Potter has been to play pain free, but doctors at Missouri have recommended she undergo the same procedure as Lewis. It’s something she will consider after her eligibility expires or as long as she can play without pain.

After Tuesday’s 70, there was no reason to grimace.

David Shefter is a USGA New Media staff writer. E-mail him with questions or comments at

Friday, August 1, 2008

Great Week

Another fun week for all the Fathers & Sons that competed this week at the wonderful Porto Cima Golf Club at the Lake of Ozarks!!! Although we had a quick rain shower Monday morning and then hot weather on Tuesday it was fun for all. This event has turned into one of the favorites on the MGA schedule. It is a great time for Fathers & Sons to bond and enjoy some great quality time. I have been fortunate to play in the event all three years with my dad and it is a great time. I enjoy the event because with my hectic schedule during the summer months I never get the chance to play golf with my dad but this event allows me to. Plus it does not hurt that we are playing one of the premiere courses in the state as well.

Monday night, Mike Kelly “The Voice of the Tigers” was our guest speaker at dinner and he was great. He told some great stories about MU Athletics and also about some of the great personal opportunities that he has had in broadcasting. He even reflected on how he could tell that this event was a great thing even though he was not participating and what a great time for Fathers & Sons to bond.

The oldest Player in the Field was Charles Talley at the ripe young age of 88 and he was great. The man played every hole and hit every shot as if he was leading the U.S. Open. That is what makes the event that much more special for everyone involved. Make sure that you do not miss out on this event next year. More info about the 2009 Father-Son Championship will be soon to follow. So stayed tuned. Here is a picture of Skip and Charlie Talley, they were the oldest team in the field with a combined age of 148!

Until I see you on the First Tee!!