Joe Ida, 2012 Champion Tom Watson Challenge -- Kansas City Golf Association
Indian Hills Country Club — After 53 holes of play, Joe Ida stood on the 18th tee with a one shot lead over Ryan Zech. Ida’s tee ball never turned over on the tight dogleg left eighteenth and he found himself with a difficult approach just to recover on the par five. He put himself in position for a birdie after an excellent third to about eight feet, but amateur Ryan Zech played a brilliant second shot over the green on the 525 yard par 5 finishing hole.
When Zech pitched his third shot near the hole and Ida missed his birdie try from eight feet it was looking like extra golf was going to be necessary to settle the championship. However, Zech could not convert the short birdie putt and Ida prevaviled as the 2012 Watson Challenge Champion.
Ida finished the championship at 6-under-par, 204 through three rounds. The score was one clear of Zech and three clear of Joseph Winslow. The Indian Hills Country Club fought back on Sunday after giving up a couple of Watson Challenge record 64s in round two. Only one player, Ryan Zech, finished under par today after firing a two under 68.
Tom Watson made a move during Sunday’s final round, but just could not get the putter going at any point during the week. ”I had makeable putts on one and two today and had those two gone down, it might have been a different stry today,” said Watson. When asked about Ida, Watson had this to say. “I really like what I see in his golf game, he has a good swing and he keeps it in play and those are keys to success at Indian Hills.”
Watson raved about the work done by Indian Hills Country Club for this event. The efforts by the event sponsors; Sprint, American Family Insurance and the Kirk Foundation along with a record setting fundraising effort by the Indian Hills membership helped raise over $60,000 for the First Tee of Greater Kansas City