COUNTRY CLUB, Missouri (July 31, 2016) -- For the first time in tournament history, Kansas has won the Midwest Cup. Kansas, posting a total of 301 points, won by a point over defending champion Missouri who finished with 300 points at St. Joseph Country Club.
"We have been knocking on the door and before this year we hadn't been able to get in," first year team captain Conrad Roberts said. "We are all very proud and happy especially because we got the win on Missouri's home turf."
Prior to this year, Kansas had contended but had never been able to get over the hump.
"It was a great team effort, I knew it would be," Roberts said. "We really did get the best mid-amateur and senior players Kansas had to offer this year and they came through."
Points were earned throughout the week, with the lowest score on the team each day earning 16 points, second lowest 14 points and so on. The winning Kansas team was made up of Tracy Chamberlin, Michael Winkler, Grant Vollertsen, William Gantz, Pete Krsnich, Jack Courington, Jeff Bell, Bradley Lane, Steve Newman, and Captain Conrad Roberts.
Pacing Kansas was Grant Vollersten, with rounds of 72, 67, and 74.
"(Grant) is a great player, one of our best mid-amateurs in the state so I am not surprised that he finished so well," Roberts said.
Five other Kansas players finished inside the top-20. They were: Jeff Bell (+2, T9); Bradley Lane (+3, T12); Pete Krsnich (+5, T16). William Gantz (+6) and Conrad Roberts (+6) shared 20th place.
A single point Behind Kansas was Missouri. Rounding out the rest of the field were Minnesota (296), Illinois (268), Nebraska (265), Wisconsin (182), Iowa (182) and South Dakota (150).
A major reason for Kansas' success this year was the fact that the Kansas Golf Association agreed to allocate Player-of-the-Year points to those competing. That decision was enough to convince players on the fence to commit to the event.
"This year was the best field that the event has had," said Roberts. "This was Eric Hjortness' dream and his vision and it really is coming to fruition. It should only get bigger and better from here."
FINAL ROUND INDIVIDUAL RECAP
Mike Fiedler began the final round of the Midwest Cup trailing Kyle Nathan by four-strokes. However when Nathan faltered early Fiedler was ready to pounce. He rode some late birdies to a 1-under finish, capturing the individual title by one stroke.
Fiedler, even-par for the week at the start of the day, quickly moved into red figures with birdies on Nos. 2 and 3. As he made his move, Nathan began to slide backwards as he bogeyed five front nine holes to fall all the way back to 1-over for the week.
The day would have one more big swing. Fiedler, who was so solid early, bogeyed the 6th, 10th and 11th holes to fall back to 1-over. As this was happening, Nathan regained his footing with birdies on 10 and 14 with a bogey sandwiched in between to sit at even-par.
So as the holes dwindled, the two were neck and neck along with a handful of other contenders. Fiedler got back to even-par with a birdie on the 17th. Needing another birdie on the closing hole, he came through with the tournament winner.
Fiedler ended up being the only player to finish under par as four players tied for second. The group was made up of Kyle Nathan (Illinois), Brian Hickey (Illinois), Danny Behm (Wisconsin), and Grant Vollersten of Kansas.
An additional three players that finished 1-over and tied for sixth included two-time defending champion Brad Nurski from Missouri.
View results for Midwest Cup