There was no doubt in his fellow golfers’ minds that Rafael Becker would take first place on Sunday at the Wichita Golf Association’s City Medal Play Tournament.
But what really propelled Becker to first place was the Wichita State senior’s confidence in himself.
“I was never really concerned,” Becker said. “I was just trying to play a good round for myself. If I won or lost, I wouldn’t mind. I was just out here to play for myself and work on key things I have been working on.”
Becker shot a 66 on Saturday and a 69 on Sunday to finish six strokes ahead of Pete Krsnich at Terradyne Country Club. Although Becker started the round Sunday with a birdie on the fourth hole, he double-bogeyed the sixth, allowing Krsnich and Tracy Chamberlin back in the race.
“I thought the wind was going to carry my ball a little bit better but it didn’t. It flew over the green, it was a delicate shot,” Becker said of his tee shot on the sixth hole. “I was one over and the wind was blowing pretty hard, I wasn’t comfortable. From then on I was trying to get back to being comfortable on the course.”
By the eighth hole, Krsnich and Chamberlin lost sight of first place, when Krsnich bogeyed, and Chamberlin triple bogeyed. Chamberlin finished fourth.
“When (Becker) double- bogeyed six, I actually birdied it and I was tied with him,” Chamberlin said. “I got it in my head that I could actually play with him, but then I turned around and triple-bogeyedon eight, and I kind of deflated a bit.”
On No. 16, Becker hit a tee shot left of the fairway into the tall grass, requiring fellow golfers to help him find his ball — once found, Becker made his way to the fairway and shot par for the hole.
“Towards the end (Becker) was in control pretty well, and then he actually slipped up on the sixteenth hole and I found his ball. Then he made a great par and I actually bogeyed there,” Krsnich said. “So there are little momentum swings, but all in all (Becker) was just too good to beat today with the two shot lead.”
Krsnich finished second for the second straight year. After shooting a 69 on Saturday, he shot a 72 on Sunday.
“Coming in today I was three shots back from the lead, and fourth place, so I needed to shoot a low round,” Krsnich said. “One bad shot out here can cause a big number of hurries, so really nobody is safe.”
Jack Courington started five strokes behind on Sunday after shooting a 71 on Saturday, and finished third after shooting another 71 on Sunday.
“I thought that (Becker) would probably run away with it, but I wanted to give him a run at it,” Courington said. “I was only three shots out of third, so I figured I could get top two or top three if I played really well.”