Sunday’s windup of the Wichita Golf Association’s Four-Ball Championship was still undetermined until the final shot.
The father-son team of Johnny and Charlie Stevens were tied with brothers Max and Matt Lazzo going into the 18th hole. Charlie Stevens two-putted for a par-4, but Matt Lazzo’s 4-footer for a tying par lipped out and to the right, preserving the win for the Stevens duo at Reflection Ridge Golf Club.
“We were fortunate that he missed it,” Charlie Stevens said. “No one was making putts (Sunday).”
The four are good friends, and the Lazzos often play golf with Charlie’s son Sam, a former Class 5A champion at Kapaun Mount Carmel who is a sophomore at Oklahoma State. The Lazzos, who tied for second in this tournament a year ago, are also Kapaun products.
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A key shot for the Stevens team came on the 365-yard, par-4 11th hole, when Johnny Stevens sank a long birdie putt that put them two shots ahead.
“I’d say it was at least 30-40 feet,” Johnny said. “Actually, it was the turning point for our round.”
Johnny Stevens said bogeying the 16th was maybe the most disappointing of the round.
“We didn’t play very good down the stretch,” Johnny said. “That hole where we both three-putted wasn’t very good. But it was tough; it was hard to make putts out there.”
But the Lazzos struck back with birdies on the par-3 14th and the par-4 16th, forging a tie going into the final two holes.
Cool conditions and a bitter wind dogged the players all day.
“It was cold and windy,” Johnny said. “I’m glad we could win it, and maybe (Charlie) and my grandson (Sam) will play the next time.”
That might have to wait until Sam finishes college.
“Yeah, that’s true,” Johnny said. “I forgot about that.”
The Stevens empathized with Matt’s final putt.
“That was too bad about that last hole,” Johnny said.
The 532-yard par-5 15th hole was especially tough for the players, even though both teams salvaged par on it.
“That pin was tough to get at,” Charlie Stevens said. “I made a good 5-to-6-footer there for par that kind of kept us in it.”
Charlie said he wanted to get his 2-foot final putt out of the way to give Matt Lazzo a good shot.
“I wanted to get my putt out of the way because I knew Matt’s putt wasn’t going to be easy,” Charlie said.
“And, I didn’t want to have to putt a 2-footer and have to make it,” he said with a laugh.
Rivals on Sunday, Charlie Stevens and Matt Lazzo will become teammates again today when they defend their title in the state Mid-Amateur Team Championship at Lawrence Country Club.
WICHITA FOUR-BALL CHAMPIONSHIP
Championship flight (at Reflection Ridge Golf Club) – 1. Johnny Stevens-Charlie Stevens, 274. 2. Max Lazzo-Matt Lazzo, 275. 3. Randy Vautravers-Randall Vautravers, 277. 4. Jonathan May-Craig Howell, 279. 5. Dal Peterson-Denver Harris, 280. 6. Jeff Schauner-Roy Schoonover, 281. 7. Steve Newman-Tracy Chamberlin, 282. 8. John Schaar-Lance Schartz, 284. 9. (tie) Mike Casamento-Ryan Hubbell, 287; Logan Brown-Adam Jones, 287. 11. Andy Merchant-Chad Leivian, 288. 12. (tie) Mark Jolliffe-Darren Copp, 289; Matt Bish-Micah Hall, 289. 14. Michael Hammond-Kevin Frankamp, 290.
First flight, at Rolling Hills Country Club – 1. Jensen Yetter-Davis Fischer, 287. 2. David Oelken-Kory Glasgow, 288. 3. Mike Caster-Robert Donovan, 290. 4. (tie) Mike Sheppard-Jeff McCrory, 294; Steve Priest-John Loomis, 294; Mike Darrah-Jim Wurbs, 294; Scott Brittain-Brad Brittain, 294. 8. (tie) A.J. Gebert-Steve Gebert, 297; John Alefs-Spencer Alefs, 297. 10. (tie) Mike Hermann-Curtis Corning, 299; Jeff Martin-Mike McCuan, 299. 12. Mike Zacharias-Mike Kuchinski, 300. 13. Phil Ruffin-Bryan Caro, 301. 14. Bryce Rowe-Spencer Phillips, 311.
Second flight, at Willowbend Golf Club – 1. Todd Bonewell-Brandon Bonewell, 291. 2. (tie) Chris Davis-Matt Davis, 299; Phil Haight-Paul Goddard, 299. 4. (tie) Dan Lindberg-Mark Lindberg, 303; Ryan Baker-Bernie Cunningham, 303. 6. Nick Hahn-John Wulf, 304. 7. Brian Phipps-Dave Mellinger, 306. 8. Eric Ndettemi-Winston Bowen, 308. 9. (tie) Scott Madrigal-Chris Berry, 309; Fred Nahr-Rob Galaway, 309. 11. (tie) Rick Albrecht-Kyle Bayliff, 310; Jason Laub-Brett Stoehr, 310. 13. Caleb Newsom-James Engel, 312. 14. David Leitzel-Bob Parks, 317.
Third flight, at Tallgrass Country Club – 1. Matt Browning-Andrew Wickham, 300. 2. James Epley-Bob Funcheon, 306. 3. Daron Kasselman-Chris Franz, 312. 4. Steven Oakleaf-Brent Youngers, 314. 5. Phil Barrager-Ken Gile, 315. 6. Todd Sipe-Matthew Sipe, 317. 7. Brian Robinson-Mike Miller, 318. 9. Ed Chamberlain-Clint Chamberlain, 321. 10. (tie) Max Pennington-Terry Pennington, 324; Tad Snarenberger-Charles Ogden, 324. 12. Jason White-Mike Simon, 326. 13. Brad Cherry-Mike Demint, 346.
Senior flight, at Tallgrass Country Club – 1. Rick Mullen-Randy Shelly, 290. 2. Gene Bowden-Marvin Linville, 296. 3. Ron Rush-Rick Smith, 297. 4. Steven Speth-Stephen House, 302. 5. David Thomas-Michael Leahy, 310.