As long as the weather cooperates, the 100th Kansas City Match Play Championship is set to tee off Friday morning at Swope Memorial Golf Course.
A field of 78 golfers will compete in 18 holes of stroke play, with the top 32 advancing to the first round of match play about 2 p.m. Friday.
Golfers who advance then are scheduled to play two rounds Saturday and Sunday, when the final is expected to go off about noon.
The Match Play Championship was first played in 1902 at Kansas City Country Club. Kansas City golf legend Tom Watson won the event at age 14 in 1964 and again in 1967.
There was no tournament during 2003-12, but it came back in 2013 to the delight of Watson and other area golfers
“It’s a wonderful development,” Watson said at the time. “Winning that event solidified the idea of me being a professional golfer.
“It’s great for golf in Kansas City.”
Since its return in 2013, the event has been played at Swope Memorial.
“It’s historic to the city, has a centralized location and is good for pace of play” Kansas City Golf Association executive director Doug Habel said. “We couldn’t be happier with Swope as the host site.”
The defending champion is Phil Bartimus, who defeated Josh Weems 1-up in last year’s final. Other players in the field include Steve Groom, the winner in 1998 and 2013; Cameron Wiltse, a golfer at UMKC; and Michael Green, the 2014 KCGA player of the year.
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