It’s not often that Ryne Fisher’s mother makes it to Kansas City from her home in Clarksville, Tenn.
Fisher wanted to make her trip extra special when she got to watch him play in the 100th Kansas City Match Play Championship on Sunday afternoon.
He delivered with what she called “the best Mother’s Day present ever,” defeating Hank Simpson 2-up in winning the event at Swope Memorial Golf Course.
“She and my dad allowed me to do this growing up, and it has become a love of mine,” Fisher said. “I can attribute about everything in my life to the game of golf, so having her here, knowing she put in so many hours driving around the country taking me to events is really special.”
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The tournament field started with 78 golfers who competed in 18 holes of stroke play on Friday. The top 32 advanced to match play, where they played 36 holes each of the next two days. Fisher advanced to the final by beating two-time champion Steve Groom 3 and 2.
It was Fisher’s second appearance in the tournament, but the first time he made it out of match play.
“I had a little mishap on 12 last year in the qualifier and did not even make match play, so it was quite the improvement,” Fisher said. “I’ve been working really hard the last month or so to get ready for these events, and this was the first one I had circled on my calendar.”
Fisher took an early lead on the second hole, but Simpson bounced back and tied it on the third hole. They halved the next two holes before Fisher regained the lead on No. 6.
After a rain delay spent watching golf in the clubhouse with his mother, wife and in-laws, Fisher won three more holes and secured the victory.
“I made some nice 4-to-10 footers to keep the momentum going, but it seems like that could have gone either way,” Fisher said. “He is terrific.”
Simpson, a Kansas State golfer and Shawnee Mission East graduate, won three holes. He defeated Alex Springer 2 and 1 earlier in the day. According to event officials, Simpson has a 7-2 record in match play in two years.
Simpson’s mother was also on hand on Mother’s Day and was recognized at the awards ceremony with a bouquet of flowers for accompanying her son as a caddie this weekend.