For the first time in several decades, Dodge City and Mariah Hills Golf Course played host to one of the Kansas Amateur qualifying tournaments on Wednesday. The top 10 finishers qualify for the state tournament later this summer.
The course hosted 27 golfers including Dodge City Community College current and former golfers Cole Christain, Nick Kagy, Mason LeGrange, Witchayapat Sinsrang, Trenton Specht and Parker Waters and Dodge City High School’s Scott Abel, Andrew Goetz, Luke Gleason, Dylan Ratts and Matthew Vogel.
The tournament was hosted by Dodge City High School boy’s golf head coach Jim Mapel and Dodge City Community College men's golf head coach and Mariah Hills’ golf pro Chris Robinson.
Robinson put in for hosting the tournament a while ago and was pleased that he was able to host it and is high on the prospect for hosting future tournaments in Dodge City.
“Mariah Hills has a great relationship with the Kansas Golf Association,” Robinson said. “We hosted this event this year and we’d like to keep it here. We feel like our course is a great set-up for those kids ... Mariah Hills right now, I’d put it up against anything with how good of shape the native is and how nice the greens are.”
Kids from all over the state came to Mariah Hills in part because they enjoy the course and the challenges that it brings.
“We got a lot of compliments from the players on how the course played and how it was run,” Mapel said.
Mapel also insisted on the importance of holding a tournament like this in Dodge City saying that it really helps increase the turnout of local golfers coming out and competing.
“Just having it at home, I think we had more local people participating,” Mapel said. “And it’s nice to play at home. You don’t have to travel and you get to play your home course. I’m fairly certain that we had some players who played today because the tournament was in Dodge City.”
Four out of the six current and former Conqs qualified for state led by Christian who shot a second-best of the tournament 72. Kagy followed right behind shooting a 73, Specht finished with a 75 and LeGrange birdied twice in the playoff to grab the 10th qualifying spot.
Sinsrang and Ratts finished just outside the qualifiers with a 78, Abel shot an 80, Vogel shot an 81, Goetz shot an 82 and Gleason shot an 85.
Up next, Mariah Hills will host the Kansas Junior Golf Association state championship from July 24-26. Dodge City’s Aidan Robinson, Cooper Scheck, Ethan Goertzen and Matthew Vogel will all compete in that tournament.