Kohler, WI – The site of the 2012 Midwest Classic in Kohler, Wisconsin was Blackwolf Run and the club’s two outstanding golf courses, The River and Meadow Valleys. The site of this summer’s 2012 US Women’s Open did not seem to intimidate the 183 Am Tour player’s that traveled to the shores of Lake Michigan to tackle one of the toughest Am Tour Major layouts in recent memory. A full 12 flights competed over the weekend at Blackwolf Run and when the dust settled there were 12 worthy competitors that earned the right to be called “Midwest Classic Champions.”
Championship Flight – Orland Park, Illinois’ Ken Larney who is one of the most decorated Am Tour players on tour cruised to victory in the Championship flight by 9 shots over his closest competitor, Brooks Biggs. Larney, who was defending his crown in the Midwest Classic and is a multiple Am Tour National Champion, shot an unreal final round 70 in coasting to victory.
Senior Championship Flight – Chicago North tour member, Mark Palmer outlasted five other Senior Championship players to capture his first victory of the 2012 season. Palmer fired two very solid rounds of 76-79 to get the job done over fellow Senior Championship players Dan Mueller and John Juntilla, who both shot two day totals of 157.
Palmer Flight – Wright City, Missouri’s John Todd became a two-time Major winner on the young season by shooting a two day score of 165 in beating Matt McKee and James Cannon in the Palmer flight. Todd who also won the Lake of the Ozarks Classic now has his sights set on the 2012 National Championship as he continues his torrid run to Sawgrass in September.
Senior Palmer Flight – Denver tour member Cliff Damato needed a few extra holes to outlast Chicago North member Steve Dlugosinski in the Sr Palmer flight. Both competitors were tied at 164 and headed out to Meadow Valleys #1 for a sudden death playoff in which Damato won on the 2nd playoff hole.
Hogan Flight – In the largest flight of the event, Wisconsin’s Craig Rumpel outlasted Massachusett’s player Forrest Fontana and Floridian Michael May in capturing his first ever Major Championship. Rumpel’s final round 80 was good enough to get the job done by four shots over Fontana and six over May.
Senior Hogan Flight – In perhaps the most impressive performance of the weekend, Randy Snodgrass of Versailles, IN put on a supreme shot making clinic in fashioning a two day total of 160 on his way to winning the Sr Hogan flight by 7 shots. Buoyed by his 1st round of 79, Snodgrass fired a 2nd round 81 in tough conditions to get the job done.
Sarazen Flight – Miami’s Jose De Armas was not intimidated in the least by two golf courses that couldn’t be more different than Florida golf courses. De Armas distanced himself from the field on day 2 by shooting an 81 in route to his victory over fellow south Floridian Luis Morello.
Senior Sarazen Flight – No, that wasn’t Rickie Fowler that was playing on Sunday in the Sr Sarazen flight, but Chicago North tour player Michael Caithamer sure looked like Rickie dressed in bright orange from head to toe. Caithamer used the orange inspiration to his advantage in besting a large field of Sr Sarazen’s in capturing the flight by 5 shots by shooting two solid rounds in the mid 80’s.
Jones Flight – Texan, Eric King, who typically wears burnt orange slacks on Sunday, wisely choose shorts this time around and that must have been all he needed in capturing his first ever Major Championship. King outlasted two Wisconsin players, John Hipp and Chris Johnson for the victory. Besides King’s victory, another Jones flight highlight of the weekend was Georgian John McAleer’s hole in one on Meadow Valleys #3 on Saturday.
Senior Jones Flight – Waldo, Wisconsin’s Richard Naef used some “home cookin” to capture the Sr Jones flight by 6 shots. Naef who lives 10 minutes from Blackwolf Run parlayed his stress free commute to and from the course to his advantage in beating the likes of Illinois’ John Mudrock and Minnesota’s Paul Alexander.
Snead Flight – Don Fiet’s of the Chicago South tour won his first Major in three years in outdistancing the likes of Tommy Sanchompuphen from Tennessee and Warren Ferber from Minnesota. Fiets’ final round 93 was good enough to get the job done, with his nearest competitor 5 strokes back.
Senior Snead Flight – The three players who had the best shot of winning the Sr Snead flight were from points all across the country. Missouri’s own, and the Lake of the Ozarks Major champion, Steve Oien outlasted Californian Mike McCarty and Floridian Tony Ott in capturing the Sr Snead crown by 2 shots. Oien used a tidy 94 in the final round to come from the middle of the pack to post his second Major victory of the year.