So much for the home-course advantage.
The top team after the first round of the Kansas Golf Association's Four-Ball Championship on Wednesday at Alvamar Golf Club wasn't one of the numerous teams from Lawrence. Instead, El Dorado's Rich Morris and Craig Lile sat atop the leaderboard after finishing with a 6-under-par 66.
Kansas University golfers Chris Thompson and Andy Stewart are two strokes off the pace after 18 of the 36 holes of qualifying, which were played in weather conditions more suitable for football.
``I'll tell you what, I just about froze this morning,'' head superintendent of Alvamar Golf Club Jon Kindlesparger said. ``I came out here in a short-sleave shirt at 5:30 (Wednesday morning). By the time we teed it up, I had a sweater and a windbreaker on.''
Kindlesparger and playing partner Kent Morgison, the assistant superintendent of Alvamar's private course, were one of only 24 pairs to finish at even-par or better.
``We struggled big time,'' Morgison said. ``We got up and down quite a few times. Other than that, we weren't a thing of beauty out there. We said going in if we shoot even-par, with the wind blowing the way it was, we'd take it. So, we'll take it.''
Ex-Jayhawk Alan Stearns still is in the hunt for his third consecutive KGA title as he and teammate Brad Davis shot a 70, good for part of the five-way tie for fifth place.
``It's going to be colder,'' Kindlesparger said of today's second round of qualifying. ``The college kids obviously are going to have, I think, a big advantage because they're used to playing in cool weather in the spring and the fall. Plus the fact that they're all pretty good players.''
Actually, it's kind of surprising Kindlesparger and Morgison didn't shoot sub-par, considering no one knows the course better than the former.
Then again, course employees don't necessarily play the course as much as other people do.
``Other than the fact that I was at work at 5:30 this morning and I left work at 9:00 last night,'' Kindlesparger said. ``I'll be here until 8:30, 9:00 tonight and be here at 5:30 in the morning. I'm tired.''
Morgison echoed his partner's sentiments.
``Yeah, we get to play quite a bit if we're not too sick of the place at the end of the day,'' Morgison said. ``We put in long hours so this is the last place we want to be on our off time. But it's a fun place to play.''
Then again, it also is more fun to play when you have a partner at your side, which was especially true for Morgison and Kindlesparger on the par-five No. 11 hole.
``I somehow hit one out of bounds which I don't think I've ever done on that hole,'' Morgison said. ``John went ahead and made a birdie on that hole so that was a key hole, I felt, on the back side.''
-- Robert Sinclair's phone message number is 832-7185. His e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.