KGA Four-Ball Championship
The Kansas Golf Association Four-Ball Championship almost had its first extra-hole final in the Masters Division on Friday at Alvamar Golf Course.
And this was the inaugural year of the Masters Division.
With the championship match square through the first 15 holes of the 18-hole final, Craig Colboch delivered a decisive blow on No. 16 by knocking down a long birdie putt that was enough to give him and teammate Mark Elliott a 1-up victory over Gary Lucas and Lawrence native Mike Grosdidier.
"Mark said he thought it might be a little short, but I knew the line was there, and these greens roll off pretty good," Colboch said of his birdie putt. "So I knew I had made it."
The Topeka tandem nearly closed out the match on the following hole.
Despite having what he admitted to be a poor day hitting, Elliott strung together two miraculous shots on No. 17 to put him within 10 feet of the pin - and the championship.
Following a tee shot that hit a tree, Elliott got his second shot around the tree but was placed in line with another tree between his ball and the green. His approach shot on the par-5 hole cleared the tree and ended up being the only ball on the green.
"We were ahead at the turn, and Craig really played well in these two days of matches so that helped a lot," Elliott said. "We did pretty well. Our short game was really nice, and I didn't hit it nearly as good in this match as I did in the previous three. But that's OK. We won."
After missing short with the potential match-clinching putt on the 17th, Elliott landed a nice chip shot inches from the hole on No. 18 to earn par - meaning the best Grosdidier and Lucas could do was halve the hole.
"It doesn't matter what sport it is, it's always hard to finish, to finish them off," Elliott said. "Like in the NBA playoffs, it will more than likely go to seven (games) because it's hard to finish something off. We had some opportunities. I should have finished it off on 17, but I didn't and then had some putts they could have made that just burned the edges. So you just keep playing and hope for the best. And we got it done, I guess."
Elliott, who hosts an afternoon sports-talk-radio show on 580 WIBW, even predicted that the NBA Finals between the Boston Celtics and the Los Angeles Lakers would have a similar finish to the four-ball finals: with the 'visiting team' coming away as the victor.
"I think you're going to see the Lakers win the next game in Boston, so it will be 1-to-1," Elliott said. "Then Boston will get one of the three in L.A., but I don't know. I think the Lakers are pretty good. They can score a lot of points and Kobe (Bryant) didn't shoot it very well (in Boston's 98-88 victory on Thursday). I'm going with the Lakers in seven."