FSHS junior Flynn solid in top flight of city golf championship

Free State High School junior Jack Flynn tees off on the first hole, Saturday, Aug. 16, 2014 at Eagle Bend during the Lawrence Amateur Golf Association tournament.

For the first three holes on the back nine, Jack Flynn proved he belonged in the men’s championship flight at the Lawrence Amateur Golf Association’s city tournament Saturday at Eagle Bend.

He made it look easy, drilling tee shots onto the fairway, sending approach shots near the pin and sinking close putts.

On the 574-yard, par-5 12th hole, Flynn tried to go from the fairway to the green on his second shot. His ball landed short and right of the green and just left of a bunker that lay to the right. Yet it was no problem, as he simply chipped his next shot onto to the green and sank a nine-foot putt.

Two birdies in three holes gave him plenty of confidence, especially after a tough front nine when he shot 4-over-par. But as quickly as Flynn showed he belonged, the Free State High junior showed how tough it is to compete with the city’s best when he hit bogeys on each of the next four holes.

“I thought I was going to get a low (score) on the back (nine), but then I got on the bogey train, so it didn’t go as planned,” said Flynn, who was disappointed with his 6-over-par 78, tying him for seventh place of 10 after the first round.

Flynn, who finished fourth in the Sunflower League and 50th at the high school state tournament last spring, is the only high schooler in the championship flight. Instead of playing with some of his teammates in the regular flight, he wanted an extra challenge and knew he wouldn’t be bothered by the back tees. However, he struggled with his putting throughout the day as the greens were faster and trickier than most of the golfers were anticipating.

How did he keep his spirits high when two- and three-putting holes?

“I couldn’t really keep them up, honestly,” Flynn said while shaking his head. “I was very disappointed in the front because that’s the easier side in my opinion. I felt like I should have putted a lot better, but I didn’t.”

Playing in a threesome with two golfers who were playing collegiate golf before he was born, Chris Hutchens and Michael Rack, Flynn impressed his competitors with how he handled himself despite some errant shots on the front nine.

“It’s nice to kind of put a face to the name and kind of see what Lawrence has coming down the pipe,” Rack said. “He’s got some promise, and if he keeps working on his game, he can develop into a pretty good player.”

Rack, a former University of Nebraska golfer who was runner-up by a stroke in the 2012 city tournament, shot a 2-over-par 74, which places him in fourth for today’s final round. Though he’s happy to be near the top of the leaderboard, he’s just content to be competing.

“With a job and kids and everything, I’m not able to get out and play in a lot of competitions,” he said. “I play a handful of events each summer, but this being a weekend tournament and your local hometown tournament, it’s fun to come out and measure yourself with some of the best in the city. Sure beats work.”

The competition among friends is what draws Hutchens in each year. After finishing third in the first round with a 72, he will tee off in the final group today alongside Conrad Roberts, who shot a 68, and William Gantz, who leads with a 66.

“I think just living in Lawrence for so long, you want the competition,” said Hutchens, a former Kansas University golfer. “There’s not very many tournaments that you can have an opportunity to play stroke play and get to see your buddies and actually get to compete against them. That’s actually what’s fun.”

Other flights

Melanie Wilson has a 10-stroke lead in the women’s flight after shooting an 81, and Galen Smith has a six-stroke lead over Jimmy Hill in the Super Senior Championship flight after shooting a 77. Smith birdied two of his last three holes to add to his lead.

Mike Grosdidier shot a 70 and leads the Senior Championship bracket by a stroke over John Emerson and Ernie Swart. Dennis Gisel is two strokes off Grosdidier, while both Cal Alfred Froberg and Van Reichert are three strokes back.


1 . Melanie Wilson 81

2 . Janelle Martin 91

3 . Tamera Stanley 92

4 . Maryse Schlenk 96


Championship flight

1 . William Gantz 66

2 . Conrad Roberts 68

3 . Chris Hutchens 72

4 . Michael Rack 74

5 . Tyler Cummins 75

6 . Drew Walters 77

t-7. Jack Flynn 78

t-7. Kit Grove 78

9 . Casey Old 80

10 . Spencer Scott 84

First flight

1 . Mike Martin 73

2 . Hunter Dedloff 74

3 . Jack Junge 76

t-4. Marc Albers 80

t-4. Shannon Ross 80

6 . Chris Shimanek 84

t-7. Mike Farve 85

t-7. Darrell Dean Frank 85

Second flight

1 . Matthew Siler 86

2 . Wade Walckner 87

3 . Maurice Monteau 90

4 . Austin Bain 99

5 . Robert Ward 105

6 . Wayne Dedloff 106

Senior Championship flight

1 . Mike Grosdidier 70

t-2. John A. Emerson 71

t-2. Ernie Swart 71

4 . Dennis Gisel 72

t-5. Cal Alfred Froberg 73

t-5. Van Reichert 73

7 . Tom Albers 80

8 . Gary Dick 82

9 . Mike Beaton 83

10 . David Davison 85

Senior first flight

1 . Degan White 76

2 . Phil Loomis 79

t-3. Ross Cummins 80

t-3. Richard Lyman 80

Senior second flight

1 . Mike Hertling 82

2 . Dan Heptig 87

3 . Prakash Shenoy 89

4 . Andrew Chen 95

Super Senior Championship flight

1 . Galen Smith 77

2 . Jimmy Hill 83

3 . Dennis Novacek 84

4 . Stan Tiemeyer 85

Super Senior Regular flight

1 . Larry Folks 75

2 . Doug Houston 82