At the conclusion of the Korn Ferry Tour Championship presented by United Leasing & Finance on Sunday, 25 Korn players received their 2023 PGA TOUR cards.  They joined 25 other professionals who received their cards at the conclusion of the regular Korn Ferry Tour season.

Of the 50 new graduates:

  • Forty have played in past Wichita Opens
  • Twenty-two played in Wichita in 2022

In addition to local golfer, Sam Stevens, these Wichita Open alums received their 2023 PGA TOUR card:

  • Anders Albertson
  • Tyson Alexander*
  • Ryan Armour
  • Erik Barnes
  • Joseph Bramlett
  • Eric Cole*
  • Trevor Cone*
  • Austin Cook
  • MJ Daffue
  • Zecheng Dou*
  • Nicholas Echavarria*
  • Austin Eckroat*
  • Harrison Endycott*
  • Brice Garnett
  • Michael Giglic
  • Will Gordon*
  • Brent Grant*
  • Ben Griffin*
  • Paul Haley II*
  • Harry Hall
  • Nick Hardy
  • Scott Harrington
  • Michael Kim*
  • Nicholas Lindheim*
  • David Lingmerth
  • Ben Martin
  • Brandon Matthews
  • Henrik Norander
  • Vincent Norman*
  • Augusto Nunez*
  • Kevin Roy*
  • Robby Shelton*
  • Brian Stuard
  • Justin Suh*
  • Ben Taylor
  • Trevor Werbylo*
  • Kyle Westmoreland*
  • Carson Young*
  • Kevin Yu*
  • Carl Yuan*

Bold Face –Played in past Wichita Opens

* – Competed in the 2022 Wichita Open

The 34th playing of the Wichita Open is June 15-18 at Crestview Country Club.

Sam Stevens joined his father and grandfather as a PGA TOUR professional after carding a top finish in a season-ending qualifying event this past weekend in Newburgh, Ind.

The 26-year old Wichita golfer competed against a field of 100 professional golfers at the United Leasing Korn Ferry Tour Championship. The Top 25 finishers earned the opportunity to compete in the 2022-23 PGA TOUR, which begins Sept. 15 in Napa, Calif. Stevens shot a 15-under, 72-hole total of 273 to finish in a tie for 12th place.  During the season, Stevens recorded 11 Top 25 finishes in 23 starts, which propelled him to 43rd on the Korn Ferry Tour Regular Season Eligibility Points List and a spot in the championship.

The Kapaun Mt. Carmel graduate played collegiately at Oklahoma State University and was a member of its 2018 NCAA Championship-winning team.  He follows in the footsteps of his father, Charlie, who played collegiately at Oklahoma and Texas Christian before making two Korn Ferry Tour starts in 1992. Grandfather Johnny Stevens competed in 30 PGA TOUR events, mostly across the 1968 and 1969 seasons. The Stevens family has produced some of Kansas’ best golfers, both men and women.

The 34th playing of the Wichita Open is June 15-18 at Crestview Country Club

WICHITA, Kansas – The Wichita Open Benefitting KU Wichita Pediatrics has been on the Korn Ferry Tour schedule since its establishment in 1990 and was played for the 33rd time this week, but this historic event had never seen anything like the victorious week Norman Xiong capped off Sunday evening.

Xiong, who began the week without status on a PGA TOUR-sanctioned circuit and Monday qualified into the tournament, posted a final-round 7-under 63 and totaled a 26-under 254, tying the second-lowest 72-hole score in Korn Ferry Tour history. The only lower 72-hole total came from Stephan Jaeger, who shot a 12-under 58 en route to a 30-under 250 at the 2016 Ellie Mae Classic at TPC Stonebrae. Xiong posted the remarkable winning total despite a double bogey at the par-4 18th Sunday.

Xiong finished five strokes clear of Kevin Roy, who settled for solo-second even as he tied the previous 72-hole tournament scoring record of 21-under 259 set by Aaron Wise in 2017. While Xiong and Wise were not teammates at the University of Oregon (they were two years apart), both turned professional following their sophomore seasons and won the Wichita Open by a tournament-record five strokes.

Xiong’s first PGA TOUR-sanctioned victory made him the 25th open qualifier in Korn Ferry Tour history to win the tournament, and the first since Rick Lamb’s victory as an open qualifier at the 2016 LECOM Health Challenge. Xiong also joined five-time PGA TOUR winner Ben Crane (2000) and two-time Korn Ferry Tour winner Sebastian Cappelen (2014) as open qualifiers who won the Wichita Open.

“I really don’t know how I’m feeling just because I didn’t really expect to be here,” Xiong said. “I just knew I couldn’t really let up today. I think that just shows how tough it is out here, and I think you can only recognize how much of a battle it is for all these players out here. It’s a really tough sport.”

Xiong started the final round at 19-under par and had a goal of reaching 22-under. After a birdie-eagle-birdie stretch from Nos. 2-4, Xiong needed a new goal, so he turned his sights to the low round of the day, a 10-under 60 by Justin Suh which broke the tournament’s 18-hole scoring record and Crestview Country Club course record.

Xiong played the next 10 holes at 3-under par with birdies at Nos. 6, 7, 10, and 14, and a bogey at the par-4 11th. A hole-out eagle at the par-4 16th took Xiong to 9-under for the day and brought him within range of Suh’s record-breaking round. Xiong’s tee shot at the par-4 18th caromed out of bounds and led to a double bogey.

“I just tried my best to get there and fell short on the last hole, kind of choked it, but got the win,” Xiong said. “A lot of things just went my way. I got a lot of good breaks, a lot of putts dropped. It’s kind of what it takes out here to win, to have it be your week and have everything go your way.”

Originally from Tamuning, Guam, Xiong moved to San Diego, California with his mother, Jing, and uncle, James Xiong, at age 6. Xiong was a dedicated participant at First Tee of San Diego and blossomed into a decorated junior golfer, garnering AJGA All-America Second Team honors in 2014 and 2015, followed by a first-team laurel in 2016.

Xiong made his way to Oregon, where he enjoyed immediate success. In addition to being the 2017 National Freshman of the Year, Xiong and teammate Wyndham Clark, now a PGA TOUR member, helped Oregon win the 2017 Pac-12 Championship. Later that summer, Xiong defeated Doc Redman in the title match of the 2017 Western Amateur Championship, joining a list of past champions headlined by Tiger Woods. Xiong also played on the 2017 Walker Cup and Arnold Palmer Cup teams, competing alongside the likes of Sam Burns, Collin Morikawa, Scottie Scheffler, and Will Zalatoris.

The following season, Xiong won six times individually en route to two of the three national player of the year honors, the 2018 Jack Nicklaus and Fred Haskins Awards.

After the 2018 NCAA Championships, Xiong, 19 at the time, turned professional and made five PGA TOUR starts via sponsor exemptions but missed the cut each time. It appeared as though the tough stretch was an aberration, as Xiong shared the 36-hole lead at the 2018 Sanderson Farms Championship and eventually finished T26. Roughly a month later, Xiong earned Korn Ferry Tour membership for the 2019 season with a runner-up finish at Final Stage of its Qualifying Tournament.

Everything spiraled downward shortly thereafter.

As a rookie on the Korn Ferry Tour, Xiong racked up 15 missed cuts in 21 starts and fell back to the Korn Ferry Tour Qualifying Tournament. At Second Stage, Xiong finished T69 among the 72 players who finished all four rounds and no longer had membership. Sunday evening, Xiong referred to it as the low point of his last three years.

From the start of 2020 through last week, Xiong made seven PGA TOUR-sanctioned starts. Xiong Monday qualified into two PGA TOUR and Korn Ferry Tour events, missing the cut in all four starts, and briefly held status on PGA TOUR Canada, where he recorded a top-10 in three starts last year.

In an interview with Golf.com last year, Xiong felt he could write a book about all that has changed since he turned professional as a college superstar.

“I guess this concludes Chapter 1,” Xiong said following his win Sunday. “I feel so much different than I did when I was out here last year, a few years ago.”

The next chapter for Xiong begins with the Live and Work in Maine Open. The win not only put Xiong at No. 34 on the Korn Ferry Tour Regular Season Points List, it earned him fully exempt status for the remainder of the season. Shortly after the win, Xiong committed to next week’s field.

A PGA TOUR card went from practically out of sight to top of mind for 23-year-old Norman Xiong.

Eleven community and business leaders have decided to support the Wichita Open and the youth of Wichita by becoming Wichita Open Ambassadors since the conclusion of the 2021 event.

Their involvement cements a milestone never achieved before – 50 Wichita Open Ambassadors.

“This now makes 11 new ambassadors since the end of our 2021 tournament and gets us to our goal of 50! I am personally truly amazed and so – so grateful” according to Tournament Director Roy Turner.

New Ambassadors since the conclusion of the 2021 tournament:

  • Commerce Bank
  • Dwell RealEstate Group at KW Signature Partners LLC
  • Equity Bank
  • Fee Insurance
  • Hays Companies, A Division of Brown & Brown
  • Jason Judkins
  • Keystone Solid Surfaces
  • Pella Products of Kansas
  • Phoenix Home Care and Hospice
  • Sunflower Bank
  • The Belmont

Charles Hamrick, Sr. Director, Tournament Business and Sponsor Relations commented on the tournament’s milestone and ambassador program, “The Ambassador program showcases the power of the Wichita community and encapsulates the community spirit that the PGA TOUR is all about.  We could not be more excited to celebrate the addition of the 50th Ambassador. We commend the entire group on the consistent role they play in making this one the best events on our Tour, and the impact they have on all the charities that the Wichita Open benefitting KU Wichita Pediatrics has supported over the years.”

The Wichita Open Ambassador program encourages and provides a way for its members to get involved by:

  • Raising Charitable Donations for Local and National Organizations
  • Improving the Overall Quality and Success of the Event
  • Stabilizing the Tournament’s Future

The Wichita Open Benefitting KU Wichita Pediatrics will be returning to Crestview Country Club the week of June 13-19.

The Wichita Open Benefitting KU Wichita Pediatrics is a 72-hole competition featuring 156 players from around the world. Debuting in 1990, the tournament is one of four original tour stops that remain on the current schedule.

The event has been played at Crestview Country Club since 2000.

Wichita Open has most-ever Ambassadors in its History!

 

 

Phoenix Home Care & Hospice and Commerce Bank are Wichita Open Ambassadors.

With their addition, the Wichita Open has the most ambassadors since the inception of the Wichita Open Ambassador program in 2013.

“Commerce Bank is excited to expand our relationship with the Wichita Open by becoming an Ambassador!  The Wichita Open is a great event for our community, and we look forward to a stronger partnership with the tournament in 2022”, said Monte Cook, President and CEO of Commerce Bank’s Kansas Region.

With $34.5 billion in assets (9/30/32021), Commerce Bancshares, Inc. (NASDAQ: CBSH) is a registered bank holding company offering a full line of banking services, including payment solutions, investment management and securities brokerage. Commerce Bank, a subsidiary of Commerce Bancshares, Inc., leverages more than 150 years of proven strength and experience to help individuals and businesses solve financial challenges. Commerce Bank currently operates full-service banking facilities across the Midwest including Wichita, KS.

“Both of our new ambassadors believe in the mission of KU Wichita Pediatrics and have a strong history of commitment to the Wichita community,” said Roy Turner, Tournament Director.  “We are honored that they have chosen to step into the role of Ambassadors.

“Phoenix Home Care & Hospice is ecstatic to be an Ambassador for the Wichita Open joining what we truly believe is  a group of exceptional businesses,” said Alex Melugin, Executive Vice President of Phoenix Home Care & Hospice. “We are excited for the opportunity to support such a phenomenal event that has a true impact on the Wichita community.”

Phoenix Home Care & Hospice came to be as a result of our commitment to improve the quality of life of the people we serve. Rooted in the Christ-like values of patience, honesty and compassion, Phoenix focuses on providing exceptional patient care and treating each patient with the dignity they deserve. Offering home health, hospice, private duty care, outpatient physical therapy and comprehensive disease management/palliative care Phoenix offers the full continuum of care. No matter where you are on your healthcare journey, Phoenix is dedicated to providing the care you need at the time you need it.

“The Wichita Open gets bigger and better every year”, said Roy Turner, Tournament Director.  Turner added, “Welcome and thank you to Fee Insurance and Keystone Solid Surfaces for joining our exclusive Ambassador group.  The commitment of our Ambassadors makes the he Wichita Open unique on the PGA TOUR.  The Ambassadors represent a community that supports an event that raises significant local charity dollars with an economic impact of $7.5M”.

“Fee Insurance Group is thrilled to be a part of such a great Wichita community event.   We are invested in Wichita and appreciate the opportunity to give back and invest in one of Wichita’s premier events.   The Wichita Open supports local charities, has a large economic impact on Wichita and provides a great networking opportunity.  We are honored to be an Ambassador for the Wichita Open and to be a part of such an outstanding group of people,” said Allen Fee, CEO of Fee Insurance Group.

Fee Insurance Group was founded in 1883 on the premise that families and businesses deserve a trusted partner to advise them on the risks they face. Together with individuals, organizations and communities, we look ahead to help protect the people, places and things they love.  We pride ourselves in intimately knowing our client’s industry.  Our intention is to offer creative insurance and risk management solutions that bring value to their organization.

Keystone Solid Surfaces is the premier residential and commercial fabricator and installer of Quartz, Granite, and Solid Surfaces in Kansas. Keystone’s state of the art fabrication facility, showroom, and great employees are why they have experienced tremendous growth in our industry. They serve the best customers and enjoy the team-oriented approach that allows them the ability to achieve countertops that are to focal point of many homes and businesses. They are proud of their city and look forward to continued growth and being able to make Wichita better for teams and future generations.

Cyle Barnwell, Keystone Solid Surfaces CFO said, “It’s truly an honor to be able to join the list of Ambassadors for the Wichita Open. As a Wichita business, we care deeply about the community and are excited to partner with the Wichita Open to support our city and the many local charities that benefit from this wonderful golf tournament.

The Wichita Open Ambassador program encourages and provides a way for its members to get involved by:

  • Raising Charitable Donations for Local and National Organizations
  • Improving the Overall Quality and Success of the Event
  • Stabilizing the Tournament’s Future

The 2022 event will be held at its reigning home for the last 22 years—Crestview Country Club—from June  9 to June  19, with competition rounds from the 16th to the 19th   Since the inception of the Wichita Open Ambassadors,   close to $2M  has been donated to local charities.

https://www.feeinsurance.com

https://keystonesolidsurfaces.com

WICHITA, KS. – Harry Hall gave his dad quite the early birthday present Sunday. Hall’s father will celebrate his birthday Monday, but the two can bask in the radiance of his son’s first Korn Ferry Tour victory on Father’s Day. Making his 22nd career start, Hall held off late charges by several players and won the Wichita Open Benefitting KU Wichita Pediatrics by a stroke with a 20-under 260.

“I just can’t wait to speak to my family,” said Hall, who hasn’t seen his parents in 18 months. “This is awesome. I’m actually supposed to be going home after Maine next week to try to qualify for the Open (Championship). I’m going to go home and can’t wait to share the moment with them. I wish they were here. To be honest, mom and dad have never actually watched me play a professional event in America. Dad has only watched me play once in America for the last six years. I can’t wait for them to come over the first chance they get.”

The 23-year-old Englishman’s final-round 3-under 67 was enough to finish one shot ahead of Curtis Thompson, who left a birdie putt roughly three feet short at the par-4 18th. At the time Thompson’s putt to reach 20-under came up short, he was two shots behind Hall.

Hall, a Korn Ferry Tour rookie, opened the day with four consecutive birdies to reach 21-under par, but brought a litany of players back into contention with bogeys at Nos. 6 and 10. Birdies at the par-5 14th and par-4 16th put Hall back in the driver’s seat, though by that time 2016 Wichita Open champion Ollie Schniederjans moved within a stroke of his lead.

As Hall bogeyed the par-3 17th and lost the outright lead, Schniederjans sliced his drive out of bounds on the 18th and made double bogey. While Hall focused on the next shot, his caddie kept an eye on the chaos which transpired on the leaderboards.

“Ben (his caddie) did a great job… so I knew where I was all day,” said Hall, whose previous career-high finish on Tour was a T2 at the 2020 Memorial Health Championship presented by LRS. “That was big, because I remember when I came second last year, I was leading coming down the last hole and I had no idea where I was. That would’ve influenced how I approached the green. This time, I knew, and I hit the shots I needed to.”

Hall piped his drive down the 18th fairway, knocked his approach to 40 feet and two-putted for the win. It was Hall’s first victory of any kind since October 2018, when he won the Little Rock Invitational as a senior at University of Nevada-Las Vegas.

“I’ve actually never been a winner, to be honest,” said Hall, a two-time medalist and 2019 Mountain West Conference Player of the Year at UNLV. “I’ve always been a consistent top-10er, even throughout college. To get a win is fantastic, especially at this level. It’s pretty hard to do.”

Hall, who wore a black and gold outfit in honor of his home county, Cornwall, England, began the 2020-21 season with conditional status. And Hall’s first start was not until the Korn Ferry Tour returned from the COVID-19 pandemic hiatus at the Korn Ferry Challenge at TPC Sawgrass in mid-June. He earned a spot in the field via a 4-for-3 playoff at the event’s Monday qualifier.

Roughly a year after that Monday qualifier kickstarted Hall’s professional career, Sunday’s victory takes him from 83rd to 36th in the 2020-21 Korn Ferry Tour points standings. Instead of battling for a spot in the Korn Ferry Tour Finals down the closing stretch of the regular season, Hall can now contend for a PGA TOUR card.

Hall isn’t getting that far ahead, though.

“My goal is to survive tonight and tee it up Thursday, and hit that next tee shot.”

The Korn Ferry Tour has announced it will significantly increase its purses over the next two seasons.

The Wichita Open purse will increase from $600,000 to $750,000 in 2022. In 2023, the purse will be $1 Million. When founded in 1990 as the Ben Hogan Tour (1990-92), the Korn Ferry Tour featured a total purse of $3 million across 30 total events, averaging $100,000 per tournament. The purse increases were originally planned for 2021 but delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The minimum figure for Korn Ferry Tour regular-season purses will increase by $150,000 to $750,000 in 2022. In 2023, the minimum will rise another $250,000 to $1 million, a 66.7 percent increase over two years. Each of the three events in the Korn Ferry Tour Finals currently features a $1 million purse this season. In 2023, the purse for all three will increase to $1.5 million.

“It feels good that Wichita will host a $1 million tournament. The Wichita Open has come a long way these past years and is yet another milestone, said Wichita Open Tournament director Roy Turner.

“The Korn Ferry Tour continues to play a massive role in delivering a pipeline of future stars to the PGA Tour on a consistent basis. Today’s announcement is another step in ensuring the Tour will continue to attract the best young talent while providing higher-quality playing opportunities for the entire membership,” said Korn Ferry Tour President Alex Baldwin.

The Wichita Open Benefitting KU Wichita Pediatrics will be returning to Crestview Country Club the week of June 14 – 20th.

The Wichita Open Benefitting KU Wichita Pediatrics is a 72-hole competition featuring 156 players from around the world. Debuting in 1990, the tournament is one of four original tour stops that remain on the current schedule. The event has been played at Crestview Country Club since 2000. The event was the Korn Ferry Tour’s Tournament of the Year in 2019.

Southwestern Electrical is a Wichita Open Ambassador. 

With their addition, the Wichita Open has the most ambassadors since the inception of the Wichita Open Ambassador program in 2013.

“Southwestern Electrical has supported our event since our arrival at Crestview in 2001,” said Roy Turner, Tournament Director.  We are honored that they have chosen to step into the role of Ambassador.  “Their addition is a milestone in our Ambassador program”.

“Southwestern Electrical Company is thrilled to support our local market as an Ambassador for the Wichita Open. We have been headquartered right here in Wichita, KS since 1908.   So it only makes sense to partner up with the Wichita Open to support local charities,” said Aaron Drake, President of Southwestern Electrical Co., Inc. “We are excited to see the positive impact that the Wichita Open brings to our community and are proud to be part of the team!  We have grown into the largest Electrical Contractor in the Wichita area and are the oldest licensed Electrical Contractor in the state of Kansas still in operation. This has been accomplished by the hard work of our employees and their commitment to quality and safety.”

Southwestern Electrical offers a wide variety of commercial and industrial design, installation and services including Electrical, voice, data, fiber optic, security cameras, access controls, audio visual, building automation and wireless network infrastructure installations. In addition, is committed to improving and advancing with the industry to offer its customers state of the art support with the latest technologies available.

The Wichita Open Ambassador program encourages and provides a way for its members to get involved by:

  • Raising Charitable Donations for Local and National Organizations
  • Improving the Overall Quality and Success of the Event
  • Stabilizing the Tournament’s Future

The Wichita Open Benefitting KU Wichita Pediatrics will be returning to Crestview Country Club the week of June 14 – 20th.

The Wichita Open Benefitting KU Wichita Pediatrics is a 72-hole competition featuring 156 players from around the world. Debuting in 1990, the tournament is one of four original tour stops that remain on the current schedule. The event has been played at Crestview Country Club since 2000. The event was the Korn Ferry Tour’s Tournament of the Year in 2019.

Berry Companies, Inc. and Cornejo Corporation are Wichita Open Ambassadors.

“It is with great pride that I announce the addition of these two Wichita community icons with over 120 combined years in Wichita,” said Roy Turner, Tournament Director.  Turner added, “They now join 37 other business leaders who have chosen to support our event and the youth of Wichita”.

“Cornejo is honored to be an Ambassador for the Wichita Open. As a Wichita-founded business, we are always looking for new ways to give back to the community that helped us grow into what we are today. Many of our current charitable partnerships are focused on the youth of Wichita and so it just made sense for us to connect with the Wichita Open and to embrace this opportunity to help so many more children in the greater Wichita area. We are eager to begin our partnership with the Wichita Open Ambassadors and bring more hope and joy to children in need.” said Cornejo & Sons LLC President Pat Short.

Founded in Wichita in 1952 by the Cornejo family, Cornejo & Sons quickly set the standard for quality, customer service, and excellence in the construction industry. After being acquired in 2010, that legacy continued under the leadership of Summit Materials, an international building materials company. Today, Cornejo remains a market leader, providing quality materials and work for our community and our state. We specialize in aggregates, stone and gravel, ready mix and asphalt production and paving, recycling and landfill. We take great pride in our contributions to our community and are determined to continue improving and advancing our industry.

Berry Companies, Inc. is a family owned and operated company headquartered in Wichita, KS.  We have eight divisions across eight states that offer sales, rental and support of compact and large construction equipment plus a full line of material handling and warehouse solutions.  Berry’s Wichita-based businesses include Berry Tractor, Berry Material Handling and White Star Machinery and features premier brands including Komatsu, Hyster-Yale and Bobcat machines and equipment.

Greg Joerg, Berry Industries Inc Chief Financial Officer, said “Throughout Berry’s decades-long growth and diversification, we’ve remained a family company where customers and employees come first. Our mission includes choosing what’s right over what’s profitable and recognizing this family-first approach as a key to our success.  Berry Companies is proud to be an Ambassador for the Wichita Open and have the opportunity to support the efforts of KU Wichita Pediatrics in serving children in our community”

The Wichita Open Ambassador program encourages and provides a way for its members to get involved by:

  • Raising Charitable Donations for Local and National Organizations
  • Improving the Overall Quality and Success of the Event
  • Stabilizing the Tournament’s Future

The 2021 event will be held at its reigning home for the last 21 years—Crestview Country Club—from June 10 to June 20, with competition rounds from the 17th to the 20th   Since the inception of the Wichita Open Ambassadors,   over $1.5M has been donated to local charities.

The Wichita Open Benefitting KU Wichita Pediatrics is a 72-hole competition featuring 156 players from around the world. Debuting in 1990, the tournament is one of four original tour stops that remain on the current schedule. The event has been played at Crestview Country Club since 2000. The event was named the Korn Ferry Tour’s Tournament of the Year in 2019.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Korn Ferry Tour’s 2020 and 2021 seasons combined as a one-time, wraparound season due to prior event cancellations. The newly created 2020-21 schedule will conclude with 25 PGA TOUR cards awarded at the 2021 Pinnacle Bank Championship presented by Aetna, with an additional 25 cards awarded at the conclusion of the 2021 Korn Ferry Tour Finals.