Wichita, KS – The Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas Wichita Open is pleased to announce the addition of Advance Catastrophe Technologies (ACT) as the newest Wichita Open Major Sponsor.

“ACT has come to the Wichita Open and immediately asks us to start dreaming a little bigger. Their energy is infectious, and not only do they see the value of our ambassadors, but they create and add tremendous value for everyone in the room. They are not here to be another person in the room, they have joined the Wichita Open to be an influential advocate of this community. We want strong local leaders to be a part of us, and we firmly believe in their leadership,” said Dusty Buell, Tournament Director.

“The ACT Family is thrilled to join the Wichita Open as a major sponsor,” said Ashlea McDonald, President of ACT. “A signature event like the Wichita Open provides critical support for organizations like KU Wichita Pediatrics and delivers such a positive economic impact throughout the city. As a Wichita-based company, we want to do our part and invest in those that work tirelessly to make this community a better place to live.”

Founded in 2001, Advance Catastrophe Technologies (ACT) provides disaster planning, response and recovery for over 10,000 commercial properties across the United States and Canada. Specializing in water, fire, environmental, and storm restoration, ACT is dedicated to serving its clients with a proactive approach to any and all disasters. With the goal of minimizing business interruptions, ACT utilizes state-of-the-art technologies along with a heartfelt compassion for those affected by disaster.

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 2024 event will be held at its reigning home for the last 24 years – Crestview Country Club – from June 6 to June 16, with competition rounds from the 13th to the 16th. Since the inception of the Wichita Open Ambassadors, close to $3M has been donated to local charities.

WICHITA, Kansas –The Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas Wichita Open is happy to announce the addition of Meritrust Credit Union as the newest Wichita Open Ambassador.

“Meritrust is no stranger to the Wichita Open, they have been a strong supporter for many years. It is incredible to see them join the team of ambassadors this year, and we are excited to continue to bolster our ambassador program by adding community leaders like Meritrust. We see great alignment between The Wichita Open and Meritrust as our missions are in place to improve the lives of the community.” Tournament Director, Dusty Buell, said.

“We are pleased to expand our relationship by becoming a Wichita Open Ambassador,” said Moji Rosson, Director of Growth Strategies and Community Impact. “The impact provided by the Wichita Open aligns with our mission to improve the lives of our members and the communities we serve, and we are honored to join this elite group of sponsors.”

Meritrust Credit Union is a full-service financial institution. As a credit union, we are a member owned cooperative dedicated to our communities and driven by our purpose to create financially healthy employees and members. We offer an array of products and services to assist you no matter where you may be on your financial journey.

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 2024 event will be held at its reigning home for the last 24 years—Crestview Country Club—from June 6 to June 16, with competition rounds from the 13th to the 16th. Since the inception of the Wichita Open Ambassadors, close to $3M has been donated to local charities.

WICHITA, Kansas – For a second consecutive week, a PGA TOUR University Class of 2023 alum won their professional and Korn Ferry Tour debut. Ricky Castillo defeated Korn Ferry Tour winners Kyle Jones and Adrien Dumont de Chassart – who also won his professional and Korn Ferry Tour debut last week – on the first hole of a sudden-death playoff to win the Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Kansas Wichita Open Benefitting KU Wichita Pediatrics, becoming the 19th player in Korn Ferry Tour history to win their debut start.

Just 18 days ago, Castillo (pronounced cuh-STILL-ee-oh) went undefeated in match play at the 2023 NCAA Championship in Scottsdale, Arizona as University of Florida won the team national title.

Shortly thereafter, Castillo turned professional and accepted Korn Ferry Tour membership (as well as fully exempt status on PGA TOUR Canada) as the No. 9 finisher in the 2023 PGA TOUR University Ranking.

With only five members of the PGA TOUR University Class of 2023 guarnateed starts each week, though, Castillo figured he would play Monday qualifiers until he earned enough points to gain entry to events via the Korn Ferry Tour Priority Ranking. Last Friday, the Wichita Open offered Castillo a restricted sponsor exemption. Castillo accepted, packed his bags, and split the 18-hour drive from Gainesville, Florida to Wichita, Kansas across multiple days, stopping briefly in Tennessee.

Oddly enough, Castillo got into this week’s field via the PGA TOUR University category following a top-25 by Ryan Burnett, the No. 7 finisher in the Class of 2023, and Dumont de Chassart’s victory at last week’s BMW Charity Pro-Am presented by TD SYNNEX.

“Just really grateful for the opportunity just to be able to play in this event, and to be able to win is just an awesome feeling,” said the 22-year-old Castillo, the youngest Korn Ferry Tour winner this season. “Just grateful, that’s the only feeling I’m feeling right now.”

Castillo entered the final round T2 and four strokes behind Dumont de Chassart, the No. 3 finisher from the 2023 PGA TOUR University Ranking who was bidding to join Ben Kohles (2012) as the only other player in Korn Ferry Tour history to win his first two starts on Tour.

With birdies on five of the first seven holes at Crestview Country Club (Nos. 2, 3, 5, 6, 7 – even more impressive considering the sixth and seventh were two of the four hardest holes on the course Sunday) and another at the par-5 14th, Castillo reached 21-under par and took a two-stroke lead over Dumont de Chassart, who played his first 13 holes at even par.

The script flipped entirely when Castillo caught a tough lie atop a fairway bunker at the par-4 15th. Facing an awkward stance, a short tree in front of him and an uphill lie, Castillo needed to hoist a shot up in the air but still carry the water in front of the green. He lofted it too high and watched helplessly as his ball tumbled into the water. Castillo went on to make double bogey. Behind him at No. 14, Dumont de Chassart made eagle, creating a four-shot swing.

“I was just trying to get it on the green,” Castillo said. “Honestly, didn’t think I hit that bad of a shot, but just didn’t carry far enough. I thought at one point that could have been a shot that I would be thinking about for a long time. Now I’m probably going to forget about that shot tomorrow morning.”

Castillo parred his last three holes and signed for 4-under 66. Playing in the group behind him, Dumont de Chassart missed greens and could not salvage pars at the par-4 15th and 16th, dropping him into a tie for first at 19-under par. Jones eagled the 14th to reach 19-under par and barely missed birdie opportunities at the 16th and par-3 17th.

On the first hole of the playoff, the par-4 18th, Jones sent his approach long and into the gallery, leading to a bogey. Dumont de Chassart hit a drive through the fairway and could only hit a punch shot toward the green; he left his approach in the front greenside rough, and his chip came up roughly 8 feet short of the cup. Castillo hit a “comfortable 9-iron” roughly 15 feet past the hole from 178 yards and a flier lie in the right rough.

After Castillo curled his putt just beyond tap-in range, Dumont de Chassart missed his par putt, effectively securing the victory for Castillo.

Castillo is the fifth PGA TOUR University alum to win on the Korn Ferry Tour, joining two-time winner Pireceson Coody (won third and 14th starts), Trevor Werbylo (seventh start), Davis Thompson (14th start), and Dumont de Chassart. Of those five, Castillo, Dumont de Chassart and Coody won in their debut season on Tour.

The fact Castillo’s victory came on Fathers Day carried extra meaning. Castillo cited his grandma and both his father as perhaps the most important influences on his life and golf career. The puka shell necklace Castillo wears is a nod to his grandmother; he bought it on a childhood trip to Hawaii.

“My grandma made a really huge impact on my life. She started paying for my golf tournaments when my parents couldn’t afford it,” Castillo said. “I just have to thank her and my dad and my parents for, you know, for everything, just being in the position I am today.

“My dad’s been a really huge role model in my life,” Castillo continued. “He wanted me to be a good golfer but he cared more about me being a good person, and I think that was what he really cared about. That’s what I’ve really focused on. Golf is great and everything, but you’re going to be remembered for the good things you do like the Rickie Fowlers and the Jordan Spieths.”

What will Castillo do to celebrate his first professional victory? The same thing he did to start his professional career: pack his bags and hit the road.

Little Stars Therapy Services, and Scott Schneider Law are Wichita Open Ambassadors

“I could not be more excited about Scott Schneider Law Firm and Little Stars Therapy Services joining our ambassador group as community leaders in the field,” said Dusty Buell, Tournament Director. Buell added, “with the statistics continually rising regarding children diagnosed with autism, knowing we have the first-class facility and the specialized workforce right here in our community is a literal lifesaver for so many families. We surround ourselves with individuals that make Wichita great, and this is another shining example of that.”

“Little Stars Therapy Services takes great pride in its recognition as an Ambassador for the Wichita Open and looks forward to working interactively with the other reputable companies that support this organization,” said CFO and Owner, Nicole McLain. “We share the passion behind the group’s primary initiative of providing resources and efforts that contribute to the continued growth and impact of significant organizations within our community, such as KU Wichita Pediatrics.”

“Our commitment and investment in organizations such as these allows us to give back while remaining focused on improving the lives of children and families impacted by autism in the Wichita area,” McLain continued. “The Little Stars Therapy Services team confidently stands behind the mission and vision of the Wichita Open and are honored to be a part of the legacy they are creating for our community.”

About Little Stars Therapy Services: Little Stars Therapy Services opened its doors in the fall of 2018 after its owner/founder recognized a significant need in our local community for additional services for children and families impacted by autism.  By remaining focused on providing treatment programs that are rooted in evidence-based practices, excellence and compassionate care, their remarkably talented team of professionals work collaboratively to create meaningful change in the lives of the children and families they serve.  In a mere 4 years’ time, the company has experienced exceptional growth and an overwhelmingly positive response from members of our community who desire access to their services. As a result, Little Stars Therapy Services has been able to offer over one hundred additional employment opportunities to our community. They attribute their successes and growth to their adherence to their core values (providing a positive learning environment, quality-driven treatment programs, superior work culture, advanced staff training and support, community engagement, and meaningful outcomes and change for all stakeholders).  These values provide a strong and sustainable foundation for Little Stars Therapy Services to continue to chip away at the gap in services for the children and families impacted by autism in our community.

About Scott Schneider Law Firm: Schneider Law Firm provides governmental relations services for many of Kansas leading organizations. With twenty-five years of experience, Scott has managed a portfolio of diverse issues and has built broad relationships in Kansas. He has performed contract work for both professional organizations in Kansas, such as the Kansas Restaurant & Hospitality Association and the Associated General Contractors, and some of the largest corporations in the world including Shell Oil, Wal-Mart, and Oracle. His knowledge in multiple industries including construction, healthcare, insurance, transportation, restaurant & hospitality, and energy is valuable in helping the firm’s clients further their business strategies in the regulatory environment.

Scott Schneider said, “The Wichita Open is a great front porch showing off our state and our community to the golfing world. I want to help continue the great tradition of our business leaders proudly supporting our charities, our community and making the Wichita Open the best event on tour. I am proud to be a small part of this exciting event.”

Foley Equipment, and Scheels are Wichita Open Ambassadors

“We see the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas Wichita Open benefiting KU Wichita Pediatrics as an opportunity for our community to come together and unite for a greater cause. Whether that cause is the power in numbers of our Ambassador program for networking and expanding their footprint in our community, to create a greater economic impact for our community at-large, or for the dollars that are invested and used to support local charities. We see these additions to our Ambassadors as added value to the tournament and our ambassador group. We are steadfast in our commitment to continue to make this ambassador program the premiere network for businesses in and around our community, and these new additions are a prime example of that commitment to excellence.”, said Dusty Buell, Tournament Director.

Foley Equipment has been a long-standing supporter of the Wichita Open extending back to the tournament home at Willowbend.   “Foley Equipment is very excited to join the Wichita Open Ambassadors and support the Wichita Open,” said Foley Equipment CEO Ann Konecny. “It is a great event and even more important is the funding that goes to so many excellent charities.  We are happy to be a part of it.”

Foley Industries – Foley Equipment, Foley Rental, Foley Power Solutions and SITECH Central – is in its ninth decade of empowering progress for Kansas and Western Missouri customers. Foley’s 1,200+ employees strive every day to safely deliver excellence in service, parts, rental, and sales across a broad line of Caterpillar and related construction equipment and power generation, SITECH construction technology solutions, and zero- emission commercial trucks. For more information, please visit www.FoleyEq.com

SCHEELS is currently a 30-store operation with stores in 13 states including North Dakota, Iowa, Minnesota, South Dakota, Montana, Wisconsin, Nebraska, Nevada, Illinois, Utah, Kansas, Colorado, and Texas. SCHEELS will open its 31st location in Wichita, Kansas in July of 2023 at Towne East Square. The store will feature 230,000 square feet of retail and attraction space for the whole family to enjoy.  Steve D. Scheel, the great-grandson of SCHEELS founder, is the company’s Chairman of the Board, and great-great grandson Steve M. Scheel is CEO. Todd Anderson serves as President and oversees SCHEELS daily operations of nearly 10,000 associates.

Lucas Hachmeister, Wichita Scheels Store Leader, said, “We are passionate about giving back to our communities, whether that be through time or resources, and we love to connect with the communities we serve. Being an Ambassador of the Wichita Open is a great way for us to do exactly that. We are thrilled to be part of this fantastic event and look forward to interacting with and supporting the Wichita community for years to come”

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 2023 event will be held at its reigning home for the last 23years—Crestview Country Club—from June  8  to June  18, with competition rounds from the 15th to the 18th   Since the inception of the Wichita Open Ambassadors,   close to  $3M  has been donated to local charities.

WICHITA, Kansas – Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas, a longtime partner and supporter of community activities and health initiatives throughout the state, will become the title sponsor of Wichita’s premier professional golf event on the Korn Ferry Tour, as announced today by tournament officials.

Renamed the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas Wichita Open Benefitting KU Wichita Pediatrics, the 34th playing of the Korn Ferry Tour event will take place June 15-18, 2023, with tournament related activities and events beginning June 8. Featuring the next generation of PGA TOUR stars, the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas Wichita Open Benefitting KU Wichita Pediatrics will once again be contested at Crestview Country Club, with the purse increasing to $1 million for the first time in tournament history.

The title sponsor announcement was made this afternoon by Tournament Director Dusty Buell and Matt All, President/CEO of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas. The title sponsorship will run through the 2025 playing of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas Wichita Open Benefitting KU Wichita Pediatrics.

“We are so pleased to have Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas as our event sponsor,” Buell said. “They have been a prominent member of the tournament’s Ambassadors and corporate supporters for many years.  With today’s announcement of the three-year title sponsorship agreement, our tournament – which has been part of the Korn Ferry Tour for more than three decades – will continue to grow unlike ever before. Partnering with Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas will also assist the tournament with its tradition of supporting local charities and making a positive impact on the community.”

Since the inaugural event in 1990, the Wichita tournament has generated over $3,000,000 for youth programs and charities in metro Wichita.

“We want to make Kansas a better place than it was yesterday.  While we do that through our work as a health insurance company, we also do that by partnering with and supporting community events and organizations that aim to make Kansas a better place to live, work and raise a family,” All said. “By partnering with the Wichita Open and KU Wichita Pediatrics, we’re helping improve the health of children in the communities we serve.”

As part of the title sponsorship announcement, Buell confirmed that tournament officials reached agreement with the PGA TOUR to hold the event through 2027. Crestview Country Club, host venue of the Wichita Open since 2001, also signed on to host the tournament through 2027.

“As one of the original events from our inaugural 1990 schedule, we are thrilled to see the Wichita Open partner with Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas, both for the immediate and long-term impact on this tournament and the local community,” said Korn Ferry Tour President Alex Baldwin. “We are honored to have Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas as part of the Korn Ferry Tour family, and this partnership provides one of our longest-running tournaments with an exciting future as our Tour continues to evolve.”

The Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas Wichita Open Benefitting KU Wichita Pediatrics is a 72-hole competition featuring 156 players from around the world. One of four tournaments played every season since the Korn Ferry Tour’s establishment in 1990, the event brings more than 50,000 people to Crestview Country Club each June. Crestview’s iconic 17th hole is one of the more notable experiences on the Korn Ferry Tour because of the incredible fan support and lively crowds.

The 2022 playing of the event was won by Norman Xiong, who posted the second-lowest score in Korn Ferry Tour history (254, 26-under par) as he became the 25th open qualifier to win an event in Tour history.

The tournament’s longevity is a direct result of the support of a diverse mix of businesses and organizations, like Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas, that have proven their commitment to the well-being and growth of the community. The sponsorship model of the tournament is unique, with the Ambassador program being instrumental to the ongoing success of the tournament. The Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas Wichita Open Benefitting KU Wichita Pediatrics was previously named the Korn Ferry Tour Tournament of the Year in part because of its impressive corporate partnerships.

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.