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Graham enjoying KU life -1/28/2015, 11:03 AM

Mountaineers take down Wildcats -1/28/2015, 11:03 AM

Tuesday's area prep basketball boxscores -1/28/2015, 11:03 AM

Belichick, Patriots focused solely on Seattle, Super Bowl -1/28/2015, 11:02 AM

MVC strong at the top -1/28/2015, 11:02 AM

Former Tiger, HHS coach named new FB coach at Mac -1/27/2015, 6:57 PM

Tiger women vault to No. 6 in poll -1/27/2015, 2:39 PM

James Shields remains a free agent, but Royals 'not sure there's a fit' -1/27/2015, 10:17 AM

Pats' owner defends Belichick, Brady -1/27/2015, 10:17 AM

Alexander newcomer of the week -1/27/2015, 10:17 AM

KSU's Edwards finding success as the sixth man -1/27/2015, 10:17 AM

FHSU wins Kansas Cup after scoring error -1/27/2015, 10:17 AM

FHSU wrestling takes second in Kansas Cup -1/26/2015, 10:27 AM

WSU baseball starts second season under Butler -1/26/2015, 10:36 AM

No. 14 WSU hammers Drake -1/26/2015, 10:37 AM

Stafford named Offensive MVP in first Pro Bowl -1/26/2015, 10:27 AM

TMP boys, girls claim MCL title; HHS boys fall -1/26/2015, 10:27 AM

Brand tops Deterding in Bob Kuhn Classic -1/25/2015, 8:41 PM

Tiger wrestling falls short of No. 3 UNK -1/25/2015, 8:41 PM

No. 17 Tigers dominate No. 4 Pitt State -1/25/2015, 8:41 PM

FHSU men fall short of Pitt State -1/25/2015, 8:41 PM

Friday's area prep basketball boxscores -1/25/2015, 2:45 PM

-1/25/2015, 2:00 PM

TMP girls use overtime for semifinal win -1/24/2015, 3:13 PM

Young key in Indians' semifinal win -1/24/2015, 1:22 PM

Defense lifts TMP boys to MCL title game -1/24/2015, 12:27 PM

HHS wrestling picks up dual win -1/23/2015, 10:31 AM

Finney takes step toward NFL -1/23/2015, 10:31 AM

Indians pick up first-round win -1/23/2015, 10:22 AM

K-State agrees to series with Vandy -1/23/2015, 10:13 AM

Tiger women win 16th straight -- Pitt State next -1/23/2015, 10:13 AM

Huge second half fuels Tigers -1/23/2015, 10:13 AM

Shockers roll past Missouri State -1/22/2015, 10:14 AM

KSU at Sporting Park? -1/22/2015, 10:14 AM

GCCC women's team involved in crash -1/22/2015, 10:14 AM

Tiger wrestling wins at home -1/22/2015, 10:33 AM

Sports Scores

Tuesday

Prep basketball

Boys

Atwood 76, St. Francis 65

Dighton 62, Oberlin 47

Hillsboro 50, Goodland 47

Lakeside 42, Lincoln 32

Minneapolis 68, Russell 35

Rock Hills 42, Natoma 37

Salina Central 62, Andover 58

Salina South 62, Sacred Heart 47

Sharon Springs 75, Leoti 38

St. John's Beloit-Tipton 57, Osborne 34

Sylvan-Lucas 61, Thunder Ridge 48

Girls

Dighton 44, Atwood 11

Dodge City 71, Hays High 28

Hesston 51, Goodland 18

Hoisington 60, Victoria 46

Hoxie 65, St. Francis 13

Lincoln 33, Lakeside 26

Minneapolis 47, Otis-Bison 24

Osborne 59, Wilson 34

Sharon Springs 63, Oberlin 42

Sylvan-Lucas 43, Natoma 41 (ot)

Tescott 41, Rock Hills 33

Trego 56, Leoti 27

Thunder Ridge 33, St. John's Beloit-Tipton 30

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SPOTLIGHT
Goodland's Ihrig wins Match Play crown

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Goodland's Ihrig wins Match Play crown

Published on -7/20/2014, 6:54 PM

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By LARRY MORITZ

Special to The Hays Daily News

SALINA -- Gage Ihrig got his title. Brooks Brown and Grant Herrenbruck got what they came for as well.

Ihrig, a recent Goodland High School graduate and a Wichita State signee, added to an already impressive summer with a first-place finish Friday at the Kansas Junior Golf Association Match Play Championship.

Ihrig defeated Brown 2-up in a tightly contested title match at Salina Country Club, a year after finishing as runner-up in the same tournament.

"It feels good to win here," Ihrig said. "Especially after I lost to one of my buddies (Oberlin's Kade Brown) last year in a tight match.

"To get another shot at first was really nice, especially after the first day when I was one stroke away from not being here."

Ihrig made a 40-foot putt on the first extra hole to extend his opening-round match with Jared Burns, which he eventually won on the 20th hole.

After a 4 and 3 semifinal win Friday morning over Trevor Bauer, Ihrig never trailed in the finale with Brown. He did not have a birdie on the front nine but still led 2-up at the turn when Brown made bogey on Nos. 8 and 9.

"The first few holes it was neck and neck," Ihrig said. "That was stressful, but I felt a little more comfortable once I got the lead.

"But it's hard to get comfortable when Brooks is playing on his home course."

Both players made their first birdie at the par 5 No. 11, and Brown cut his deficit to 1-down after another birdie at No. 12.

That also proved to be the last birdie by either player. They matched scores for the next five holes, with No. 17 a turning point.

Ihrig was on the green with his tee shot on the par 3, but well left and had a long birdie attempt of more than 40 feet. He ran it well past the hole, leaving him a lengthy putt for par.

After Brown missed his birdie attempt, Ihrig made his par putt from nearly 15 feet to guarantee he would go into the final hole with the lead.

"Once I got to the green on 17, I could see I hit it in jail," Ihrig said. "It was the one place on that hole that you can't hit it and from there I expected to hit it past the hole.

"My next putt was uphill a good 15 feet. I stuck to my routine, put a good roll on it and it fell in the cup."

"That putt on 17 was big for him," Brown said. "It made me have to win 18 and I didn't quite get it done."

Both players hit their drive into the right rough on No. 18 and both had tree limbs restricting what would have been their normal approach shots. Both hit it on the front fringe. Ihrig chipped first and was inside three feet for par. Brown's chip came up well short and when he missed his par putt, he conceded the hole.

"I put my drive five yards too far right," Brown said. "I didn't leave my second shot in a bad spot, but I didn't make my birdie chance."

"I knew after our drives that par was going to be tough to beat," Ihrig said. "I didn't have to do anything special but get a good look at par and make him beat me. I didn't want to give it away."

Brown, 17, advanced to the title match only after surviving a wild 3 and 1 semifinal with the 14-year-old Herrenbruck. Both players will be students at Sacred Heart this fall, with Brown a senior and Herrenbruck a freshman.

"That was probably the most amazing match play match ever played," Brown said. "We were throwing birdies in left and right. I would make a birdie and Grant would make a birdie. I would make another and Grant would make another.

"If we were playing a four-ball match, combined we would have been 7-under on the front nine."

As it was, Brown made the turn 2-up, but that lead was down to one hole with three to play. Brown completed the semifinal by winning both 16 and 17.

"It was fun because both Brooks and I were playing great golf," Herrenbruck said. "I brought my best game and he brought his best. It shows how good a player he really is."

Herrenbruck followed the semifinal loss with a 3 and 2 victory over Bauer in the third-place match.

With that win, both Brown and Herrenbruck earned enough points in the tournament to move up in the Kansas Junior Player of the Year standings, and both will be among the eight players to represent the state in the Kansas-Nebraska Cup later this month in Topeka. Ihrig, who leads the Junior POY standings, also will

compete for the Kansas squad.

Brown locked up his spot by defeating Herrenbruck in the semifinals, but was pleased when his future teammate also qualified.

"My whole goal here was to make the Kansas-Nebraska Cup," Brown said. "I was so glad when Grant won his last match so he could make it, too. I think we'll probably play together in some four-ball or alternate-shot matches in Topeka."

"I'm really excited about the whole thing and I know how privileged I am with my golf game," Herrenbruck said. "I love getting into the Kansas-Nebraska Cup at age 14. It helps knowing I'll be playing with some older kids and they are going to help me out."

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