26th Old Warson Cup Field Preview

St. Louis, MO - The Old Warson Cup has become an honored tradition for the Metropolitan Amateur Golf Association, and a championship players strive to receive an invitation. Entering the 26th playing of the Old Warson Cup, 20 players have accepted their invitation to play and are gearing up for another memorable year. There are four former Champions and two former Senior Champions in the field, along with multiple runner-ups. Players have been ranked based on their order of finish in the 2023 Player of the Year rankings. Match pairings have been set for the first round of the Old Warson Cup and by the end of the two days, a champion will be crowned. Here is your 2024 Old Warson Cup field:

Justin Bryant has quite the resume in this championship and will relish having the number one seeded spot. Bryant is a two time Champion of the Old Warson Cup and in his return to the event last year, finished as runner-up. Last year, Justin made it to Final Qualifying for the U.S. Open, as well as, qualified for the U.S. Mid-Amateur, where he made it through to match play. Locally, he was a semi-finalist in the St. Louis District’s Griesedieck Championship and finished tied for 6th in the Metropolitan Amateur. Justin will face off against rookie, Drew Wielgus, in the first match of the day.   

Tony Gumper will come into this year’s Cup as the second seeded player. It was an up and down season for Tony last year, but he fought to the finish each time he hit the course. In 2023, he won the East Side Amateur and made it to match play of the U.S. Amateur Four-Ball with his playing partner Ryan Eckelkamp. Tony is still searching for a successful run that ends in hoisting the cup, but is excited to have another go. Tony is matched against John Kelly in Round 1.   

Ryan Eckelkamp had a fiery season last year and earned himself the third seed. Ryan finished inside the top 10 three times in 2023, including a runner up finish in the Metropolitan Four-Ball. He also went after the national stage by going to the U.S. Four-Ball with partner Tony Gumper - where they made it to match play - and by finishing as an alternate for the U.S. Mid-Amateur. Ryan broke through to the quarter-finals in the Old Warson Cup for the first time last year and is ready to do it again. Eckelkamp will take on Ryan Schuenke in his first match in a "War of the Ryans". 

Max Kreikemeier is the reigning and defending champion of the Old Warson Cup. Max is a senior collegiate golfer for the Missouri State bears, where he won the Twin Oaks Intercollegiate in March. In the Metropolitan Amateur last summer, he finished just outside the top 10 at thirteenth. As the fourth seed coming into this year, he could fly under the radar, but he is planning to come out swinging to be the fifth player to win back-to-back titles. Max will battle Sam Migdal in the Round of 16.   

Ryan Sullivan is an experienced player in the Old Warson Cup and will enter as the number five seed. Last year, Ryan never finished higher than tied for 13th in the championships he played, including a fourth place finish in the Metropolitan Four-Ball and a fifth place finish in the Metropolitan Amateur. For the last two years, he fought his way into the quarter-finals of the Old Warson Cup before being eliminated, so he is on a mission to make it further this year. Ryan will face Thomas Wuennenberg in his Round 1 match.   

Jason Landry will enter as the sixth seed this year and he is no stranger to putting together a powerful performance. A two time runner-up in the Cup, Jason knows he has what it takes to make it into the final match. Last summer, he finished T-15 or better in the Metropolitan Championships he entered. This included a tie for third finish in the East Side Amateur and a solo third finish in the Metropolitan Four-Ball. After a quarter-final finish in this championship last year, Jason is looking forward to fighting for the cup once again and hoping to make it back into the final match. Jason will go head-to-head with Kevin Jeske in his first match. 

Zach Walsh is an Old Warson Cup rookie and sits in the middle of the pack as the number seven seed. Last summer he made it to match play of the Missouri State Amateur, and followed it up by throwing together three great rounds in the Metropolitan Amateur. Those three rounds had him finish as a runner-up in the Metropolitan Amateur. Despite being new to this Championship, Zach is ready to make a splash in his debut. Zach will be faced with a battle against Chris Kovach. 

Drew Pranger is familiar with the pressure of this Championship, and enters as the number eight seed. Drew is a former Champion and runner-up, so he knows what it takes to end up on top. Last year, he finished the Metropolitan Amateur tied for sixth, as well as qualified for the U.S. Mid-Amateur. As the 2018 Champion, there has been some time since his win, but Drew is not ready to back down from winning again. Drew will face Brad Carpenter in the Round of 16. 

Brad Carpenter is the ninth seeded player in the field, and has played in enough Cups to crave victory. Playing in four season points events last summer, Brad qualified for match play in the Missouri State Amateur, was tied for sixth in the Missouri Mid-Amateur, and tied for fifth in the Missouri Stroke Play Championship. As for the Metropolitan Amateur, he finished the weekend tied for sixth here as well. Brad has been chasing the Cup for a few years, and is ready to finally break into the final pairing. Brad will be taking on former Champion Drew Pranger for the match.   

Chris Kovach is an experienced Old Warson Cup participant that is coming into this year’s championship as the tenth seed. In 2023, Chris started the year in sixth place at the East Side Amateur. He did qualify for match play in the Missouri State Amateur, but his win of the season came in the Metropolitan Four-Ball with his partner Jason White. As a seasoned player, Chris is ready to fight his way into the winners circle. Chris will go head-to-head with newbie Zach Walsh.   

Kevin Jeske is making his long awaited return to the Old Warson Cup, and will be the eleventh seeded player. His summer didn’t start off super strong, but he quickly pulled it together. Kevin was a match play contender in the Missouri State Amateur, then finished tied for sixth in the Metropolitan Amateur, followed by a third place finish in the Metropolitan Four-Ball. After missing out on a chance to fight for the Cup since 2017, Kevin is excited to be back in the field for another chance again. Kevin is facing Jason Landry in the Round of 16. 

Thomas Wuennenberg is a former runner-up in the Old Warson Cup and sits as the number 12 seed. Last summer, he finished tied for nineteenth in the East Side Amateur, but brought the season home with a runner-up finish in the Metropolitan Amateur, alongside Zach Walsh. Despite this hiatus in his Cup career, Thomas is not to be underestimated. He is ready to defeat his opponents to get into the final match and finish on top. Thomas will be faced with the task of taking down Ryan Sullivan in his first match.   

Sam Migdal is a three-time former Champion that comes into the 2024 Championship as the thirteenth seed. Sam may have lost out in the first round of the Cup last year, but proved he can still compete in match play when he made it to the quarter-finals of the St. Louis District Griesedieck. In stroke play competitions, he finished tied for fourteenth in the Missouri Stroke Play Championship and tied for sixth in the Metropolitan Amateur - where he shot a record breaking low first round of 64, seven-under. To cap off the season, Sam qualified as medalist for the 2024 U.S. Amateur Four-Ball with his brother Joe. Knowing what it takes to win, Sam is back to fight again. Sam will take on defending Champion Max Kreikemeier in the first round.   

Ryan Schuenke is entering his second playing of the Cup in the fourteenth seeded spot. In three out of four events last year, Ryan finished in sixth place or better. The Missouri Mid-Amatuer and the Metropolitan Four-Ball resulted in a sixth place finish, while the Missouri Stroke Play Championship resulted in a fifth place finish. With one year under his belt and knowledge of the competition, Ryan is better equipped to showdown with the best. Schuenke will be faced with a "War of the Ryans" against Ryan Eckelkamp in the Round of 16. 

John Kelly sits as the fifthteenth seed of the competition. John is a rookie to the championship and comes in as a bit of an underdog. The highlight of his season last year was qualifying for the U.S. Mid-Amateur. He is a good player, but with his ranking, he will face tough competition to get to the top. In his debut, he will go head-to-head against the number two seed, Tony Gumper in his first match. 

Drew Wielgus comes into the field three days before the championship - after a withdrawal - as the sixteenth seed. Drew was a collegiate golfer at Missouri Baptist University through 2023 and is now an assistant coach for the MBU golf teams. Last year, he played in the Metropolitan Amateur, and made it count. He finished tied for sixth at two-under par with fellow Old Warson Cup contestants Bryant, Carpenter, Jeske, Migdal, and Pranger. This will be his Old Warson Cup debut. Despite his late entry into the field, Drew is ready to take on the challenge and will face two-time Champion and number 1 seed, Justin Bryant.


The Old Warson Cup added a senior division to the championship in 2022 to showcase the top talent among the senior level golfers in the area. With increasing talent among these individuals, there is some stiff competition just to get into the Old Warson Cup field, let alone once the matches arrive. Three in the field are returning competitors. Here is your Senior field: 

Paul Neeman worked hard last year to earn the number one seed. Paul became the 2023 Senior Player of the Year by continuing to prove his ability throughout the season. He successfully finished tied for fourth in the Metropolitan Senior Four-Ball and East Side Amateur, and most notably won the City Championship and the Metropolitan Senior Amateur. After finishing as runner-up in the 2023 Old Warson Cup, Paul is hungry to get a shot at the title again. Paul will take on Buddy Allen in the first senior match of the weekend.  

Brian Lovett is entering his third playing of the Old Warson Cup as the second seeded player. Brian is the defending Champion in this division and put together a strong fight throughout last year. After starting the year on a high at this championship, he continued to work on his game. He qualified for match play in the Missouri State Amateur and was T3 in the Cassett Senior Championship. In the Metropolitan Senior Amateur, Brian was the runner-up to Paul Neeman. Sitting on opposite sides of the bracket, we could see another rematch between these two battling at the top. Brian will be participating in a “Battle of the Brians” when he takes on Brian Hall in the first round. 

Brian Hall is a new face in the Old Warson Cup and will sit in the third seeded position. Brian had a successful summer last year, finishing T4 in the Metropolitan Senior Four-Ball, fourth in Metropolitan Senior Amateur, and third in the City Championship. He also played in the Metropolitan Amateur and though he finished tied for thirty-second, he did card one of the 4 lowest rounds in the Second Round with a 67. Don’t let his inexperience in the championship fool you, Brian is ready to earn a rookie win. Hall will be one half of the “Battle of the Brians” as he takes on defending Champion Brian Lovett in his first match. 

Buddy Allen squeaked into the field this year in the final spot. Despite nearly missing out, Buddy is the inaugural Senior Old Warson Cup Champion, so he is no stranger to winning this competition. He had an eventful summer of golf, starting off with a win in the Senior East Side Amateur. He then flew across the pond to participate in the R&A’s Senior Amateur Championship. After returning home, he qualified for the second year in a row for the U.S. Senior Amateur Championship. Buddy will face Paul Neeman in the semi-final.


Play will begin at 7:00am on Saturday May 4 and conclude on Sunday May 5. 

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