26th Old Warson Cup Day One Recap

St. Louis - It was a beautiful, picture perfect day at Old Warson Country Club for the 26th Old Warson Cup. The day started out beautifully sunny with a few clouds in the sky, but then a storm rolled in mid-afternoon to put a halt to championship play. The first round started at 7:00am, the seniors started at 12:30pm, and the second round began at 1:00pm. The field consisted of four former champions and two senior champions, along with multiple runner-ups. A strong field of players was sure to make this an interesting cup. 

The number one seed and 2-time former champion, Justin Bryant (No. 1) of St. Louis Country Club, was the first one off this morning against Drew Wielgus (No. 16)  of the Metropolitan eClub. Bryant and Wielgus fought back and forth throughout the round. Wielgus took the match to the final hole before Bryant put it to bed 2 Up. Following behind were seeds 8 and 9 - former champion, Drew Pranger of Glen Echo Country Club, and Brad Carpenter of Franklin County Country Club. Pranger came ready to dominate and started the match by winning the first hole. Carpenter tried to fight back, but Pranger continued on to win the match 4 & 3.  

The third match of the day was between defending champion Max Kreikemeier (No. 4) of Forest Hills Country Club and former 3-time champion Sam Migdal (No.13) of Norwood Hills Country Club. Migdal showed dominance over the round by winning four of the first five holes. Kreikemeier woke up and began to fight back but was unable to catch up. Migdal would win the match 5 & 3. The fourth pairing of the day saw number five seed Ryan Sullivan of Tapawingo National Golf Club and number twelve Thomas Wuennenberg of the Metropolitan eClub take the course. Starting to feel like a pattern, Sullivan began firing away, taking the lead on the third hole. He never looked back and defeated Wuennenberg 5 & 3.  

At the halfway mark, Tony Gumper of Normandie Golf Club (No. 2) and John Kelly (No. 15) of Norwood Hills Country Club leaped into action. Continuing on with the pattern, Kelly took the lead by winning the first four holes. The pair would continue on to the fifteenth hole for Kelly to win the third 5 & 3 match of the day. In the sixth match of the day, Zach Walsh (No. 7) of Forest Hills Country Club took on Chris Kovach (No.10) of Old Hickory Country Club. It was an up and down match for the pair that went all the way to the 18th green. Kovach would become the winner with a par at 1 Up.  

Then came the War of the Ryans, and did it live up to the name. Ryan Eckelkamp of Franklin County Country Club and Ryan Schuenke of Quincy Country Club duked it out over the 18 holes and that was still not enough. The pair went to 20 holes before Eckelkamp took the win. In the final match of the round of 16, Jason Landry (No.6) of Greenbriar Hills Country Club faced Kevin Jeske (No.11) of Aberdeen Golf Club. Landry took the early lead, but Jeske was not going to give up. After making the turn, Landry took control and would win 3 & 2.  

The time came for the seniors to take the course. In the first senior match, number one seed Paul Neeman of Persimmon Woods Golf Club faced former senior champion Buddy Allen (No. 4) of the Metropolitan eClub. These two stayed toe-to-toe throughout their match. In the second senior match, we saw the Battle of the Brians between Brian Lovett of Bellerive Country Club and Brian Hall of Persimmon Woods Golf Club. Lovett and Hall truly battled with each one taking the lead at some point in the match. Both senior matches were through hole 14 when the bad weather arrived and they had to stop play.  

Play was stopped about 3:40pm for a storm that rolled through. Players waited to see if they would be able to get back on the course today. After a long wait, play was resumed at approximately 6:42pm. 

The quarterfinal matches had started at 1:00pm behind the senior matches. All matches had completed nine holes when the storm hit. The first quarterfinal match was between Justin Bryant (No. 1)  and Drew Pranger (No. 8). Pranger had a lead starting with the second hole and throughout the front nine, but after making the turn, Bryant sprung back into action, securing one hole win right before the delay. Bryant gained another win following the resumption of play on Hole 12 and took the match all the way to Hole 18. Bryant  won 1 Up. The second quarterfinal match was between Sam Migdal (No. 13) and Ryan Sullivan (No. 5). Migdal went two up after three holes, but Sullivan kept pushing back. The pair continued on all the way to Hole 15 where Migdal would win the match 3 & 2.   

The third quarterfinal match saw John Kelly (No. 15) take on Chris Kovach (No. 10). Kelly took the early lead, but Kovach was not a fan. Kovach rallied back to even the score on the front, and then find a lead on the back nine. Kelly and Kovach would make it to the sixteenth, but dwindling daylight would catch up with them. The pair would have to return in the morning to finish their match. The final match of the day began a few minutes later than originally planned due to the extra holes required to determine the final contender. Ryan Eckelkamp (No. 3) practically went from one match straight into the next to face Jason Landry (No. 6). Landry was the first to win a hole, but Eckelkamp, still firing on all cylinders, continued to bring the match back into his favor. Eckelkamp would win the match 3 & 2.  

Following the weather delay, the senior matches continued on in the same fashion they had before. With both matches staying tight. Neeman and Allen just couldn’t seem to get enough of each other, sending their match into extra holes. The pair would end up playing 20 holes, where Allen would win the match. In the Battle of the Brians, Lovett had gotten the match within one right before the weather delay. Following the return to play, he just could not find another one, which would have Hall win the match 1 Up.  

Tomorrow, we will return to Old Warson for the semi-finals and the finals. Justin Bryant will take on Sam Migdal, while Eckelkamp will face the winner of Kovach versus Kelly in the semi-finals. Brian Hall will face Buddy Allen in the senior final match.  

Day 1 Full Results

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