In the Field

Coloradans Gempel, Brown, Love Monday qualify for inaugural TPC Colorado Championship at Heron Lakes; medalist fires 61 at Highland Meadows

By Gary Baines – 07/08/2019

In the birdie-fest that is Monday qualifying for the Korn Ferry Tour, three more Coloradans landed spots in this week’s inaugural TPC Colorado Championship at Heron Lakes on Monday, and the top qualifier at the Highland Meadows Golf Course site shot a 10-under-par 61.

In all, a dozen players — six from Highland Meadows in Windsor and six from Riverdale Dunes in Brighton — qualified for the $600,000 TPC Colorado Championship, which will be held at the new Berthoud course from Thursday through Sunday.

Among those advancing were Tom Gempel of Lone Tree (8-under-par 64 at Riverdale Dunes), Zahkai Brown of Golden (65 at Riverdale Dunes) and James Love of Denver (64 at Highland Meadows.

Gempel was the qualifying co-medalist at Riverdale Dunes and Love and Kelby Scharmann of Trabuco Canyon, Calif. prevailed over Ben Lanting of Littleton in a three-for-two playoff for those who shot 64 at Highland Meadows. Love and Scharmann both made birdies on the first playoff hole, No. 18.

Gempel, a former University of Colorado golfer who was runner-up in the 2009 CGA Match Play, made eight birdies in a bogey-free round, and closed with four straight birdies. He’ll be making his career debut on the Korn Ferry Tour.

Brown, a former Colorado State University golfer, will be making his eighth career start on the Korn Ferry circuit, and second this year. On Monday, the former CoBank Colorado Open champion made two eagles (including one on the par-4 15th hole), four birdies and one bogey.

Love, a former University of Denver golfer who has won once on PGA Tour Canada and has played in 23 Korn Ferry Tour events (but none since 2012), recorded two eagles and three birdies in a bogey-free round of 64 at Highland Meadows before making birdie in the playoff.

MJ Maguire of St. Petersburg, Fla., fired an 8-under-par 28 on the front nine at Highland Meadows, making two eagles in the process, including one at the par-4 seventh hole. For the round, he shot a 61 with two eagles, seven birdies and a bogey.

Also advancing from Highland Meadows were Olin Browne Jr., of West Palm Beach, Fla. (62), Ryan McCormick of Middletown, N.J. (63) and Nathan Young of Raleigh, N.C. (63).

Moving on from Riverdale Dunes, aside from the aforementioned, were Ted Smith of Orlando (64), Tanner Gore of El Paso, Texas (65), Brad Schneider of Valrico, Fla. (65) and Matt Pridey of Salinas, Calif. (65).

Other players with strong Colorado ties previously in the TPC Colorado Championship field include 13-time PGA Tour winner David Duval of Cherry Hills Village, two-time PGA Tour champ Jonathan Kaye of Boulder, Denver natives Mark Hubbard and Michael Schoolcraft, Boulder native George Cunningham, former Air Force Academy golfer Tom Whitney, former University of Colorado golfer Josh Creel and former Golden resident Andrew Svoboda.

For the TPC Colorado Championship field as it stands, CLICK HERE.

For all the scores from Monday’s qualifiers, click on the following: HIGHLAND MEADOWS, RIVERDALE DUNES.