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Bethel alumni Golf Classic has high turnout

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NEWTON, KAN. – The Bethel College Alumni Association hosted one of its largest golf tournaments ever on Saturday, Sept. 16, with 129 golfers on 33 teams participating in the 15th annual Fall Thresher Golf Classic.

The tournament was held for the first time at the new Sand Creek Station course in Newton. Players came from as far away as California and Washington state to compete in the 18-hole, four-person scramble.

The top three teams in first-flight competition each had a score of 61. After a tie-breaker, the first place went to Matt Flaming, Newton, Ken Hall, Newton, Tanner Buller, Hesston, and Ben Schrag, North Newton. Second place finishers were Richard Drake, Canton, Dick Koontz, North Newton, Jon Lawrence, Wichita, and Chet Roberts, Goessel. Third was the team of Kent Erb, Newton, Neal Denno, North Newton, Chris Herman, Newton, and Doug Pauls, Newton.

In second-flight competition, the team finishing first, with a score of 72, consisted of Warren “Butch” Gering, Ritzville, Wash., Jon Gering, Kirksville, Mo., Clark Oswald, Newton, and Eric Schrag, Goessel. Leroy Janzen, Mike Goossen, Lynn Gerber and Steve Kyser, all from Beatrice, Neb., followed with a score of 73. Third in second-flight competition, also with a 73, were Ron Peters, North Newton, Scott Ferguson, Newton, Jim Davenport, Newton, and Eric Peters, Prairie Village.

The prize for longest drive for women on hole #6 went to Carolyn McGinn, Sedgwick. The prize for longest drive for men on hole #14 went to Mason Dick, Hutchinson. Straightest drive was by Phil Schmidt, Hesston, on hole #8. The award for closest to the pin went to Don Kinnaird, Wichita, for his drive on hole #17. Jeremy Mullet, Wichita, won longest putt on hole #12.

Members of the Bethel College Threshers golf team were stationed at three holes to assist in hitting an approach shot (hole #7), putt (hole #10) or a drive (hole #16). The team members, head golf coach Gregg Dick and assistant coach Nick Anneler also visited with players at a noon barbecue following play, catered by Rich and Pat Denno of Newton.

The tournament is a fund-raiser for the Bethel College through its Alumni Association. “We were gratified with the high participation and appreciated the help of the Sand Creek Station staff as well in making the event successful,” said Dave Linscheid, director of alumni relations. “Despite wind and warm temperatures, everyone seemed to have a great time. Some were playing at Sand Creek Station for the first time.”

Members of the Alumni Council Golf Committee planned and hosted the event. They include Ray Garcia and Kent Erb, Newton, Don Kingsley, Mike Schmidt, Jan Neufeld and Omar Voran, all of North Newton, Rick Krehbiel, Moundridge, Brett Esau, Hesston, and Brian Sommer, Wichita. Several committee members also competed.

“Threshers” refers to Mennonite wheat farmers who helped found the college in 1887. Today it is the name given the college athletic teams and an identifier for alumni.

Bethel College is a four-year liberal arts college affiliated with Mennonite Church USA. Founded in 1887, it is the oldest Mennonite college in North America. Bethel is known for its academic excellence and has been named a Top Tier college by U.S. News & World Report every year since 1998. For more information, see the Bethel web site at

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