For golf nerds in Wichita - this is Christmas.
The Preferred Health Systems Wichita Open gets underway this week at Crestview Country Club and it sets up to be one of the best Opens ever.
The field is completely stacked. 24 of the Top 25 Money Leaders are in the field and 64 of the top 70 are here too. Woody Austin (24th) is in the field too and so is two time US Open champ Lee Janzen is in town, also. Sam Saunders is playing, also. Name doesn't ring a bell? He's Arnold Palmer's grandson. Yeah, the tea guy. I know.
Tournament director Roy Turner tries to make the best event he can every year - and he succeeds every time.
It's laid back. It's fun. Simply, it's a party on a golf course. And the players love coming to Wichita for that matter. It's got a solid purse ($600K) on a playable course and they can have a little fun too. Doesn't hurt that they have the week off beforehand.
A lot of the players stay in host housing. So instead of staying in some ratty motel or dropping a bunch of money on a hotel, they get put up with a local family - get some home cooking and free lodging. For guys playing for their livelihood - that's huge. Then you add in the 17th hole and everyone is locked in.
I'll admit - golf can be a boring sport. Boring to watch, boring to attend and if you are playing poorly - just quit. So Roy tries to make the game fun for the players and it works. They love it. The fans love it even more and it keeps both parties coming back.
And having one of the strongest field on the Nationwide Tour doesn't hurt either. It should be a great week at Crestview. Come out, enjoy the sun and the golf and stay for the party.