Audrain, Specht advance in Kansas Am match play championship


Former Garden City High School standout Sion Audrain and current GCHS Buffaloes coach Trent Specht advanced to Friday’s second round of match play at the 110th Kansas Amateur Championship on Thursday.

Audrain, who captured two Kansas Class 6A state individual titles during his prep career at GCHS, in 2017 and 2019, is seeking to move deeper in the match play format and to win his second Kansas Am crown in three years after capturing the title in 2018.

The tournament is being contested at Colbert Hills Golf Course in Manhattan. Friday’s second round will begin with early round matches.

Audrain handed Chase Coble of Emporia a 5&3 setback in his opening match while Specht defeated Ian McCrary of Overland Park, 6&5. In Friday’s match-ups, Audrain will take on Bradley Lane of Lawrence at 7:57 a.m. while Specht faces Andrew Beckler of Topeka at 9 a.m.

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Sean Thayer, a graduate of GCHS in the 1980s, saw his hopes dashed in the first round with a 2&1 loss to Ian Trebilcock of Wichita. Thayer had won the Kansas Am in 1999, becoming the first and only Garden Citian to claim the crown until Audrain joined him in 2018.

Another former GCHS standout, Logan Durst, did not make match play after shooting 80-81–161 in the stroke play qualifying. Thayer had fired rounds of 77-68–145 to earn the No. 13 seed; Audrain had qualifying rounds of 69-78–147 to claim the No. 24 seed and Specht had 79-68-147 to nab the No. 26 seed.

The tournament format calls for two rounds of matches on Friday, with the quarterfinals and semifinals over 18 holes each on Saturday. The 36-hole scheduled final will be played Sunday.


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