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SLATE: Former Kansas State golfer Ben Kern finishes PGA as top club pro

Snyder’s contract, bold predictions, and a K-State prof helped scuttle Dollar General in Buhler

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Ben Kern’s first PGA tour event was a memorable one.
Ben Kern’s first PGA tour event was a memorable one.
Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

It’s been a wild year for former Wildcat Ben Kern. Last year, after taking some time away from competitive golf, he captured the North Texas PGA Pro title. He did well enough at the PGA Professional Championship this year to earn the right to play in this weekend’s PGA Championship — not just his first major, but his first full-fledged PGA tour event, period.

And then Kern went out and showed he belonged, as reported by Golfweek’s Brentley Romine. He nailed 45 out of 56 fairways on the weekend, second among all entrants who played all four rounds. Kern was the only club pro to make Friday’s cut, racking up an even par 140 over the tournament’s first two days. Saturday was even better, as Kern fired a three-under 67 — one of only three golfers to get through the 18 without a bogey — and found himself tied for 36th. The wheels didn’t exactly come off on Sunday; Kern did shoot even par on the final round.

The final result: a tie for 42nd at three-under 277. It wasn’t just the best finish for a club pro this year, though. It was the best finish for a club pro since Steve Schneiter tied for 40th back in 2005. Kern’s reward wasn’t huge, although I don’t think any of us would scoff at raking in $33,281.25 for a weekend’s worth of effort.

As you can probably imagine, Kern is also the subject of today’s Sports Extra with Corbin McGuire, because why wouldn’t he be?


George Schroeder of USA Today writes about Bill Snyder’s new contract, what it means and doesn’t mean, and reminds us all of the spider in the closet.

At the Eagle, Kellis Robinett offers up his five bold predictions for the 2018 season.


The impact of Dollar General on small towns is explored in a feature by Chris McGreal of the U.K.’s Guardian, focusing on the decision by the town council in Buhler to reject the chain’s request for a zoning change in order to open a location there. Helping the council toward that decision: K-State professor (and director of the Center for Engagement and Community Development) Dr. David Procter, who addressed the council meeting. One of Procter’s gigs is the Rural Grocery Initiative, which aims at trying to solve food deserts in rural Kansas. It’s an interesting read.