Harry Hall wins Wichita Open

Local Sports

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – Harry Hall gave his dad quite the early birthday present Sunday. Hall’s father will celebrate his birthday Monday, but the two can bask in the radiance of his son’s first Korn Ferry Tour victory on Father’s Day. Making his 22nd career start, Hall held off late charges by several players and won the Wichita Open Benefitting KU Wichita Pediatrics by a stroke with a 20-under 260.

“I just can’t wait to speak to my family,” said Hall, who hasn’t seen his parents in 18 months. “This is awesome. I’m actually supposed to be going home after Maine next week to try to qualify for the Open (Championship). I’m going to go home and can’t wait to share the moment with them. I wish they were here. To be honest, mom and dad have never actually watched me play a professional event in America. Dad has only watched me play once in America for the last six years. I can’t wait for them to come over the first chance they get.”

The 23-year-old Englishman’s final-round 3-under 67 was enough to finish one shot ahead of Curtis Thompson, who left a birdie putt roughly three feet short at the par-4 18th. At the time Thompson’s putt to reach 20-under came up short, he was two shots behind Hall.

Hall, a Korn Ferry Tour rookie, opened the day with four consecutive birdies to reach 21-under par, but brought a litany of players back into contention with bogeys at Nos. 6 and 10. Birdies at the par-5 14th and par-4 16th put Hall back in the driver’s seat, though by that time 2016 Wichita Open champion Ollie Schniederjans moved within a stroke of his lead.

As Hall bogeyed the par-3 17th and lost the outright lead, Schniederjans sliced his drive out of bounds on the 18th and made double bogey. While Hall focused on the next shot, his caddie kept an eye on the chaos which transpired on the leaderboards.

“Ben (his caddie) did a great job… so I knew where I was all day,” said Hall, whose previous career-high finish on Tour was a T2 at the 2020 Memorial Health Championship presented by LRS. “That was big, because I remember when I came second last year, I was leading coming down the last hole and I had no idea where I was. That would’ve influenced how I approached the green. This time, I knew, and I hit the shots I needed to.”

Hall piped his drive down the 18th fairway, knocked his approach to 40 feet and two-putted for the win. It was Hall’s first victory of any kind since October 2018, when he won the Little Rock Invitational as a senior at University of Nevada-Las Vegas.

“I’ve actually never been a winner, to be honest,” said Hall, a two-time medalist and 2019 Mountain West Conference Player of the Year at UNLV. “I’ve always been a consistent top-10er, even throughout college. To get a win is fantastic, especially at this level. It’s pretty hard to do.”

Hall, who wore a black and gold outfit in honor of his home county, Cornwall, England, began the 2020-21 season with conditional status. And Hall’s first start was not until the Korn Ferry Tour returned from the COVID-19 pandemic hiatus at the Korn Ferry Challenge at TPC Sawgrass in mid-June. He earned a spot in the field via a 4-for-3 playoff at the event’s Monday qualifier.

Roughly a year after that Monday qualifier kickstarted Hall’s professional career, Sunday’s victory takes him from 83rd to 36th in the 2020-21 Korn Ferry Tour points standings. Instead of battling for a spot in the Korn Ferry Tour Finals down the closing stretch of the regular season, Hall can now contend for a PGA TOUR card.

Hall isn’t getting that far ahead, though.

“My goal is to survive tonight and tee it up Thursday, and hit that next tee shot.”

(The Korn Ferry Tour/PGA contributed information to this article.)

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