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New Life Breathed Into Trans-Miss

TULSA, OKLAHOMA | Board president Steve Hatchett has been around the Trans-Mississippi Championship long enough to remember literally begging to get into the event as a college golfer at Wichita State, then feeling like he had finally hit the big time when he stepped to the first tee.
Texas Golf Association Executive Director Rob Addington remembers watching his father beat future pro Bob Gilder, only to see future World Golf Hall of Famer Ben Crenshaw edge his dad in Trans-Miss competition, loaded with future golf stars.
Now the two men who love the prestigious amateur event, which just finished its 111th showcase, are banding together with others to help save it from amateur golf irrelevance, which threatened this event and has caught others.
The Trans-Miss, which began in 1901, boasts a winners list that reads like a World Golf Hall of Fame roster. Jack Nicklaus is a two-time winner. Deane Beman is another former champ as is Texas amateur legend Gus Moreland, plus Tour winners Mark Brooks, Bob Estes, Bob Tway, Gary Koch and Crenshaw.
Tom Watson, Johnny Miller and Payne Stewart all entered the event but never won.
A big move came for the college players of the 21st century when four years ago the Trans-Miss finally reversed its ill-fated decision of the 1980s that allowed mid-amateurs only. The tournament began again to invite the top college players to complete for one of the oldest amateur trophies in American golf.
“I’m in the car business, so I know all about demographics and every year our numbers kept dropping. I thought to myself, ‘Nobody knows who we are anymore,’ and this was too important to let it go,” Hatchett said.


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