By Dave Pearce
If you spend much time around Poseyville’s Kevin Wassmer, you will learn there are three important things in his life. He is passionate about his family, his community, and his golf.
On Sunday afternoon, Wassmer was able to enjoy one of those rare moments in your life when you are able to blend all three. It was a day he will never forget and neither will the golfing world around Evansville. Many members of the Poseyville community as well as Wassmer’s North Posey girls’ golf team walked the final 18 holes.
Then with most of his family present, including his mother Sue who is battling cancer, it was an emotional afternoon as Wassmer attempted to break the record of nine Evansville City Golf Championships he shared with long-time friend Jerry Schreiber.
Wassmer took a two-stroke lead into the final round at Evansville County Club. Then, with a three stroke lead, his second shot on the par 4 17th hole rolled to within about 10 feet. When Wassmer calmly sunk the putt for a birdie and a four-stroke lead with one hole to go, the only thing remaining to be decided was not who would win the tournament but by how many strokes.
Ironically, It would be an emotional Shreiber who would make the trophy presentation to Wassmer. Former Evansville Courier Editor Paul McCauliff introduced the men by stating that many had wondered if Wassmer would ever be able to break Schreiber’s record of nine city titles.
“He answered that question today,” McCauliff said. Handing the microphone to Schreiber.
“You’re a special player, big guy,” Schreiber told Wassmer. Even tournament director Bob Walther was seen shedding tears as the torch or a new record was handed down to Wassmer. Wassmer was asked to say a few words, admittedly not something he is comfortable doing.
“I can tell you right now, don’t expect much,” Wassmer said, as he regrouped from the emotional win. “I want to thank all the golf courses because they were all in tremendous shape.”
Wassmer then turned his attention to runner-up and former Mater Dei golfer Nick Frazer who pushed Wassmer throughout the tournament.
“Nice playing our there Nick,” Wassmer congratulated the man, 20 years his junior. “I know this is not what you wanted but you really hung in there. I want to thank my family, especially my mom who isn’t feeling well today but came out here anyhow.
And then he turned the attention to his family and tanked all members of his family for making the effort to be there to share his special day.
Following the formal presentation, Wassmer was asked if he thought this minute would ever occur, since his last tournament win was in 2007.
“I never really was playing badly, it just seemed like I could never put it all together,” Wassmer said. “Even this year I struggled with it a little bit but I was able to hit more good shots and hang in there. I guess that was the difference.”
Wassmer was asked just how special it was knowing that he is the all-time record-holder for the event and with everything going on, he replied that it honestly had not even sunk in yet.
“I just don’t know what to say,” Wassmer continued. “I never really thought it would happen. I just want everybody to know how much I appreciate it.”
Wassmer had nothing but adoration for the man who presented the trophy to him.
“Jerry means so very much to all of us. He has taught me a whole lot not only about golf but also about life and to be a man.,” Wassmer said. “He taught me how to grow up and how to grow my golf game. For everything he has been to this tournament, I just hope I can do it as well as he has.”
At only 47, it is conceivable that Wassmer could add to his record total. The opportunity to play on the Senior tour when Wassmer turns 50 in three years was also mentioned.
But on Sunday, it was just about enjoying the moment along with his family, his community, and his golf.