Southern Nevada Golf Association member Kevin Marsh recently teamed with Trip Kuehne to win the Mid-Amateur division of the prestigious Trans-Mississippi Four-Ball played at the Las Vegas Paiute Golf Resort. The former Pepperdine All-American and 2005 U.S. Mid-Amateur champion now looks ahead to his captaincy of the West team in the annual East-West Matches. –By Brian Hurlburt.
Kuehne, who famously lost to Tiger Woods in the final match of the 1994 U.S. Amateur, and Marsh, finished at -19 in the four-round Trans-Miss event, defeating a trio of teams by a single shot.
In the senior division, Las Vegas Golf Hall of Fame member Brady Exber and 3-time Nevada State Senior Amateur champion Todd Roberts finished runner-up just a couple weeks before winning the recent SNGA Boulder City Team Championship senior title.
“It’s been a while since I won a golf tournament, so it was fun,” said Marsh about the Trans-Miss win. “We played some great golf the first day and then obviously having a guy like Trip as my partner just really frees you up. We decided to play because we were going to be trying to qualify for the USGA Four-ball. We just wanted to get a little practice tournament in and then once we got into contention, we said, ‘Oh, let’s go ahead and win this thing if we can.'”
The Trans-Mississippi Golf Association is one of the oldest and most prestigious golf organizations in the United States. Established in 1901, the Trans-Mississippi is composed of over 200 member clubs located throughout the country. The Association is governed by a board of independent directors and is headquartered in Dallas, Texas.
The Marsh-Kuehne partnership came about during the George L. Coleman Invitational at Seminole in April.
“I played pretty well the first day and Trip was playing really well, and I saw him in the locker room before the second round,’ said Marsh, who is a broker at The Summit Club in Las Vegas. “I had partnered with Brady Exber for a long time, but Brady and I had talked about how it is challenging for us now because we don’t have a lot of ‘offense’ together. Once Trip and I talked, I then talked to Brady and he was supportive of it. It turned out great.”
Unfortunately, Marsh and Kuehne came up short in their attempt to qualify for the Four-ball after a T7 finish at -3 in a San Luis Obispo qualifier.
But even with Marsh playing some events with Keuhne, the Marsh-Brady partnership isn’t completely over because the two will be leading the West team in the East-West Matches Nov. 4-6 at Maridoe Golf Club in Carrollton, Texas. Marsh is the captain and Exber will serve as assistant captain. The Matches are for top mid-amateurs and senior amateurs plus two younger players.
The East captain is Nathaniel Crosby, the son of Bing Crosby, and a longtime friend of Marsh. The West earned a 23-22 victory in 2020, the inaugural year.
“To have this duo of highly decorated players serve as our captains is a huge bonus for the East West Matches,” said lead organizer and founder Scott Harvey. “Nathaniel and Kevin are well liked within the amateur golf community. Players will strive to be on their teams.”
Each team consists of 18 players: six seniors, at least 10 mid-amateurs and up to two amateurs who have not yet reached the age of 25. In the three days of competitions, there are eight 18-hole four-ball matches on Day 1, eight 18-hole foursomes matches in the morning of Day 2 and eight 18-hole foursomes in the afternoon of Day 3 with 18 18-hole singles matches on Day 3.
“This is a really cool thing and it was something that has been in the works for probably two decades,” Marsh said. “Several other people have tried to get it going in the past, but Scott Harvey, from North Carolina, myself, Skip Burkmeyer from St. Louis, Brady, and a handful of us worked to get it going. This year we have an unbelievable host, Albert Huddleston, from Dallas, who owns Meridoe, an incredible club that is just awesome. I was the assistant captain for Jim Holtgrieve, who was a former Walker Cupper and captain. It came down to the last match on the last hole and we ended up pulling it out and wining the whole thing by one point. Hopefully, we can have something similar happen this year.”
Among Marsh’s highlights in a long and successful amateur golf career are: 2013 US Mid-Am Semifinalist; 2012 California State Amateur champion; 2009, 2010 & 2012 Stocker Cup champion; 2005 U.S. Mid-Amateur champion; winner 1996, 2008 Southern California Amateur; winner 2009 Carlton Woods Invitational, 2009 Champions Cup, and earning the 2022 Trans-Miss Fourball. He also appeared in the 2005 Masters and was an All-American at Pepperdine, where he played from 1992-96.
“I am just very blessed to have found a passion for the game of golf when I was about 13 or 14 years old, and I just fell in love with it,” Marsh said. “It’s just led to an amazing life. I’m a very competitive person kind of within myself, so it’s just been great to express that out on the golf course and then just meet so many great people and be able to see some amazing places in the world through golf. Winning the U.S, Mid-Am really kind of meant everything at the time. You don’t really understand what doors get opened for you until after the fact. Obviously, playing in the Masters is still a memory that is tattooed in my brain that I think about a lot.”