(Bedford/Corning) -- Each weekday from now until August 26th, KMA Sports will be announcing the inaugural KMA Sports Hall of Fame class. Throughout the 2016-17 sports year, these 20 inductees will have special induction ceremonies, but August is designed for the announcements.
Today's inductee has had the sport of golf take him from KMAland to all around the United States and even the world. Two-time state runner-up Kyle Ritchie played golf for Bedford and Corning in high school before competing at the Division I level with Tulane and Memphis. He's even played at the home of golf at St. Andrews Links in Scotland.
But what Ritchie is most remembered for during his career in KMAland are his terrific runs to the state golf tournament and two narrow misses at state championships in 2001 and 2003.
"Both of those hurt," Ritchie told KMA Sports this morning. "I was glad to be there, glad to be competitive. Sophomore year, I made a charge on the back nine and knocked it close on the last hole, but the other guy made a putt to beat me. Then my senior year, I had a chance to get up and down to send it to a playoff. I hit a good putt, and it just didn't go in."
Ritchie lost by just two strokes as a sophomore at Bedford before losing by a single stroke his senior year with Corning. While the losses were tough to take at the time, Ritchie says it was an important part of his development as a golfer.
"I got better throughout my career," Ritchie said. "Golf is kind of a game where you want to get it done on the biggest stage, and in high school golf in Iowa, that's the state tournament."
Ritchie's strong play throughout his high school career impressed Tulane University, and with that, he was off to New Orleans for one great culture change. After two years at Tulane, Ritchie transferred due to Hurricane Katrina and finished his career at Memphis.
He says it would be hard to pick his favorite golf memory, but it would be between qualifying for NCAA Regionals at Memphis in his senior season, winning a match at the U.S. Amateur Public Links Tournament in 2006 and playing in a tournament at the Old Course at St. Andrews in Scotland.
"That's pretty magical," he said. "That's a pretty magical trip for a golfer."
For his next trip, Ritchie will be inducted as part of the inaugural KMA Sports Hall of Fame class at a future date to be determined.
KMA Sports will announce a new inductee each August weekday morning during the 7:50 AM sportscast. Track the Hall of Fame announcements/inductees below:
Football: Announced August 26th at 7:50 AM
Girls Basketball: Gail Hartigan (Induction: January 2017)
Boys Track: Announced August 23rd at 7:50 AM
Boys Golf: Kyle Ritchie (Induction: TBA)
Team: Announced August 25th at 7:50 AM
Softball: Announced August 24th at 7:50 AM
Team: Announced August 22nd at 7:50 AM