Ki Unlocks Winning Performance for U.S. Pro Hickory Championship

It was one for the history books. Doing her best imitation of Joyce Wethered, Orlando’s Ki Shui Liao used some inspired golf to secure the John Shippen Trophy at the 2017 United States Professional Hickory Golf Championship, held on February 20, in Temple Terrace, FL.

An independent golf pro, Liao’s 75 was four shots clear of Tampa’s Jeff Leonard.  The Temple Terrace Golf & Country Club opened in 1922 with a course laid out by noted architect Tom Bendelow. As it has since then, the course proved a stern test for hickory golf clubs.

Ki Shui Liao poses with an antique roadster and the John Shippen trophy (on the hood) for her U.S. Professional Hickory Championship victory.

Liao’s score was the best turned in by a female professional in the seven-year history of the event. It is also the third best winning score all time – Andrew Marshall shot a sizzling 70 in 2016; and the score of 74 has been matched three times, twice by Paolo Quirici and once by Eddie Peckels.

This year’s Ladies Championship goes to Jennifer Cully of the Apollo Beach Golf Club. Jenn has participated in all but one tournament and has won the ladies crown twice previously.

Jennifer Cullen accepts her trophy as Ladies Champion from tournament host Mike Stevens.


In the Professional Division:
(Name, score, purse)
Ki Shui Liao, 75, $1,200
Will Peterson (A), 76, $750GC
Jeff Leonard, 79, $950
Eddie Peckels, 81, $500
Keith Wightman 82 $350
Mike Stevens, 82, $350
Rich Lively, 85, $200
Richard Bullock, 86, $125
Brian Giordano, 87, $100
Tom McCrary, 88, $75
Gregor Jamieson, 89, $50
Jim Cocchi, 89, $50
Jim Giordano, 90
Hank Dettlaff, 92
Jennifer Cully, 92, $200
Earl Hines, 93
Alice Brown, 98, $100
Joshua Hiller (A),98
Carole Clarke, 100


On the amateur side of things, Winter Spring’s Bill Geisler dethroned two-time champion Will Peterson of Orlando by one shot, 75 to 76. Geisler’s name will be affixed to the Oscar Bunn Trophy that is on permanent display in the Temple Terrace clubhouse. In the Heritage division Jim Wilhelm tied with Larry Denney and in a hotly contested coin flip Mr. Wilhelm made the right call, just as the New England Patriots did in the 2017 Super Bowl.

Bill Geisler, left, accepts the trophy from Mike Stevens for his amateur victory.

Bill Geisler 75
Larry Denney 80
Tom Mish 82
Jim Wilhelm 83
Ross Hays 84
Bruce Del Guidice 88
Dan Howell 89
Max Castro 89
Daniel Norstedt 93
Dave Dunigan 95
Dan Capaz 96
Scott Bowles 100
Steve Haigler 100
Jim Drotos 103
Bob Boss 104
Will Jacoby 119


As for the Mike Stevens Challenge, which preceded the above events, the format was a team shamble where the team selects the best drive and then everyone plays their own ball in. Best two scores of the team are recorded. Congratulations to Earl Hines, Bob Zeigler and Jim Chambers who burned it up with a 9-under score of 135.

The winning team in the Mike Stevens Challenge – Earl Hines, Bob Zeigler, and Jim Chambers.


Teams and Scores

Earl Hines, Bob Zeigler, Jim Chambers – 135

Rosemary Pabst, Mike Stevens, Mike Tracy – 139

Joshua Hiller, Steve Haigler, Dave Jarrett – 145

Greg Jordan, Scott Bowles, Bob Boss – 161

Will Jacoby, Bob Ubbing, HK Edgerton – 162