Police respond to golf tournament fracas

booking photo for Luke Smith
Booking photo of Luke Smith, provided by Harvey County.

By Adam Strunk

Police arrested a Tennessee man for what amounted to a Happy Gilmore impression Monday at Sand Creek Station.

Playing in a qualifying tournament for a PGA Developmental league, Luke Smith, 20, of Covington Tennessee punched fellow competitor Austen Dailey, 31 the face, according to the Newton Police Department.

The tournament took place at Sand Creek Station as part of the larger Wichita Open.

Deputy Police Chief Scott Powell said police believe the fight followed a disagreement about searching for lost golf balls. The group had apparently been playing slow and falling behind.
“They were getting irritated at each other,” Powell said. “Austen confronted Luke and said if your caddie would help us look for our balls we could be playing a bit faster.”
The caddie happened to be Luke’s father Oliver Smith.
“Luke told his dad,” Powell said. “That upset his dad. His dad went and said ‘If you’d hit your ball straight we wouldn’t have to look for it,”.

Powell said Dailey and Oliver started arguing and yelling at each other causing Luke Smith to grow upset at Dailey for speaking to his father in a rude manner.
Powell said Smith then punched Dailey in the face, while still holding a golf club. Police believe Dad Oliver grabbed the club from Luke before the two went onto the ground and continued fighting.

Powell said another golfer tried to break up the fight but Oliver held up the club in order to let the two men scrum it out.

According to Powell the fight ended when Smith wound up on top of Dailey and told him he’d let him up if he said “uncle”.

Police believe Dailey did say “uncle” and Smith got off of him.

Police were called and responded and eventually Smith, who is a college golfer at the University of Tennessee Martin was arrested for a single pending count of misdemeanor battery.

While the fracas has made national news, outside of a few men’s disagreements the event went well.

“It was very good,” Sand Creek Station Manager Chris Tuohey said of the tournament. “I love it it helps the community out. It’s heads in beds. Players love the course. We had good tournament.”
Touhey said that Sand Creek has hosted the event about 10 times.
“I was very happy to host the qualifier and it was good for the community,” he said.
Charlie Hillier of Overland Park was the top performer at Sand Creek, qualifying for the tour shooting a 65, seven under par.


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