PCCC announces four exemptions — including Ozarks native

Kevin Kring played at Springfield's Central High School.
Kevin Kring played at Springfield’s Central High School, winning a state title.

Former Central High School standout Kevin Kring now has another chance to compete in the Price Cutter Charity Championship presented by Dr Pepper.

The tournament announced its four exemptions on Monday, exactly a month before the PGA’s Web.com Tour fans out across Highland Springs Country Club for its 26th annual event.

Kring, who won a Missouri high school state championship in 2008, and Adam Svensson received non-restricted exemptions, while Linus Gillgren and Tyler Weworski have been awarded restricted exemptions. Gillgren earned conditional status on the Web.com Tour in December by completing Q-school — days after his mother passed away in Sweden.

Unrestricted exemptions are available to all players, including amateurs who have a USGA handicap of zero or less, according to the PGA Tour office. Effectively restricted exemptions are limited to Web.com Tour and PGA Tour players who are not otherwise exempt for the Price Cutter tournament.

“I’m hoping I can put on a good show for the Ozarks,” said Kring, who played in the 2012 PCCC after earning his way through a Monday qualifier. He was one stroke short of qualifying a year ago. “I’ve had so much support since high school, and it’s nice that people still stick by me, so hopefully I can go out and do something for the whole town.”

Kring graduated from Central High School in 2008. He was all-state all four years there, placing second in state as a freshman and again as a junior. He went on to play for, and graduate from, the University of Colorado before turning pro in 2012.

He has been readying all summer by chasing Web.com Tour Monday qualifiers and honing his skills at Highland Springs, the course that he calls home. He’s particularly worked to improve his short game.

Should Kring or any other golfer finish in the Top 25 of the Price Cutter event, it means an automatic qualifier for the following week’s Web.com Tour stop. Since turning pro, he’s chased his dream by staying in affordable hotels and cutting costs at every turn. In other words, he’s lived the life sort of like a minor league baseball player.

“I can’t express how much of an opportunity this is,” Kring said, and later explained why. “I want to have a career instead of trying to capture lightning in a bottle. I want to hit the ground running, given this opportunity.”

Monday’s announcement comes as the calendar races toward the PCCC and its related events. A number of spots remain open for pro-ams, including the Betty and Bobby Allison’s Junior Pro-Am on Aug. 6 at Rivercut Golf Course and the Price Cutter Pro-Am on Aug. 12 at Highland Springs. Sponsorship opportunities also remain available by calling 887-3400.

Adam Svensson receives a non-restricted exemption.
Adam Svensson receives a non-restricted exemption into the PCCC.

Svensson, 21, turned pro this year after playing at Barry University. The Canadian has placed second twice on the PGA Tour Canada this year, earning $24,617.

Svensson has played in three Web.com Tour events, placing in the top 25 twice – in the Rust-Oleum Championship on July 14 (11-under par); and in the Nova Scotia Open on July 5 (8-under par). He has earned $19,564.

Linus Gillgren
Linus Gillgren

Gillgren, a Sweden native who played at Arkansas-Little Rock, turned pro in 2011 and has played in four Web.com Tour events since. Gillgren played in two PGA Tour LatinoAmerica events this year, earning $15,444 thanks to a pair of top two finishes. A year ago, he competed in 10 PGA Tour Canada events, earning one top 10 finish.

However, it’s been an emotional time for Gillgren, whose mother, Barbro, passed away due to complications from skin cancer. He was actually on the 16th hole at PGA National’s Champions Course in mid-December – and competing in the Web.com Tour Q-school — when the call came in.

Nevertheless, the family pushed the funeral back to Dec. 29, and Gillgren managed to reach the Final Stage of Q-school. Two years earlier, he had put his career on hold after his father suffered from a heart attack, leading Gillgren to handle the family business – a bakery and coffee shop – for nine months.

“I know that’s exactly what she would have wanted,” Gillgren told PGA Tour.com. “She almost tricked all of us; I had no clue that she was going to pass away, and I wanted to be home. But I think she wanted to spare all of us. She was so happy that I made it through First Stage, so happy when I made it through Second Stage. My brother asked her Sunday night if she wanted me to come home, and she said no. It’s not even what she wanted.

“After she died, I talked to my brothers, and we all decided that I should play for Mom.”

Tyler Weworski
Tyler Weworski

Weworski, 25, turned pro in 2012 after playing at Texas Tech. The California native has not played in a Web.com Tour event this season, but has won $8,900 in playing seven events on the PGA Tour LatinoAmerica.

Weworski lost his Web.com Tour status after last season and turned to South America this year. It’s helped. He finished one and two strokes back in the past two Monday qualifiers, respectively.

“It means everything to me,” Weworski said of the exemption, later adding, “I’ve been putting in the time and just hoping for that breakout week.”



Buy a $25 TLC Properties Charity Sweepstakes ticket and all the money goes to your favorite charity -- and you also could win this 2015 Ford Mustang.
Buy a $25 TLC Properties Charity Sweepstakes ticket and all the money goes to your favorite charity — and you also could win this 2015 Ford Mustang.

What: The Price Cutter Charity Championship presented by Dr Pepper is Aug. 13-16 at Highland Springs Country Club

Tickets: A one-day ticket: $10. A four-day TLC Properties Charity Sweepstakes ticket: $25. (Purchase through one of the 45 charities, and the charity of your choice will receive the full $25. It’s also good for daily prizes as well as grand prizes of $10,000 and a 2015 Ford Mustang). Call the PCCC staff at 417-887-3400, and here is a list of our charities.

FREE ADMISSION: The tournament will offer free admission on the first two days  — Thursday, Aug. 13 courtesy of Southwest Center for Independent Living and Friday, Aug. 14 courtesy of OakStar Bank. The tickets are available at Southwest Center for Independent Living, 2864 S. Nettleton Ave. in Springfield and OakStar Bank, 1020 E. Battlefield Road. Tickets also are available at the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame at 3861 E. Stan Musial Drive as well as all Price Cutter Supermarkets.

SPONSORSHIPS: The tournament generated a record $1 million-plus for local children’s charities a year ago. We still have numerous sponsorships and playing spots in our pro-ams available. Call 417-887-3400.

At Dogwood Ranch, building trust is key for troubled teens


Never quit. Ever, and no matter the odds. In essence, that’s the message from Tabby, a success story of an equine therapy farm called Dogwood Ranch.

In her middle school years, she bounced from one foster home to the next and, naturally, it became difficult to trust anyone. That is, until she met the folks who run the Christian County non-profit that tries to steer teens toward a better future.

And look where Tabby is today – working a great job with her sights set on a nursing a degree, which will provide a promising future for her two young children.

Which is another way of saying that the Price Cutter Charity Championship presented by Dr Pepper is proud to assist Dogwood Ranch.

“It’s amazing how being around such a huge animal that it kind of makes you remember what trust is like,” Tabby said. “A lot of times when kids are in foster care, they go through so many parents that your sense of trust is extinguished. I never thought something that like would help me.”

Now here’s your chance to support Dogwood Ranch again through the Price Cutter golf tournament, a PGA Web.com Tour stop in August at Highland Springs Country Club. A year ago, the tournament raised a record $1 million-plus for local children’s charities.


Buy a $25 TLC Properties Charity Sweepstakes ticket and all the money goes to your favorite charity -- and you also could win this 2015 Ford Mustang.
Buy a $25 TLC Properties Charity Sweepstakes ticket and all the money goes to your favorite charity — and you also could win this 2015 Ford Mustang.
  • HELP DOGWOOD RANCH: A 501 c 3 non-profit, Dogwood Ranch is a community of foster homes that uses equine therapy to help teens build back trust, and also helps cover expenses for basic necessities once teens go on in life. Call 417-393-3493.
  • FOR GOLF FANS, WIN PRIZES: The purchase of a $25 TLC Properties Charity Sweepstakes ticket serves as a four-day tournament pass, but it’s better than that. It enters you to win daily prizes during the tournament as well as grand prizes of $10,000 and a 2015 Ford Mustang.
  • TICKET REVENUE GOES WHERE: Contact the local charity of your choice, simply because they receive revenue directly from those TLC Property Charity Sweepstakes tickets marked with their names.
  • BUSINESS SPONSORSHIPS: Businesses can support the PCCC through various sponsorships, such as the daily newsletter, website or through several events such as a dozen Pro-Ams. Additionally, restaurants, clothing stores and entertainment stops and such are asked to donate a gift card with at least a $25 value in the name of your charity of choice to benefit them in the Golf Ball Charity Auction. Contact the PCCC staff at 417-887-3400.
  • WHEN, WHERE: The tournament is Aug. 7-17 at Highland Springs Country Club, with the pros playing beginning Aug. 13.

About Dogwood Ranch

Brian Lopez and his bride, Dana, founded Dogwood Ranch along with their families.
Brian Lopez and his bride, Dana, founded Dogwood Ranch along with their families.

Brian Lopez and his bride, Dana, along with their parents, founded Dogwood Ranch in 2005 and launched it in 2007 after relocating from southern California to Ozark.

In fact, Dana left behind a great job at one of the top law firms in Los Angeles, while Brian pursued this dream of returning to familiar surroundings – after previously spending five years in the Branson area working for a non-profit.

“We have a real heart for troubled teens,” Lopez said. “And her parents always dreamed of helping kids who needed families as well. We were sitting around in California and one day said, ‘Let’s do this.’”

The idea is to provide long-term care to older youth in foster care who need a family to call their own. In addition, teens are encouraged to develop relationships with their peers, foster families, as well as the ranch’s horses. Building trust is key.

Building trust is key for the teens at Dogwood Ranch.
Building trust is key for the teens at Dogwood Ranch.

However, the assistance from Dogwood Ranch doesn’t end there. After the teens graduate from high school and transition on into the world, the ranch tries to provide funding for transitional needs such as an adequate vehicle, or vehicle repairs, furniture for apartments and other basic needs.

That’s where the PCCC’s donations come in.

“The goal is to make sure they get to and from work, and keep them working,” said Lopez, who along with Dana have adopted one teen and foster more than a dozen others.

The ultimate trust is between a teen and horse at Dogwood Ranch.
The ultimate trust is between a teen and horse.

For Tabby, Dogwood Ranch came into her life at an important time. The end result was that it inspired her to reach her potential and, in doing so, she found motivation to track down other siblings in the foster care system.

Ultimately, Tabby became a mom to two children and is now doing her best to make ends meet as a single mother. She has many aspirations and goals.

“I started in the foster care system when I was 5 years old and kind of bounced around from house to house before I met Brian and Dana,” Tabby said. “They pulled me aside and said, ‘Hey, we know foster homes are temporary. But it’s time for you to get comfortable.’ At that time it hit me. They started getting me involved in training with the horses.

“It showed me what real family life was like.”

She continued.

“The Ranch, as a family, they have done extraordinary things for me – things that I wouldn’t have done otherwise.”