March 24, 2003
STEVINSON, Calif. -
The Kansas State men's golf team finds itself in position to claim its first tournament title of the spring season as the Wildcats sit atop the leaderboard at the Stevinson Ranch Invitational hosted by the University of Colorado at the Stevinson Ranch Golf Club. K-State started strong in the first round, carding a 286 to sit in a three-way tie for first with Wichita State and UC-Irvine. The Wildcats then pulled away from the field in the second round, shooting a 287 for a total of 573 and a six-stroke lead. Chasing K-State in second place is Wichita State at 579.
The Wildcats had spent their spring break practicing in California the week before the tournament, and K-State head coach Tim Norris felt the time on the golf course was very beneficial.
"You can't put a price tag on it," Norris said. "That week of practice obviously helped us both this year and last year when we played well at this tournament. It's also nice for the guys not to have to worry about the classes they are missing."
Norris also said the course fits well with many of the K-State golfers' style of play. He said the length, the grass type, and the wind are things his players are used to handling and are able to play well with.
Sophomore Matt Van Cleave and freshman Josh Persons paced the 'Cats on day one, tying for sixth at 1-under-par 143. Junior co-captains Aaron Watkins and A.J. Elgert played their way into the top-20 as well, Watkins tying for 10th at 144, and Elgert tying for 14th at 145. After struggling during the opening round with a 77, junior Greg Douglas shot a 1-under-par 71 in the second round to tie for 28th at 148. Jonathan James, K-State's individual, is tied for 74th at 161.
Pacific's Matt Hansen currently leads the individual race at 4-under-par 140, and Drake's Derek Butts is one stroke back in second at 3-under-par 141.
K-State will tee off for the team title Tuesday when the tournament commences with an 8 a.m. (PST) shotgun start at Stevinson Ranch Golf Club. For complete results of the Stevinson Ranch Invitational, please visit Colorado's web site at www.cubuffs.com.
Team Scores: 1. Kansas State 573. 2. Wichita State 579. T3. Pacific 584. T3. CSU-Stanislaus 584. 5. UC-Irvine 588. 6. Missouri 589. 7. Drake 590. 8. Iowa State 591. 9. Colorado 592. 10. Kansas 594. T11. Nebraska 595. T11. Illinois State 595. 13. SW Missouri State 602. 14. Air Force 618.
Top Individuals: 1. Matt Hansen, Pacific, 140. 2. Derek Butts, Drake, 141. T3. Julien Trudeau, Wichita State, 142. T3. Brandon Knaub, Missouri, 142. T3. Brian Anderson, Illinois State, 142.
Wildcat Individuals: T6. Matt Van Cleave 143. T6. Josh Persons 143. T10. Aaron Watkins 144. T14. A.J. Elgert 145. T28. Greg Douglas 148. T74. Jonathan James 161.