Sept. 30, 2002
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MANHATTAN, Kan. - While the winds and Colbert Hills Golf Course seemed to show no mercy Monday, Kansas State junior golfer Aaron Watkins remained unphased. Watkins carded a solid even-par 144 to claim a one-stroke lead after the first two rounds of the Jim Colbert Intercollegiate.
"Today was all about patience," Watkins said. "Normally you want to make birdies, but today you just wanted to make pars. Birdies were just a bonus. I started putting really well going into my second nine during the morning round and hitting a lot of greens. I think that was my key today, just keeping it out of trouble."
The Wildcat team struggled during the first round with a 317, but then jumped from seventh to third after a 16-stroke improvement of 301 in the second round. The team's total of 618 puts the `Cats 14 strokes back of leader SMU, which posted a 307-297=604, and three strokes back of second-place Lamar which shot a 314-301=615.
Leading the comeback charge with Watkins was junior Greg Douglas. The Cooper, Texas native had rough outing of 85 during the morning round, but came back strong in the afternoon with an even-par 72 to put himself in a tie for 24th at 157. Also posting scores for the Wildcat team were junior A.J. Elgert, shooting a 158 to tie for 32nd, junior Nick Shumacher who is tied for 47th at 163, and sophomore Jonathan James who posted a 165 to tie for 54th.
"There were no surprises today," said K-State head coach Tim Norris. "We all know when the wind blows like that in the morning, you know its going to be a very windy day. But, we had a couple of guys really turn it around this afternoon. Every shot counts now, and its amazing how with all the golf that has been played how it could all come down to one shot. So, the guys did a really great job of hanging in there."
K-State's four individuals put together a solid performance for the day and were lead by freshman Josh Persons, who carded 155 to tie for 16th. Junior Tim Moody and sophomore Matt Van Cleave tied for 24th with at 157, and freshman Jimmy Dietz is tied 58th at 166.
The Jim Colbert Intercollegiate concludes tomorrow with the final 18 holes beginning with an 8:30 a.m. shotgun start.
Team Scores: 1. SMU 604. 2. Lamar 615. 3. Kansas State 618. 4. Toledo 619. 5. Nebraska 620. T6. Colorado 623. T6. Texas A&M 623. 8. Missouri 624. 9. Tulsa 628. 10. Rice 628. 11. Texas-San Antonio 640. 12. Louisiana-Lafayette 641.
Top Individuals: 1. Aaron Watkins, K-State, 144. 2. Shaun Helmle, A&M, 145. T3. Chris Stroud, Lamar, 150. T3. Brock Mulder, SMU, 150. T3. David Inglis, Tulsa, 150.
Wildcat Individuals: 1. Aaron Watkins 144. T16. Josh Persons 155. T24. Greg Douglas 157. T24. Tim Moody 157. T24. Matt Van Cleave 157. T32. A.J. Elgert 158. T47. Nick Schumacher 163. T54. Jonathan James 165. T58. Jimmy Dietz 166.