Gregson Leads K-State's Charge During Final Round in Fresno
FRESNO, Calif. - Behind Mitchell Gregson's career-low round of 5-under par 67, the Kansas State men's golf team made a 21-stroke improvement from round two to round three as it fired its top team round vs. par of the season and jumped three spots to finish seventh at the Fresno State Lexus Golf Classic Tuesday.
K-State carded a 5-under par 283, tied for the second-lowest team round of the day behind UC Irvine's 8-under par 280. The Wildcats' final-round score was the lowest since carding a 282 during the first round of the Alister MacKenzie Invitational on Oct. 9.
The Wildcats finished the tournament with a three-round score of 17-over par 881, them lowest tournament gross score since shooting a 872 at the Alister MacKenzie. Kansas State accomplished that feat with the same six-man lineup it used for the one-round Lochinvar Challenge just one month ago when the team was 32-over par 320. The seventh-place finish was the Wildcats' best finish in major tournament since a second-place tie at the Central Region Preview.
Head coach Tim Norris was pleased with the improvement his team showed Tuesday and hopes to build off that for the rest of the spring.
"I'm really proud of the way the guys battled today," Norris said. "Hopefully we can build on it to finish off the spring in good fashion. We are now one good round away from continued improvement or one bad round away from being back right where we were."
San Diego State was able to hold off a third-round push by UC Irvine to win the event. The Aztecs carded a three-round score of 15-under par 849.
UC Irvine's Brian Edick edged out teammate Jay Choe for top individual honors. Edick finished 7-under par 209, two strokes ahead of Choe at 5-under par 211.
After recording rounds of 6-over par 78 and 7-over par 79 during the first and second rounds, respectively, Gregson made a 13-stroke improvement from round two to round three as he fired a career-low round of 5-under par 67 to jump from a tie for 74th at the end of Monday's play to finish tied for 39th. The Waterloo, Ill., native, recorded the lowest individual 18-hole score since Ben Kern's back-to-back 65s at the ASU Thunderbird Invitational last year. The 18-hole score is also tied for ninth-lowest in school history, which Gregson accomplished by dropping in an eagle on his final hole of the day.
"This is a new experience for Mitchell because he didn't pick up a club during the spring in high school since he was playing baseball," Norris said. "He is a good player and a good competitor. He shot scores early in the spring that didn't look good, but hopefully this is a springboard for the rest of the season. The round he shot today was not out of his ability by any means."
Junior Kyle Yonke registered a career-best finish as he tied for eighth at 1-under par 215. It was the first time this season that Wildcat shot below par in a tournament and the first time in Yonke's career he carded a below-par 54-hole score. His previous low score vs. par was a 2-over par 215 at the Alister MacKenzie. With his eighth-place finish, Yonke is the first Wildcat to finish in the top-10 in a major event since Gregson finished tied for sixth at the Central Region Preview.
Sophomore Joe Kinney also contributed three counting rounds of 73-76-74 to card a 7-over par 223, a season-low score.
Kansas State will be back in action next week at the Ron Moore Invitational, March 19-20, in Goodyear, Ariz.
Fresno State Lexus Golf Classic
Top Individuals: 1. Brian Edick, UC Irvine, 74-68-67209 (-7); 2. Jay Choe, UC Irvine, 68-73-70211 (-5); 3. Cory Segall, San Diego State, 68-76-68212 (-4); 4. Thomas Petersson, Pacific, 71-71-71213 (-3); Three Tied for Fifth at 214 (-2).
K-State Individuals: T8. Kyle Yonke, 72-73-70215 (-1); T35 Joe Kinney, 73-76-74223 (+7); T39. Mitchell Gregson, 78-79-67224 (+8); T49. Joe Ida, 73-79-75227 (+11); T51. Robert Streb, 76-80-72228 (+12); T51. Spencer Alefs*, 80-73-75228 (+12); T68. Jason Schulte, 80-76-77233 (+17).