Wildcats Climb Six Places to Claim Second at Stevinson Ranch
STEVINSON, Calif. With wet and windy conditions making play extremely difficult Tuesday at the Stevinson Ranch Invitational, the Kansas State men’s golf team overcame the elements and shot a 297, the lowest score of the third round. The Wildcats’ round of 9-over 297 enabled them to vault up the leaderboard from eighth place and into a tie with Nebraska for second. K-State finished with a combined team score of 298-297-297892 (+28), 20 strokes behind Kansas (286-287-299872), who won the event for the sixth time in the seven-year history of the tournament.
In the 14-team field, the Wildcats were the only team that didn’t shoot its worst team score of the tournament on Tuesday, and head coach Tim Norris believes that K-State’s experience at Colbert Hills is a major reason for that.
“It was a Colbert Hills type of day out there,” Norris remarked. “Our experience at Colbert Hills definitely helped us out Tuesday with the way the wind was gusting and the overall conditions being the way they were. It was a great team effort for us, and hopefully we can take this final round and use it as a springboard for the rest of the spring season.”
The finish marks the third consecutive year that the Wildcats have finished second in the event, which was played at the par-72, 7,206-yard Stevinson Ranch Golf Club. The finish should also bode well for K-State down the road, as nine teams that comprise the NCAA’s District 5, K-State’s district, were in the event.
The conditions caused the scoring average to inflate to 79.81 during the final round, which was over four strokes higher than the average between the first and second round (75.73). Despite the conditions, K-State battled the elements and managed to have four players card rounds below the third-round average. Senior Nick Schumacher had the best round of the day for the Wildcats, as he carded a 1-over 73, which tied for the third-lowest score of the day. Schumacher finished the event tied for 40th with a 80-79-73232.
Junior Ben Kern was the top individual for the Wildcats, as he picked up his second straight second-place finish at the tournament. Kern finished with a 71-68-75214, six strokes behind Kansas’ Kevin Ward, who won the event with a 68-64-76208. The finish by Kern was his best of the season, topping his 11th-place finish at the Alister MacKenzie Invitational on Oct. 11-12.
Senior Matt Van Cleave picked up his fifth consecutive top 15, as he carded a 75-72-74221 and tied for 13th. Van Cleave led the 81-person field with 42 pars.
Also competing for the Wildcats were junior Tyler Cummins and freshmen Kyle Yonke and Clay Hodge. Cummins fired a final-round 75 and finished tied for 36th (76-80-75231). Yonke tied for 52nd with a 76-78-82236. Playing as an individual, Hodge tied for 71st with a 77-78-87242.
The Wildcats resume play April 8-9 at the ASU Thunderbird Invitational in Tempe, Ariz. For complete tournament results, please visit Kansas State’s website at www.k-statesports.com.
Men’s Collegiate Golf
Team Scores: 1. Kansas, 286-287-299872 (+8); T2. Kansas State, 298-297-297892 (+28); T2. Nebraska, 288-296-308892 (+28); 4. Missouri, 289-290-314893 (+29); T5. Denver, 291-294-309894 (+30); T5. Colorado, 293-292-309894 (+30); T5. Wichita State, 295-294-305894 (+30); 8. Illinois State, 298-300-308906 (+42); 9. Cal State-Stanislaus, 301-299-315915 (+51); 10. San Diego, 303-299-316918 (+54); 11. Drake, 304-303-312919 (+55); 12. Iowa State, 295-295-330920 (+56); 13. SW Missouri State, 311-298-324933 (+69); 14. Boise State, 307-304-327938 (+74).
Top Individuals: 1. Kevin Ward, (Kansas) 68-64-76208 (-8); 2. Ben Kern, (K-State) 71-68-75214 (-2); 3. Edward McGlasson, (Colorado) 70-69-76215 (-1); 4. Tyler Docking, (Kansas) 72-74-70216 (E); 5. Jimmy Cunningham, (Denver) 70-72-75217 (+1).
Wildcat Individuals: T13. Matt Van Cleave, 75-72-74221 (+5); T36. Tyler Cummins, 76-80-75231 (+15); T40. Nick Schumacher, 80-79-73232 (+16); T52. Kyle Yonke, 76-78-82236 (+20); T71. *Clay Hodge, 77-78-87242 (+26).
* Playing as an individual