Saturday-Sunday, April 15-16, 2006
7:30 a.m. Both Days - Tee Times
The Traditions Club
Par 72/7,235 yards
Hosted by Texas A&M
Participating Teams (12): Augusta State, Baylor, Colorado, KANSAS STATE, Kent State, Michigan State, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Southern Methodist, Texas A&M and Texas Tech.
MANHATTAN, Kan. - The Kansas State men’s golf team will have one final tune-up this weekend before the Big 12 Championships as they take part in the Aggie Invitational, Saturday and Sunday, April 15-16 in Bryan, Texas. The small 12-team field will give the ’Cats an idea of what’s in store when they head to the conference championship as over half of the Big 12 will be doing battle on the par 72, 7,235-yard Traditions Club deep in the heart of Aggieland. The event is only the third time in 30 years that A&M is hosting a tournament, including last year’s Texas A&M Invitational won by Oklahoma State, which will be back to defend its title. Live stats are available by logging on to www.golfstat.com. Results will be posted on www.k-statesports.com both Saturday and Sunday.
Co-designed by Jack Nicklaus and his son, Jack Nicklaus II, the Traditions Golf Club is a championship golf course with creeks and wetlands. From the course one can see a perfect glimps of Kyle Field, home of the Texas A&M football team, and the university skyline. For more information on the Traditions Golf Club, please visit www.traditionsclub.com.
LAST TIME OUT: ASU THUNDERBIRD INVITATIONAL
TEMPE, Ariz. Behind the efforts of individual champion Ben Kern, the Wildcats tied for third, carding a three-round total of 17-under par 835 at the ASU Thunderbird Invitational April 8-9. As a team, the Wildcats recorded its best score of the season as they tied for third with Golfweek/Sagarin Top-25 team San Diego State. The Wildcats were also able to defeat two other top-25 teams in Arizona State, which finished sixth, and Texas Tech, which came in 12th. Arizona won the tournament with a 22-under par 830, defeating defending champion UNLV by one stroke. K-State's score of 17-under 835 ranks second on the school's lowest all-time 54-hole score list and is the second tournament of sub-par golf for the Wildcats this season. Senior Tyler Cummins struggled in the first round carding a 75, but recovered to finish in a tie for 19th after his 75-67-70-212 (-1) performance.
KERN WINS ASU THUNDERBIRD INVITATIONAL
Ben Kern pieced together a second-consecutive round of 6-under par 65 to capture K-State's first outright individual title since 2003 on Sunday during the final round of the ASU Thunderbird Invitational. Kern fired an astonishing three-round total of 14-under par 199 on the par 71, 7,017-yard ASU Karsten Course, the same course he shot a 15-over par 228 to tie for 63rd just one year ago. The senior is the first Wildcat to win a tournament outright since Matt Van Cleave won the Purina Classic in October of 2003. Kern carded three-consecutive sub-70 rounds on the weekend, finishing with a score of 69-65-65-199 (-14), en route to setting the school's lowest all-time 54-hole score record. Van Cleave previously held the record with a three-round total of 202 at the Purina Classic. Kern now holds five of K-State’s seven all-time lowest 54-hole scores in school history. The accolades don't end there for Kern as he set the ASU Thunderbird Invitational record for low score, becoming the first player in the 34-year history of the tournament to shoot under 200. He also finds himself in good company with other past individual champions of the ASU Thunderbird Invitational. Other notable medalists of the tournament include Champions Tour participate Scott Simpson (1975), as well as PGA Tour greats Corey Pavin (1979) and Phil Mickelson (1991 and 1992).
AND THE AWARD GOES TOO...
Following a school- and tournament-record 14-under par 199 this past weekend in a victory at the ASU Thunderbird Invitational, K-State senior Ben Kern earned Men's Collegiate Player of the Week honors by both Golfweek and Golfworld, the publications announced. With his three-round total of 199, Kern set an ASU Thunderbird Invitational record, becoming the first player in the tournament's 34-year history to finish below 200, something both Phil Mickelson and Tiger Woods couldn't accomplish during their times at Arizona State and Stanford. Michelson's best score was a 204 when he won the tournament in 1991, and Woods could only muster a 220 in 1995 version of the Thunderbird Invitational. Furthermore, Kern made a 74-spot jump in the Golfweek/Sagarin rankings, jumping from 152nd a week ago to 78th this week.
’CATS PEAKING AT RIGHT TIME
Coming off back-to-back top-three finishes, the Wildcats are peaking at the right time with the home stretch of the schedule in sight.K-State placed second at the Stevinson Ranch Invitational with a two-round total of 21-over par 597. Heavy rain and lightening rolled in shortly before noon on the pacific coast causing the cancellation of the third round and making the tournament a 36-hole event. Colorado was awarded the team championship after their 20-over par 596 score on the first day. The Wildcats, who started the final round one stroke back of the leader, were 15-over par with the easiest three holes of the course left. At that point, Colorado was 27-over, but the Buffaloes were awarded the team championship since the final round scores did not count. All K-State did was turn around and record one of its lowest 54-hole scores in school history as they shot a 17-under 835 in a tie for third.
ANOTHER TOUGH FIELD AWAITS ’CATS
Yet again, the Wildcats will do battle against four teams in the Golfweek/Sagarin Top-25, all three of which are conference opponents (Oklahoma State No. 2, Baylor No. 9, Texas A&M No. 10, Texas Tech No. 23). However, K-State has proven the ball doesn’t know what rank a team is. Going against four top-25 teams at last week’s ASU Thunderbird Invitational, the Wildcats tied for third with then-No. 22 San Diego State. K-State was also able to defeat top-25 teams Arizona State (No. 9) and Texas Tech (No. 21). On the season, K-State is 3-3-1 against the field that awaits them in Bryan.
True-freshmen starters have been somewhat of a rarity during the Tim Norris era. Only five true freshmen have participated in at least 75-percent of the team’s events during the season under Norris’ watch. Robert Streb, who has participated in every event this season, and Joe Kinney have joined that list this season. However, both golfers are not only participating in those events, but also making them count. Streb ranks No. 1 on the list in terms of stroke average at 73.62, over a 1.5 shots ahead of Josh Person’s run during the 2002-03 season. Kinney currently ranks third on the list at 75.57 shots-per-round. Furthermore, Streb tied for second with Tyler Cummins in percentage of rounds counted at 87.93 percent. Ben Kern leads the team in that department boasting a 90.38 percent of counted rounds.
FAMILIAR STARTING LINEUP
Yet again, the Cats will use the starting lineup of seniors Tyler Cummins and Ben Kern, sophomore Kyle Yonke, and freshmen Joe Kinney and Robert Streb. This is the the sixth time this season these five have made the traveling squad for a tournament, accounting for the top three 54-hole team scores vs. par. Last weekend at the ASU Thunderbird Invitational, they carded the second-lowest 54-hole score in school history with a combined 17-under par 835. These five players also hold K-State’s top four placings, finishing second at the Steveinson Ranch Invitational, third last weekened at the ASU Thunderbird Invitational, and fourth at both the Wolverine Intercollegiate and Memphis Intercollegiate.
K-State’s Lineup for the Aggie Invitational
NAME YEAR HOMETOWN RDS. AVG.
Ben Kern Sr. Tucson, Ariz. 26 72.42
Tyler Cummins Sr. Olathe, Kan. 29 73.76
Robert Streb Fr. Edmond, Okla. 29 73.62
Joe Kinney Fr. Antioch, Ill. 23 75.57
Kyle Yonke So. Lubbock, Texas 23 74.70