K-State Slips to 10th in Regular Season Finale
COLUMBUS, Ohio - Dealing with gusty conditions and an unfamiliar golf course, the Kansas State men’s golf team fell five spots down the leaderboard after a disappointing final round of 307 to finish in 10th at the 35th annual Robert Kepler Intercollegiate. K-State finished the tournament with a 54-hole total of 907 (297-303-307).
“We were just on the wrong end of it today, and it was just enough to knock us down,” head coach Tim Norris said. “At this level of competition and at this time of the year, there is a fine line for mistakes.”
Making its second consecutive appearance in the Kepler, the Wildcats did improve on last year’s 12th-place finish and score of 923. The 10th-place finish, preceded by last week’s finish of 12th at the Boilermaker Invitational are K-State’s worst consecutive finishes since the spring of 2002 when the Wilcats finished in eighth at the UTSA Invitational and 14th at the LSU Spring Invitational.
Xavier won the team title, as they led wire-to-wire to defeat Kent State by three strokes at 288-297-301886. Kansas State finished one-stroke behind Penn State for ninth and three strokes ahead of Michigan State and Ball State, who tied 11th.
Individually, Kent State’s Ryan Yip defeated defending champion Brad Heaven of Toledo in a playoff to win medalist honors. Through 54 holes Yip and Heaven were knotted at 214 (-2).
Aaron Watkins paced the Wildcats, as he finished the event in a tie for 14th, after firing a 72-75-77224 (+8). The top-20 finish was Watkins’ fifth of the season.
Sophomore Ben Kern finished in a tie for 33rd, after carding rounds of 74, 76 and 78 to finish with a total of 228. Senior Tim Moody shot a 230 (74-77-79) to finish in a tie for 46th. Junior Matt Van Cleave carded the lowest score for the Wildcats on Sunday, as he finished with a 73 to give him a total of 232, good enough to tie for 57th. Rounding out the Wildcats’ lineup was sophomore Josh Persons, who tied for 80th at 237.
The Wildcats begin postseason play April 26-27 at the Big 12 Championship in Hutchinson, Kan. For complete results, please visit Kansas State’s website at www.kstatesports.com.
Men’s Collegiate Golf
Team Scores: 1. Xavier 288-297-301886; 2. Kent State 300-296-293889; T3. Toledo 294-295-306895; 3. Ohio State 295-299-301895; 5. Northwestern 303-298-296897; T6.Indiana 299-301-298898; Illinois 307-297-294898; 8. Purdue 304-296-300900; 9. Penn State 310-290-303903; 10. Kansas State 297-303-307907; T11. Michigan State 303-303-304910; Ball State 297-306-307910; 13. Iowa 300-313-305918; 14. Michigan 308-311-303922; 15. Miami (Ohio) 304-305-314923; 16. Eastern Michigan 305-316-304925; 17. Marshall 304-313-31493; 18. Wisconsin 313-313-307933.
Top Individuals: **1. Ryan Yip, Kent State, 67-74-73214; 2. Brad Heaven, Toledo, 69-72141; 3. John Streibich, Xavier 69-73-73215; T4. Jeff Overton, Indiana, 74-73-69216; Peter Laws, Kent State, 72-72-72216.
Wildcat Individuals: T14. Aaron Watkins, 72-75-77224; T33. Ben Kern, 74-76-78228; T46. Tim Moody, 74-77-79230; T57. Matt Van Cleave, 79-80-73232; T80. Josh Persons, 77-75-85237.
**Won in playoff