April 25, 2003
Big 12 Championship
Southern Hills C.C.
Dates: April 28-29
The Field: Kansas State, Baylor, Colorado, Iowa State, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Texas, Texas A&M, and Texas Tech
K-State Heads to Tulsa for Big 12 Championship
The Kansas State men's golf team, recently tied for fifth in the Big 12 Conference Coaches Poll, will begin postseason play on April 28-29, when the Wildcats travel to Tulsa, Okla., for the 2003 Big 12 Conference Championship.
The two day, 54-hole tournament will be hosted by Oklahoma State University at the par-70, 7,012-yard Southern Hills Country Club.
2003 Big 12 Coaches' Poll
1. Oklahoma State 118
2. Texas 114
3. Oklahoma 100
4. Baylor 85
T5. Kansas State 73
T5. Texas A&M 73
7. Texas Tech 56
8. Missouri 52
9. Kansas 44
10. Colorado 39
11. Iowa State 25
12. Nebraska 13
Stepping Up for the 'Cats
Leading Kansas State into the Big 12 Championship will be junior Aaron Watkins, the Wildcats' top Big 12 finisher in 2002, and A.J. Elgert, the top finisher at the 2001 championship. Also representing K-State will be freshman Josh Persons, junior Greg Douglas, and sophomore Matt Van Cleave.
The Big 12's Big Teams
Four teams in the Big 12 Conference are ranked among the top 50 in the latest Golfweek/Sagarin rankings. K-State was just shy at No. 53. Texas is the highest ranked team in the tournament at No. 3. Top-seeded Oklahoma State is No. 8, followed by Oklahoma at No. 29 and Baylor at No. 37.
Big 12 teams have won 12 NCAA Championships. Oklahoma State has nine national crowns with the last in 2000. Texas has two national titles and Oklahoma has one. Student athletes from Big 12 schools have captured 16 NCAA individual national championships with the latest going to OSU's Charles Howell in 2000.
A Look at Southern Hills
The Big 12 Men's Golf Championship is being held at Southern Hills Country Club for the first time. The previous six Big 12 events were played at Prairie Dunes Country Club in Hutchinson, Kan.
The 18-hole Championship Golf Course was designed by Perry Maxwell in 1935 and renovated by Keith Foster in 1999. The West Nine Golf Course was designed by Ben Crenshaw in 1992.
The course has hosted 13 major championships including three U.S. Open Championships, three PGA Championships, two Tour Champion-ships, the USGA Women's Amateur Championship, the USGA Junior Amateur Championship, the USGA Senior Amateur Championship, the USGA Amateur Championship, and the USGA Women's Mid-Amateur Championship. Southern Hills has also been selected as the site of the 2007 PGA Championship.
Coverage of the Championship
Complete tournament results will be available on the Big 12 Conference web site at www.Big12Sports.com and on Oklahoma State's web site at www.okstate.com. A tournament highlight package will be available Tuesday, April 29, via the following satellite coordinates:
KU Band, SBS 6, Transponder 2
downlink coordinates: 11749.5 vertical
First Round Pairings
The coaches' poll was used to determine the first round pairings, and standings after the first two rounds will be used to determine the final round match-ups.
8:00 a.m.: #1 Oklahoma State, #2 Texas, #3 Oklahoma
8:50 a.m.: #4 Baylor, #5 Kansas State, #5 Texas A&M
8:00 a.m.: #7 Texas Tech, #8 Missouri, #9 Kansas
8:50 a.m.#10 Colorado, #11 Iowa State, #12 Nebraska
K-State at the Big 12 Championship
The Kansas State men's golf team earned its best conference finish since joining the Big 12 when it placed seventh at the 2002 event at Prairie Dunes Country Club in Hutchinson, Kan. Junior Aaron Watkins shot a 2-over-par 212 and finished in a three-way tie for sixth place. It was his seventh top-20 finish of the season.
From 1942-45, the conference meet was cancelled due to WWII, and in 1976, the Wildcat golf program took an absence before being revived the next season. K-State's highest finish in the conference championship is third, achieving that mark in both 1956 and 1965. Graham Hunt is the program's lone medalist, winning the championship in 1951 firing a three-round total of 226.
K-State at the Big 12
1997 7th Matt Murdoch (14th)
1998 12th Brian Racette (T15th)
1999 10th Brant Benninga (T15th)
Bryan Milberger (T15th)
2000 10th Bryan Milberger (T8th)
2001 8th A.J. Elgert (T20th)
2002 7th Aaron Watkins (T6th)
Recapping the 2002 Championship
The 2002 Big 12 Conference Championship was a tournament of records. Texas claimed the title, after topping Oklahoma State by one stroke and third place Oklahoma by three strokes. It was Texas' first Big 12 title. The Longhorns' 850 (285-282-283) is the lowest winning score ever recorded at the Big 12 Championship.
Oklahoma State's Anders Hultman and Oklahoma's John Kidwell tied for first in the individual standings, and Hultman won a one-hole playoff to win medalist honors. Kidwells's first-round 64 set the record for the lowest individual one-round score at the Big 12 Championship.
2002 Championship Team Results
1. Texas 285-282-283=850
2. Oklahoma State 287-287-277=851
3. Oklahoma 283-274-296=853
4. Baylor 297-286-285=868
5. Missouri 293-292-287=872
6. Texas Tech 297-294-286=877
7. Kansas State 303-292-290=885
8. Colorado 296-294-296=886
9. Texas A&M 300-300-289=889
10. Kansas 301-300-294=895
11. Iowa State 295-297-304=896
12. Nebraska 312- 295-302=909
Two Wildcats on All-Academic Team
Greg Douglas and Aaron Watkins were among 31 student-athletes named to the 2003 Men's Golf Academic All-Big 12 Team.
The conference's first team consists of 23 student-athletes who have maintained a 3.20 or better GPA, including Douglas and Watkins, who are both first-time selections.
"It's always nice when your best students are also your best players," head coach Tim Norris said. "Both Greg and Aaron have traveled to all of our tournaments this season and I know they have worked hard both on the course and in the classroom. It says a lot about their commitments in both areas."
K-State Versus the Field
Kansas State finished in the top-five seven times during the 2002-03 season and brings a 94-50-5 record going into the Big 12 Championship. The Wildcats have faced all the teams in the Big 12, with the exception of Texas. The Wildcats posted a win against every team it faced except for Oklahoma State, and is undefeated against Oklahoma, Colorado, and Nebraska.
K-State vs. Big 12 Opponents
Iowa State 4-2
Oklahoma State 0-1
Texas A&M 1-2
Texas Tech 1-3
Head Coach Tim Norris
Tim Norris is in his sixth season as the Kansas State men's golf coach. The former head coach at Texas-El Paso was the man for the job when K-State went looking for a successful leader to guide the Wildcats to the next level of collegiate golf.
Norris was hired on Aug. 1, 1997, after an extensive nationwide search. In the former PGA Tour professional, K-State found a person with considerable experience as both a player and coach.
Under Norris, the K-State program has risen from the bottom of the Big 12 Conference to one that is now challenging many of the nationally established programs for a place in the upper echelon of the league standings.