Wildcats Move Up to Eighth at Big 12 Championships
TRINITY, Texas With two weather delays halting play for over two hours, the Kansas State men’s golf team battled the elements and climbed two places up the leaderboard. K-State crept into eighth place with one round to be played Sunday at the ninth annual Big 12 Championships held at the par-72, 7,330-yard Whispering Pines Golf Club. The Wildcats carded a combined team score of 306 (+18) on the second day of the 54-hole tournament. K-State will enter Sunday with a team score of 614 (308-306), three strokes out of sixth place, which is currently being held by Baylor (303-308611).
For the second straight day, the Wildcats began from the 10th tee and played their worst golf of the day over the first nine holes. K-State shot 11-over through the first nine holes before finding their rhythm and shooting 6-over during the final nine.
“The guys played well,” head coach Tim Norris said. “We still made our fair share of mistakes, but I think we were a little more inspired to move up today. If we play solid tomorrow, we still have a chance to have a respectful finish.”
Oklahoma State entered the championships as the No. 1 team in the country and has shown little to prove otherwise. The Cowboys carded an 8-over 296 to go along with their opening-round 285 and lead by seven strokes over Oklahoma with a score of 581 (+5). Oklahoma is in second place with a team score of 290-298588 (+12) and is being pushed by third-place Missouri, who carded a 9-over 297 and is four strokes behind the Sooners with a team score of 592.
With rainy conditions making the course even more difficult than it already is, only two players carded rounds under par. Senior Matt Van Cleave was one of the two players, as he shot a 1-under 71 and is in third place, just one stroke out of the lead held by Oklahoma’s Justin Fraley and Anthony Kim. Van Cleave has a 36-hole score of 3-under 141 (70-71) and is one of just five golfers under par. Van Cleave’s round consisted of four birdies, including a birdie on hole No. 2 - the third most difficult hole of the day. Through 14 holes, Van Cleave was at 2-under par before bogeying No. 15 and closing out the final three holes with pars.
Junior Ben Kern moved up almost 20 spots from 44th to 28th after carding a 3-over 75. Kern played even par through the first 11 holes before double bogeying hole No. 3. With 18 holes remaining, Kern has a score of 79-75154, and is only four strokes out of 12th.
Junior Tyler Cummins shot a 5-over 77 and is tied for 40th with a score of 156 (79-77). Cummins played consistently all day, as he was 3-over on the first nine and 2-over on the back nine.
Also competing for the Wildcats are senior Nick Schumacher and junior Jonathan James. James carded an 83 and is in 57th with a score of 19-over 163 (80-83). Schumacher shot an 84 and is in 58th with a score of 20-over 164 (80-84).
The Wildcats conclude play at the Big 12 Championships on Sunday with an 8:00 a.m. tee time. K-State will be paired with Baylor and Nebraska and will once again start on the 10th tee. Live scoring is available for the event and you can follow the Wildcats’ progress at www.golfstat.com.
Men’s Collegiate Golf
Team Scores: 1. Oklahoma State, 285-296581 (+5); 2. Oklahoma, 290-298588 (+12); 3. Missouri, 295-297592 (+16); 4. Texas A&M, 303-299602 (+11); 5. Kansas, 304-303607 (+31); 6. Texas Tech, 299-310609 (+33); 7. Baylor, 303-308611 (+35); 8. K-State, 308-306614 (+38); 9. Nebraska, 303-312615 (+24); 10. Texas, 311-305616 (+40); 11. Iowa State, 302-318620 (+44); 12. Colorado, 311-319630 (+54).
Top Individuals: T1. Justin Fraley, (Oklahoma) 68-72140 (-4); T1. Anthony Kim, (Oklahoma) 69-71140 (-4); 3. Matt Van Cleave, (K-State) 70-71141 (-3); 4. Alex Noren, (Oklahoma State) 70-72142 (-2); 5. Tyler Leon, (Oklahoma State) 68-75143 (-1).
Wildcat Individuals: T28. Ben Kern, 79-75154 (+10); T40. Tyler Cummins 79-77156 (+12); 58. Nick Schumacher, 80-84164 (+20); 57. Jonathan James, 80-83163 (+19).