Wildcats Finish 10th at Big 12 Championships; Van Cleave Places Fourth
TRINITY, Texas After moving up two places to finish eighth after day two, the Kansas State men’s golf team wound up dropping down to finish tenth at the 2005 Big 12 Championships. Playing on the par-72, 7,330-yard Whispering Pines Golf Club, K-State had its worst score of the tournament during the final round as they shot 311 (+23). The WIldcats finished with a combined team score of 925 (308-306-311), four strokes behind ninth-place Iowa State (302-318-301921). Oklahoma State led wire-to-wire and took their fourth Big 12 Championship. The Cowboys carded a team score of 4-over 868 (285-296-287).
“The team struggled today,” head coach Tim Norris said. “The golf course just wares on you, and you have to be on top of your game when you play a course like this.”
Despite shooting his highest score of the event in the third round, senior Matt Van Cleave earned the best individual finish in conference history by a Wildcat since Doug Gray (1969-70) tied for third at the Big 8 Championships in 1970. Van Cleave entered the final day in third place, one stroke out of first, but carded a 4-over 76. Van Cleave finished with a score of 70-71-76217 (+1). Oklahoma sophomore Anthony Kim was the medalist, carding an 8-under 208 (69-71-68) to take the title by six strokes over Oklahoma State’s Alex Noren (214).
For Van Cleave, it is his fourth top-five finish in his last seven events. In his career, the Maryville, Mo., product has finished in the top 20 all three trips to the Big 12 Championships. In 2003, he tied for 16th, while in 2004 he tied for ninth. Van Cleave has now finished in the top 15 in eight consecutive events.
“Matt struggled a little bit with his putter today,” Norris remarked. “But I am so proud of him that he was able to put himself in position to be the Big 12 Champion. It didn’t work out today, but he had another excellent tournament. He just continues to play really good golf. It was just a day where he felt the pressure, as he should.”
Oklahoma State, the No. 1 team in the country, won the event by nine strokes over Oklahoma, which is the fourth largest margin of victory in conference history. Oklahoma finished with a combined team score of 13-over 877 (290-298-289), eight strokes past third-place Missouri, who finished the tournament with a score of 885 (295-297-293).
Junior Ben Kern tied for 25th, after carding a third-round 75 for a 54-hole score of 229. Kern played his first nine holes at even par, before finishing 3-over on the back nine.
Junior Tyler Cummins tied for 42nd with a score of 235 (+19). Cummins shot a final-round 79 (+7).
Also competing for the Wildcats were senior Nick Schumacher and junior Jonathan James. James carded an 81 on the final round and finished in 57th with a score of 244 (+28). Schumacher fired an 82 and finished 59th with a score of 246 (+30).
The Wildcats will turn their attention to May 9 when regional selections will be announced. The Wildcats will be bidding for their third straight trip to the NCAA Central Regional, and fourth in school history.
Men’s Collegiate Golf
Team Scores: 1. Oklahoma State, 285-296-287868 (+4); 2. Oklahoma, 290-298-289877 (+13); 3. Missouri, 295-297-293885 (+21); 4. Texas, 311-305-287903 (+39); 5. Texas A&M, 303-299-307909 (+45); 6. Kansas, 304-303-303910 (+46); 7. Baylor, 303-308-301912 (+48); 8. Texas Tech, 299-310-309918 (+54); 9. Iowa State, 303-312-301921 (+57); 10. K-State, 308-306-311925 (+61); 11. Colorado, 311-319-299929 (+65); 12. Nebraska, 303-312-316931 (+67).
Top Individuals: 1. Anthony Kim, (Oklahoma) 69-71-68208 (-8); 2. Alex Noren, (Oklahoma State) 70-72-72214 (-2); 3. Zack Robinson, (Oklahoma State) 74-73-68215 (-1); 4. Matt Van Cleave, (K-State) 70-71-76217 (+1); T5. Justin Fraley, (Oklahoma) 68-72-78218 (+2); T5. Ben Scott, (Missouri) 71-73-74218 (+2).
Wildcat Individuals: T27. Ben Kern, 79-75-75229 (+13); T43. Tyler Cummins 79-77-79235 (+19); 57. Jonathan James, 80-83-81244 (+28); 59. Nick Schumacher ,80-84-82246 (+30).