NCAA Central Regional
Thursday-Saturday, May 18-20, 2006
Tee Times: 7:47 a.m. Thursday, 12:59 p.m. Fri. and Sat.
Paired with Cleveland State and Eastern Kentucky
Sand Ridge Golf Club
Par 71/7,085 yards
Hosted by Cleveland State University
Participating Teams (27; in order of rank): Oklahoma State, Georgia Tech, Texas A&M, Clemson, Duke, Texas, Kentucky, Tulsa, Northwestern, Minnesota, Lamar, Kent State, Oklahoma, TCU, Purdue, SMU, Xavier, Texas-Arlington, Colorado, Missouri, Nebraska, KANSAS STATE, Eastern Kentucky, Cleveland State, Siena, Princeton, and St. Francis (PA).
MANHATTAN, Kan. - For the fourth-consecutive year, and fifth time in school history, the Kansas State men’s golf team will compete in the NCAA Central Regional, May 18-20, in Chardon, Ohio. The Wildcats were selected as the 22nd seed in the 27-team field that will compete at the par 71, 7,085-yard Sand Ridge Golf Club. The central regional is one of three regionals being conducted. The East Regional is hosted by Lake Nona Golf Club in Orlando, Fla., and the West Regional will be held in Tucson, Ariz., at Tucson National Golf Club. The top 10 teams from each regional will advance to compete in the NCAA Championship May 31-June 3. The top two individuals not on those advancing teams will also earn berths into the NCAA Championship. Live stats will be available on www.golfstat.com, www.csuvikings.com, as well as www.ncaasports.com. Results will be posted all three days on www.k-statesports.com as soon as they become available.
The par 71, 7,085-yard Sand Ridge Golf Club hosts the 2006 NCAA Central Regional. Designed by Tom Fazio, the course opened on May 18, 1998. When the Wildcats tee off on Thursday, they will definitely be in familiar surroundings as Sand Ridge hosted K-State’s first tournament of the year, the Cleveland State Invitational. For more information on Sand Ridge Golf Club, please visit www.sandridgegolf.com.
LAST TIME OUT: BIG 12 CHAMPIONSHIP
TULSA, Okla. - The Kansas State men’s golf team was unable to improve off its placing from a year ago at the Big 12 Championship, tying for 10th with Colorado at 59-over par 899. K-State started out Tuesday with eight holes remaining in the weather-suspended second round. The team carded a 25-over par 305 during round two, which tied them for 10th with Iowa State. The Wildcats made a seven-shot improvement during the third round as they shot a 298, but stayed steady at 10th. Oklahoma took home the team championship and Texas’ Matthew Rosenfeld took home individual honors.
K-STATE'S REGIONAL HISTORY
The 2006 edition of the NCAA Central Regional will mark the fifth appearance by the Wildcats, including four straight. The school’s first regional bid came in 1993. The Wildcats placed 21st after carding a three-round total of 943. K-State was unable to make regionals again until 2003, when the streak of regional appearances started. Kansas State hosted the 2003 Central Regional, which is the school’s best showing at a regional championship to date. K-State placed 11th ater carding a three-round total of 876, one stroke shy of advancing to the NCAA Championships. The best individual finish by a Wildcat was A.J. Elgert’s tie for 12th in 2004, good enough to advance to the NCAA Championship. As a team, the Wildcats have been unable to push past regional play.
KERN WINS ASU THUNDERBIRD INVITATIONAL
Ben Kern pieced together two-consecutive rounds of 6-under par 65 on April 9th to capture K-State's first outright individual title since 2003 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. 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, something both Phil Mickelson and Tiger Woods couldn't accomplish during their times at Arizona State and Stanford, respectively. Mickelson's best score was a 204 when he won the tournament in 1991, and Woods could only muster a 220 in the 1995 version of the Thunderbird Invitational. For his efforts, Kern earned Men's Collegiate Player of the Week honors by both Golfweek and Golfworld. He was also recently named the Big 12 Conference Golfer of the Month for April. During the month, Kern won the aforementioned ASU Thunderbird Invitational, as well as carding a 10-over par 220 to tie for 19th at the Big 12 Championship. The 19th-place tie continued an 18-year streak of Wildcat individuals placing in the top-20 at the conference championship.
BIG 12 TOPS THEM ALL
With 10 teams earning berths to NCAA Regionals, the Big 12 Conference has proven to be the best in men’s golf this season. The Big 12 tops all BCS conferences in number of teams earning bids to the regionals, two more than second-place ACC. Furthermore, the conference features six teams in the top-50 of the Golfweek/Sagarin rankings, including two in the top-10 (No. 2 Oklahoma State and No. 6 Texas A&M).
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 74.06, over one shot-per-round ahead of Josh Person’s run during the 2002-03 season. Kinney currently ranks third on the list at 75.79 shots-per-round.
When the Wildcats tee off Thursday morning, they will find themselves in a familar setting. K-State was part of a 17-team field that participated in the Cleveland State Invitational, also known as the Central Regional Preview, Sept. 12-13. The team finished in the middle of the pack, placing eighth, after carding a three-round score of 31-over par 883. Ben Kern got his senior season off to a quick start at the tournament as he placed second after firing an 8-under par 205. Including Kern, the team returns four participants from that tournament, along with senior Jonathan James. Four out of the five competitors for K-State this weekend have played in at least one regional tournament in their college careers.
K-STATE'S CENTRAL REGIONAL LINEUP
Name Year Hometown Rds. Avg.
Ben Kern Sr. Tucson, Ariz. 32 72.38
Robert Streb Fr. Edmond, Okla. 35 74.06
Tyler Cummins Sr. Olathe, Kan. 35 74.23
Kyle Yonke So. Lubbock, Texas 29 75.21
Jonathan James Sr. Keller, Texas 11 75.91