Wildcats Shoot Final Round of Season at NCAA West Regional
BREMERTON, Wash. Kansas State carded its best round of the tournament with a 298 on Saturday, but it wasn’t enough to move the Wildcats up the leader board and keep their season alive at the NCAA Championship West Regional. K-State finished 18th at Golf Mountain Golf Club after shooting 305-299-298902 (+38) over the three day tournament.
Southern California shot even par on Saturday and held off a charge from Oregon for the team title at 2-under 862. Oregon’s Joey Benedetti carded a 69 for the third consecutive day en route to a 9-under 207 and the individual tournament crown. As a team, the Wildcats were 14 strokes and eight positions behind the cutoff to advance to the NCAA Championships at West Lafayette, Ind., as the top-10 teams and top two individuals not on qualifying teams advanced.
“You’ve got to be firing on all cylinders when you get to this tournament,” K-State head coach Tim Norris said. “You can’t afford an off day. We knew it was going to be an uphill climb but the guys played well.”
K-State’s Mitch Gregson notched the team’s first round under par for the tournament while leading the Wildcats with a 1-under 71 on Saturday. Gregson jumped from 42nd into a tie for 25th and finished the event 74-75-71220 (+4). Gregson narrowly missed advancing as an individual, finishing fourth out of the players not on teams vying for the top-10 spots.
“Mitch had a nice round to finish out his season,” Norris said. “He played really solid. I know he’d like to have a couple shots back as well. He’ll be kicking himself when he knows how close he came to making it, he had a great season for us, but I still think his best golf is in front of him.”
Robert Streb posted the second-best score for the Wildcats on Saturday with a 1-over 73. He finished two strokes behind Gregson at 6-over 222 for the tournament and tied for 35th. Senior Kyle Yonke closed out his K-State career by contributing his third consecutive round of the tournament to the team score while shooting a 3-over 75. Yonke finished tied for 53rd at 9-over 225 for the tournament.
“Robert and Kyle had good tournaments,” Norris said. “We were just missing a fourth score every day. Fourteen shots over three days it doesn’t take long for that to add up.”
Joe Ida and Daniel Wood each recorded a 7-over 79 to close the tournament. Ida finished at 19-over 235 and Wood finished 25-over 241.
“Overall, it was a great season,” Norris said. Our guys played hard from start to finish. It was a great experience today as we played with some great players today. We’ve got to work hard to stay the same for next year and hopefully we’ll work a little harder and get better over the summer. It’d be great to be going on to the National Championship, but for us we had to have a little bit of a magical week and we just weren’t quite there.”