MANHATTAN, Kan. - After ending their third-consecutive season in regional play, the Kansas State men’s golf team will try to take the next step in 2005-06 beginning Monday and Tuesday, Sept. 12-13, when the Wildcats travel to Chardron, Ohio, near Cleveland, for the Cleveland State Invitational. The 17-team, 54-hole tournament will give the Wildcats a chance to get familiar with the Sand Ridge Golf Club, site of this year’s NCAA Men’s Golf Central Regional Championships. The tournament kicks off at 8:45 a.m. EDT Monday with a shotgun start to both rounds one and two. The final round will also be an 8:45 a.m. EDT shotgun start on Tuesday.
THE STARTING LINEUP: Senior Ben Kern headlines the Wildcat starters for the opening season tournament. The Tucson, Ariz., native will be making his second consecutive opening tournament start. Joining Kern in that distinction is senior Tyler Cummins. A transfer student from Dodge City CC last year, Cummins was also in the starting lineup to begin last year’s season. Junior college transfer Jay Kramer, true freshman Robert Streb, and sophmore Kyle Yonke complete the lineup for K-State.
A MIX OF OLD AND NEW: After having experienced teams the past few years, K-State will have the most newcomers in the program this season (4; Spencer Alefs, Joe Kinney, Jay Kramer, and Robert Streb) since the 2002-03 campaign when the Wildcats also had four newcomers. However, the new members to the team have already proven their game. Two newcomers, Jay Kramer and Robert Streb, will be participating in this weekend’s event. Kramer had a successful two-year stint at Johnson County CC, being named first-team All-Jayhawk Confernce and second team JuCo All-American. Streb, a true freshman from Edmond, Okla., had a successful high school career, registering two wins, seven top-five’s and nine top-10 finishes during his junior year.
K-STATE IN SEASON OPENERS: Season openers have been kind to the Wildcats during the Tim Norris era. K-State has recorded six straight top-10 performances, including a third-place finish in 2002 and a second-place finish in 2003. Last year, the Wildcats opened up their season in Ohio (The Inverness Intercollegiate), but got off to a sluggish start to the year as they finished ninth of 13 teams.
WILDCATS IN THE BUCKEYE STATE: The trip to Chardon, Ohio will be K-State’s seventh trip to Ohio since the fall portion of the schedule in 2002. The Wildcats have made an apperance in the Buckeye state twice a season since 2002, and can earn a return trip this year to Chardon for the NCAA Central Regional. However, playing in Ohio is realitively new to the Cats. Prior to fall 2002, the only other time the Wildcats were in Ohio was in 1990 for the Central Regional.
WHAT TO WATCH FOR: True Freshman Robert Streb had an excellent team qualifying round for this weekend’s tournament. The Edmond, Okla., native, fired a 281 in 72 holes to win the qualifyer. During the final round, Streb carded a three-under, 69, from the black and blue tees (7,500 yards) at Colbert Hills. Streb had a successful summer on the AGJA circuit, with his highest finish (2nd) coming in his hometown at the OSSO Junior, where he fired a 7-over, 217.
The Course: The par 71, 7,085-yard Sand Ridge Golf Course will host the Cleveland State Invitational, the same course K-State will see if they advance to the 2005 NCAA Central Regional. For more information on Sand Ridge, please visit www.sandridgegolf.com.
The Field (17): Akron, Cleveland State, Eastern Kentucky, Eastern Michigan, Indiana, Kansas, Kansas State, Kent State, Louisville, Miami (OH), Penn State, Purdue, TCU, Texas Tech, William & Mary, Wisconsin, and Xavier.
K-State’s Cleveland State Invitaional Lineup
Name Yr-Exp Hometown 04-05 Rnds 04-05 Avg.
Ben Kern Sr.-3L Tucson, Ariz. 39 74.25
Robert Streb Fr.-HS Edmond, Okla. -- --
Kyle Yonke So.-1L Lubbock, Texas 21 76.61
Tyler Cummins Sr.-1L Olathe, Kan. 36 75.66
Jay Kramer Jr.-TR Lenexa, Kan. -- --