Kansas Invitational Alvamar Country Club Lawrence, Kan.
Dates: Sept. 20-21 Par: 72 Yardage: 6,950 Total Holes: 54 Format: 36 holes Monday beginning with a shotgun start at and 18 holes Tuesday beginning with a shotgun start. The Field: (14) Kansas State, Houston, Illinois State, Kansas, Missouri-Kansas City, Nebraska, Northern Iowa, Oklahoma City Univ., Oral Roberts, St. Louis, South Dakota State, Western Kentucky, Wichita State, UT-San Antonio
The KU Invitational Lineup
Name Yr-Exp Rnds Avg Matt Van Cleave Sr-2L 3 73.33 Ben Kern Jr-2L 3 74.66 Clay Hodge Fr-HS 3 76.33 Jonathan James Jr-2L 3 78.00 Tyler Cummins Jr-TR 3 80.00 *Kyle Yonke Fr-HS N/A N/A *Denotes Individual
Setting the Scene The Kansas State men’s golf team makes its return to the Kansas Invitational, Sept. 20-21. It will be K-State’s first appearance in the Kansas Invitational since 1999. K-State participated in the Kansas Invitational every year from 1991-99. K-State's best finish was second place in 1992. The tournament will be played at the par-72, 6,950-yard Alvamar Country Club in Lawrence, Kan.
The Course The Kansas Invitational will be held at Alvamar Country Club. Alvamar once hosted eight consecutive Big Eight Championships from 1978-84. Alvamar also hosted the Kansas Amateur in 1991 as well as the 1990 Women’s Big 12 Championships and the inaugural Big 12 Women’s Championships in 1997.
The Field The 14-team field at the annual KU Invitational will present a challenge to the young Wildcat squad. Both Kansas and WichitaState both received votes in the preseason coaches poll released by Golfworld. Last season, WichitaState qualified for the NCAA Championships, while Kansas finished 16th, one place behind K-State, at the Central Regional. With eight other Central Regional teams taking part in the KU Invitational, the tournament could be very pivotal to the Wildcats and their ranking in the Central Region.
The Lineup The Wildcats’ lineup will be the same as the lineup used at the Inverness Intercollegiate Invitational. Senior co-captain Matt Van Cleave will be bidding for his ninth career top 10 in what will be his 20th straight start. Junior co-captain Ben Kern will be making his 13th career start after tying for 19th at the Inverness. Freshman Clay Hodge will make his second career start after finishing 36th at the Inverness. Junior Jonathan James and Tyler Cummins round out the Wildcats’ lineup. Freshman Kyle Yonke will play as an individual in what will be his debut as a Wildcat.
Another Streak? Senior co-captain Matt Van Cleave began his fall campaign with another top-10 finish at the Inverness Intercollegiate Invitational. Last year, Van Cleave tallied four straight top 10s to begin the season before tying for 20th at the very competitive Duke Golf Classic. Van Cleave opened the spring slate with a seventh-place finish to run his top-20 streak to six. Over his career, Van Cleave has eight top 10s and 12 top 20s in 24 appearances.
Impact Freshman Freshman Clay Hodge got off to a solid start to begin his collegiate career. Hodge carded a 229 and tied for 36th. The Tyler, Texas native became the first freshman to play in an opening tournament since Josh Persons at the 2002 Fairway Invitational.
Poll Watching K-State begins the 2004-05 season ranked No. 36 in the golfweek/Sagarin preseason poll released Sept. 8. Last year, the Wildcats vaulted up the polls during the fall season and were ranked as high as No. 9 by golfweek/Sagarin September.
Last Time Out K-State opened its 2004-05 season with a ninth-place finish at the Inverness Intercollegiate Invitational. The Wildcats carded a 54-hole team score of 308-300-299907 (+55). It was K-State’s third straight appearance at the historic Inverness Club. Previously, the Wildcats had finished third in 2002 and second in 2003. Matt Van Cleave paced the Wildcats with an eighth-place finish. Van Cleave fired a 74-75-71220. Ben Kern tied for 19th at 79-72-73224. Making his freshman debut, Clay Hodge carded a 76-76-77229 to tie for 36th. Junior Jonathan James fired a 79-77-78234 to tie for 47th. Junior college transfer Tyler Cummins rounded out the lineup tied for 62nd.
Sunflower Showdown All three Division I golf programs in Kansas will tangle for the first regular season meeting in two years. The last two times that all three schools faced each other was at the 2003 and 2004 Central Regionals. WichitaState led the way as they qualified for the NCAA Championships both years.