Wildcats In Third at Inverness Intercollegiate Invitational
TOLEDO, Ohio. - After 36 holes of the third-annual Inverness Intercollegiate Invitational the Kansas State men's golf team has nicely put itself in contention for the title.
The Wildcats carded a 299-303602 which was good enough for third-place through the first two rounds Friday at the par-71 7,255-yard Inverness Club.
Leading the way for the Cats was junior Matt Van Cleave, who fired an eight-over par 77-73150 and sophomore Josh Persons, who also shot a 73-77150, placing them in a tie for 13th. Not far behind is senior co-captain Aaron Watkins, who carded a 76-77153 to tie for 29th. Rounding out the Wildcats' lineup was senior Greg Douglas in a 40th-place tie after firing a 73-83156 and senior A.J. Elgert in a tie for 43rd-place, after shooting a 81-76157.
The tradition-rich Inverness Club showed everyone why it has played host to four U.S. Opens, two PGA Championships, one U.S. Amateur and most recently the 2003 U.S. Senior Open.
'It is not an easy golf course,' head coach Tim Norris said. 'They don't have major championships here for no reason, so I was proud of the guys. These are the teams and this is the competition that we want to play against and compete against. Tomorrow isn't going to make or break our season, but it is an opportunity for us to step up and face the challenge.'
In a field that features six teams in Golfweek's preseason Top-30, K-State is holding its own, trailing only No. 2 UCLA and No. 29 Illinois. The Wildcats are eight strokes off the pace set by UCLA, which shot 294-300594, and only five strokes back of second-place Illinois. Michigan State's Ben Fox is leading all individuals with a two-over par 72-72144, one shot ahead of UCLA's John Merrick (77-74145) and Minnesota's Justin Smith (71-74145).
The final round will take place Saturday with a 2 p.m. shotgun start. For complete results of the Inverness Intercollegiate Invitational please visit Kansas State's website at www.k-statesports.com.