Wildcats Move Up the Board to take Second at the Inverness Club
TOLEDO, Ohio. - For the second consecutive weekend the Kansas State men's golf team showed the rest of the country that it can compete with best. The Wildcats carded a final round 294 to finish the tournament with a final team score of 896 at the par-71 7,255-yard Inverness Club.
The field featured six teams in Golfweek's preseason Top-30 at the legendary Inverness Club course, which has played host to four U.S. Opens, two PGA Championships, one U.S. Amateur and most recently the 2003 U.S. Senior Open.
'I thought our guys played really well,' head coach Tim Norris said. 'To be in that competitive of a field and come out in second-place, that's good stuff and a step up for our program.'
The Wildcats placed third at the Inverness Club last year and used its experience to propel them into second. 'Being here last year, they knew what to expect a little bit,' Norris said. 'This is not a course that you are going to shoot under par at.'
Senior co-captain Aaron Watkins rebounded after his shaky first day to fire a 2-under 69 and finish the tournament with a 76-77-69222 to tie for fourth. Watkins was one of only two golfers to have a round in the 60s. He was topped only by Toledo's own Brad Heaven, who shot an impressive 4-under 67 on his home course.
Joining Watkins in the top-10 was junior Matt Van Cleave. Van Cleave shot a 77-73-73223 to tie him for eighth. The Wildcats were one of only three teams in which all five of its golfers finished in the top-50. Also competing for K-State was sophomore Josh Persons, who tied for 32nd at 229. Rounding out the Cats lineup was senior Greg Douglas, who tied for 44th with a 231, and senior co-captain A.J. Elgert, who tied for 49th at 234.
UCLA took home the team title after a blistering 294-300-292886, to blow away the rest of the field by 10 strokes. K-State finished second with a 299-303-294896, two strokes ahead of Illinois. UCLA's John Merrick fired a 71-74-71216 to claim medalist honors at 3-over par.
The Wildcats next action will come Sept. 29-30, as the Cats try to defend their home turf at the Jim Colbert Intercollegiate. For complete results please visit Kansas State's website at www.kstatesports.com.
Team Scores: 1. UCLA 886. 2. Kansas State 896. 3. Illinois 898. 4. Oklahoma 904. 5. Augusta State 905. 6. New Mexico 906. 7. Michigan State 907. 8. UCF 914. T9. Minnesota 915. T9. Kent State 915. 11. Toledo 917. 12. Missouri 921. T13. Duke 924. T13. Northwestern 924. 15. Notre Dame 934.
Top Individuals: 1. John Merrick, UCLA, 71-74-71216. 2. Brad Heaven, Toledo, 74-76-67217. 3. Martin Flores, Oklahoma, 73-75-72220. T4. Aaron Watkins, Kansas State, 76-77-69222. T4. Dillon Dougherty, Northwestern, 76-72-74222. T4 Joe Affrunti, Illinois, 74-73-75222. T4. Justin Smith, Minnesota, 71-74-77222.
Wildcat Individuals: T4. Aaron Watkins, 76-77-69222. T8. Matt Van Cleave, 77-73-73223. T32. Josh Persons, 76-77-79229. T44. Greg Douglas, 73-83-75231. T49. A.J. Elgert, 81-76-77234.