Wildcats Finish Second, Van Cleave Falls in Playoff
LAWRENCE, Kan. - The Kansas State men’s golf team fired a final round 294 and moved up the board one place to finish the Kansas Invitational in second place with a 54-hole team score of 877, seven strokes off the pace set by host Kansas. The Jayhawks concluded play with a blistering round of 1-under 287 and took the team title going away.
K-State entered the final round in third place trailing Texas-San Antonio by three strokes and Kansas by one stroke, but the Roadrunners slipped to third after carding a 302 to finish at 882, while the Jayhawks vaulted to the top spot.
Senior Matt Van Cleave fired a final round of 2-under par 70, but needed a playoff to decide medalist honors, as Kansas’ Kevin Ward carded a 3-under 69 to tie Van Cleave through 54 holes. Van Cleave entered the final round tied with UTSA’s John Elizondo for the lead, but Elizondo dropped out of contention with 4-over 76.
Van Cleave and Ward both pared the first playoff hole before Van Cleave dropped the second playoff hole to the Kansas senior.
“He’s not on a hot streak or anything,” head coach Tim Norris said. “He just played awfully solid. He’s really playing well and it’s a great start to the season. He’s just going to get better and better as the season goes on.”
The Maryville, Mo. native finished in second place with a 71-71-70212 (-4). It is Van Cleave’s second-best finish of his career and first top five since winning the 2003 Purina Classic. Van Cleave opened the year with an eighth-place finish at the Inverness Intercollegiate.
Newcomer Tyler Cummins carded a final round of 73 to finish tied for seventh in the second tournament of his Wildcat career. Cummins finished with a 72-74-73219.
Junior Ben Kern fired a final round 75 to finish tied for 23rd with a 223. Playing in his second collegiate tournament, freshman Clay Hodge carded a 76-74-76226 to finish in 34th. Jonathan James rounded out the Wildcats’ lineup with a 73-78-79230 to tie for 42nd.
Playing as an individual, freshman Kyle Yonke was very impressive in his first collegiate tournament. The Lubbock, Texas native tied for 17th with a 72-77-72221.
The Wildcats return to action Sept. 27-28 at the Mason Rudolph Championship in Nashville, Tenn. For complete results, please visit Kansas State’s website at www.kstatesports.com.
Men’s Collegiate Golf
Team Scores: 1. Kansas, 292-291-287870; 2. Kansas State, 290-293-294877; 3. Texas-San Antonio, 289-291-302882 4. Houston, 296-290-298884; 5. Nebraska, 289-298-301888; 6. Wichita State, 298-293-302893; 7. Oklahoma City, 304-301-296901 8. Northern Iowa, 300-298-304902; T9. Illinois State, 300-301-305908; T9. Wester Kentucky, 305-302-301908; 11. UMKC, 300-306-310916; 12. St. Louis, 303-305-312920; 13. South Dakota State, 324-319-308951.
Top Individuals: ^1. Kevin Ward, (Kansas) 71-72-69212 (-4) 2. Matt Van Cleave, (K-State) 71-71-70212 (-4); 3. Pablo Acuna, (Houston) 72-71-70213 (-3); 4. Andrew Price, (Kansas) 70-76-70216 (E); 5. Ricky Romano, (Houston) 72-71-70217 (+1).
Wildcat Individuals: T7. Tyler Cummins, 72-74-73219 (+3); T17. *Kyle Yonke, 72-77-72221 (+5); T23. Ben Kern, 74-74-75223 (+7); 34. Clay Hodge, 76-74-76226 (+10); T42. Jonathan James, 73-78-79230 (+14).