Wildcats Conclude Fall Season with Return Trip to California for The Nelson Invitational
The Nelson Invitational
Stanford Golf Club
Palo Alto, Calif.
Dates: Oct. 22-24
Total Holes: 54
Format: 18 holes will be played all three days. Teams will tee off on the first and 10th tees Friday and Saturday, while Sunday is a shotgun start. Tee times will begin at 8 a.m. (PT), 10 a.m. (CT) each day.
The Field: (16) Kansas State, Colorado, Colorado State, Florida Southern, Georgia State, Idaho, Kansas, Missouri, New Mexico, Northern Colorado, Notre Dame, Stanford, Texas Pan-American, UC-Davis, UNLV and West Florida.
The Nelson Lineup
Name Yr-Exp Rnds Avg
Ben Kern Jr-2L 12 72.91
Jonathan James Jr-2L 9 75.55
Tyler Cummins Jr-TR 12 74.25
Nick Schumacher Sr-1L 3 73.00
Matt Van Cleave Sr-2L 12 73.00
Setting the Scene
After finishing fifth in the Alister MacKenzie Invitational held Oct. 11-12 in Fairfax, Calif., the Wildcats travel back to the west coast to complete their fall slate at The Nelson Invitational held at Stanford University in Palo Alto, Calif. The Nelson will be played at the par-69, 6,444-yard Stanford Golf Club.
The Stanford Golf Club was designed in 1930 by renowned golf course architects William Bell and George C. Thomas, Jr. In 1998, the course was rated 91st in the country by Golfweek. Throughout its history, the course has hosted the Pac-10 Championships, NCAA West Regional, Women’s NCAA Championships, USGA Junior Amateur Qualifying and U.S. Open Qualifying.
Kansas State at The Nelson
This is the ninth year of The Nelson Inv. K-State will be making only its second-ever appearance in the event. The Wildcats finished in 17th out of 18 teams in 1998. K-State combined for a team score of 907 and were led by former Wildcat Scott McNeely, who tied for 30th with a 221.
The 16-team field has five teams ranked in the top 50 of the Golfweek/Sagarin poll. The Wildcats have only faced four of the teams in the field this season, and they own a record of 1-3 against the field. The Wildcats’ notched a victory against Stanford at the Alister MacKenzie Invitational. The Cardinal finished in 10th at 884, while the Wildcats finished fifth at 859. K-State fell to Georgia State at the Mason Rudolph Championship. Georgia State won the tournament, while K-State tied for 11th. The Wildcats finished second to KU at the Kansas Invitational and finished behind Notre Dame at the season-opening Inverness Intercollegiate. New Mexico comes into the tournament ranked No. 1 in the country and will be the highest-ranked opponent the Wildcats will have faced this season. The other ranked teams are No. 12 UNLV, No. 26 Georgia State, No. 29 Colorado and No. 49 Notre Dame.
After a successful fifth-place outing at the Alister MacKenzie Inv., head coach Tim Norris will take the same lineup into The Nelson Inv. Senior Matt Van Cleave and junior Ben Kern and Tyler Cummins have participated in all of the Wildcats’ tournaments thus far. After a career-best finish of 14th at the Alister MacKenzie Inv., Jonathan
James will be appearing in his fourth tournament of the fall. Senior Nick Schumacher rounds out the lineup after a career-best finish of 27th also at the Alister MacKenzie Inv. Before the Alister MacKenzie Inv., the Wildcats hadn’t used a lineup comprised strictly of upperclassmen since the 2004 Matlock Collegiate Classic held last February. At the Matlock, Norris used a lineup of four seniors and one junior.
In the most recent poll released Oct. 17 by Golfweek/Sagarin, the Wildcats are ranked 58th. GolfStat has K-State ranked 55th in its poll released Oct. 19.
Last Time Out
The Wildcats strung together its two lowest rounds of the year to secure a fifth-place finish at the Alsiter MacKenzie Inv. held in Fairfax, Calif. K-State finished with a final team score of 292-280-287859 (+7). Ben Kern led the way for the Wildcats, as he had his best finish of the fall. Kern fired a 214 (+1) and finished in 11th. Jonathan James and Nick Schumacher had their best finishes of their career. James tied for 14th at 216 (+3). Schumacher, who was making his first tournament appearance since the Fall of 2002, tied for 27th with a 219 (+6). Junior Tyler Cummins was tied for ninth after 36 holes, but faltered during the final round with a 77 and finished tied for 25th.
Junior Ben Kern has quietly put together the most consistent fall out of any of the Wildcats. Kern leads the Wildcats with a stroke average of 72.91, and two top 20s. Kern’s worst finish of the season was at the KU invitational when he tied for 23rd. In 15 career starts, Kern has finished amongst the Wildcats’ top-two in 11 events. This fall, all 12 of Kern’s rounds have counted towards the final team score.