K-State Improves Seven Spots, Enters Final Round in Fifth
PALO ALTO, Calif. - Just like at the Alister MacKenzie Invitational, the Kansas State men’s golf team made dramatic improvements from the first to second rounds at The Nelson Invitational. All five of the Wildcats improved their scores from the first round, as K-State blazed the par-69, 6,444-yard Stanford Golf Club with a second-round score of 5-under 271. The Wildcats’ score of 271 lifted K-State from 12th place all the way to fifth, with one round remaining on Sunday. The Wildcats enter the final round four strokes behind fourth-place Missouri.
“I think the familiarity with course really helped everyone,” head coach Tim Norris said. “I don’t think the course was setup any tougher or easier than Friday. I’m proud of the guys and we’ve got one more round to improve tomorrow.”
K-State’s 271 is the third-lowest round of the tournament and is the second-lowest round in K-State history, but it should be noted that the Stanford Golf Club is usually a par-71, but is currently being redesigned making it an atypical par-69 golf course. The lowest round in school history came Oct. 6, 2003, as the Wildcats carded a second-round 268 en route to winning the Purina Classic.
Junior Ben Kern made a vast improvement over his opening round of 75. The Tucson, Ariz. product fired a tournament low and school-record round of 6-under 63 to move from being tied for 61st into a tie for 10th at 138 with fellow Wildcat, Matt Van Cleave. Van Cleave fired a second-round 70 (+1) and dropped from fourth place to 10th.
“It was a very nice round for Ben,” Norris said. “He’s a very capable player and he was ready to have a breakout round.”
Senior Nick Schumacher fired the lowest round of his career, as he carded a 1-under 68 and is tied for 25th at 142. Junior Tyler Cummins carded a 1-over 70 and is tied for 47th at 145. Jonathan James carded a 3-over 72 and is tied for 63rd at 147.
New Mexico overtook first place with a 7-under 269 (-6) and is one-stroke clear of UNLV, which fired the low round of the day at 268 (-7). New Mexico’s Spencer Levin remained on top of the leaderboard, as he fired another 65 and sits at 8-under for the tournament (130). Georgia State’s Steve Tiley is second at 67-67134 (-4).
The Wildcats continue play at The Nelson Invitational with the final 18 holes on Sunday. For complete results, please visit Kansas State’s website at www.kstatesports.com.
Men’s Collegiate Golf
Team Scores: 1. New Mexico, 277-269546; 2. UNLV, 279-268547; 3. Georgia State, 275-279554; 4. Missouri 284-275559; 5. Kansas State, 292-271563; 6. Stanford, 285-279564; 7. Kansas, 287-278565; 8. Notre Dame, 279-288567; 9. Colorado, 291-280571; 10. Northern Colorado, 286-287573; 11. Colorado State, 289-288577; 12. West Florida, 292-287579; 13. UC Davis, 295-286581; 14. Idaho, 293-289582; 15. Florida Southern, 291-296587; 16. Texas-Pan American 304-301605.
Top Individuals: 1. Spencer Levin, (New Mexico) 65-65130 (-8); 2. Steve Tiley, (Georgia State) 67-67134 (-4); T3. Jared Texter, (UNLV) 70-65135 (-3); T3. Travis Whisman, (UNLV) 71-64135 (-3); T3. Jay Reynolds, (New Mexico) 68-67135 (-3).
Wildcat Individuals: T10. Ben Kern, 75-63138 (E); T10 Matt Van Cleave, 68-70138 (E); T25.Nick Schumacher, 74-68142 (+4); T47. Tyler Cummins, 75-70145 (+7); T61. Jonathan James, 75-72147 (+9).