By Head Coach Tim Norris
Fall 2009 Review
The Wildcats completed a solid fall campaign by recording top-five finishes in all but their opening event. We protected their home turf again this year by taking home both the team and individual trophies at the 2009 Jim Colbert Intercollegiate. Senior Joe Ida captured medalist honors with a 2-under par 140 at the event, and the team was solid all the way down the line-up by placing five players in the top-10 and posted a 22-shot victory over the Kansas Jayhawks. Ida is No. 194 in the latest Golfstat rankings.
Mitch Gregson leads the team with a 70.59 average in 17 rounds. He has just two rounds over 73 and his worst finish in six events is 15th out of 66 players. Gregson's senior year is shaping up to be one of the finest in K-State history. Gregson is currently ranked 34th in the Golfstat Cup, which ranks all college golfers regardless of division and includes NAIA and junior colleges.
The third member of the senior class, Joe Kinney, has been a huge difference maker this season. Joe has a 72.00 stroke average, which includes four top-20 finishes and a 70.83 final round average in six events. It has been very gratifying to see Kinney work his way through our program and see all those hours at Colbert Hills pay off. Kinney is ranked No. 208 by Golfstat.
Jason Schulte, a junior, has been a very consistent contributor. After playing in the Colbert event as an individual, 10 of his final 12 rounds were "counters" for the team score. Schulte's K-State career round came at the last fall event in Stockton, Calif., as he carded bogey free 67!
Freshman Curtis Yonke recorded five rounds of par or better in 14 rounds with an eighth place out of 54 players at the Jim Colbert event as his top finish. Redshirt freshman, Chase Chamberlin, shot a final round 71 that keyed the home victory at Colbert Hills.
Junior Ross Geubelle and freshman Ben Juffer saw action this fall and will continue to add to the mix this coming spring. Juffer has already qualified for the Fresno trip, our first action in 2010 that has a six player / count five scores format.
Kyle Smell, with 2 years of eligibility remaining, has chosen to redshirt the 2009-10 season. Smell will be counted on heavily next season with the departures of seniors Ida, Gregson and Kinney. A fixture on the 2008-09 team, Daniel Wood, returns from his church mission in the fall of 2011 with two years of eligibility remaining. Wood is currently stationed in the Dominican Republic.
Spring 2010 Outlook
The team is primed to make this spring another great one. We get started at one of the finest courses in the Central Valley - San Joaquin CC. During spring break, we'll return to the good memories of Palm Valley and the team championship we won in 2008. The Wildcats step it up and play with the big boys at the University of Texas event. We will see some of the best talent in college golf - Georgia, Oklahoma State, defending NCAA champions Texas A&M and the host Longhorns, just to name a few. We will try and defend their championship at Missouri before another trip to Texas for the Big 12 Championship and hopes of improving on 2009's fourth-place finish. Following final exams, the Cats expect to compete in one of the six regional sites hosted by - Texas A&M, Notre Dame, Georgia Tech, San Diego State, Washington and Yale. The trip to the National Championship in Chattanooga remains our top goal!
2010 Spring Schedule
March 8-9 Fresno State Classic San Joaquin CC Fresno, Calif.
March 18-20 Desert Shootout Palm Valley GC Goodyear, Ariz.
April 5-6 Morris Williams Inv. U. of Texas GC Austin, Texas
April 12-13 Missouri Tiger Inter. Club @ Old Hawthorne Columbia, Mo.
April 23-25 Big 12 Championship Whispering Pines CC Trinity, Texas
May 20-22 NCAA Regional's TBD: 6 sites
June 2-5 NCAA Championship Honors Course Chattanooga, Tenn.
Recruiting Class for Fall of 2010
The following four high school players have signed on to play golf and graduate from Kansas State starting this fall. I am confident these young men will continue to grow the tradition of K-State Golf.
Thomas Birdsey - Trophy Club, Texas
Birdsey has qualified for and competed in both the 2008 U.S. Junior and the 2009 U.S. Amateur. Top finishes in 2009 AJGA events were a third place tie at Lubbock, Texas, shooting a 69-72-70 and fifth place tie at Fayetteville, Ark. His father, Don, punted for the Wildcats from 1977-80 and still holds many team records.
David Klaudt - Dallas, Texas
Klaudt is an Eagle Scout at Cistercian Preparatory School. He finished in third place finish at the Dallas City Jr. Championship. He also tied for first at the 2009 Desert Junior Tour event at the Golf Club of Estrella, Ariz. Klaudt's Top 2009 AJGA finishes were a 10th-place tie at Mayakoba and 14th-place tie at San Antonio.
Tyler Norris - Manhattan, Kan.
The coach's son joins the team this fall. Tyler finished seventh as a sophomore in the Kansas 6A Championship, just three strokes behind the winner. He shot 67-74 in the 2009 Tee Town Challenge in Tulsa to win the 34 player event by 12 strokes. Tyler also finished tied for eighth place out of 87 players at the 2009 Woody Austin Invitational in Wichita.
Jack Watson - Lincolnshire, Ill.
Watson led his Carmel Catholic High School team to the state championship for the first time in 25 years in 2009, where he finished third individually. Watson was the East Suburban Catholic Conference Individual Champion and POY in 2009. Jack finished second and fourth, respectively, at the AGJA events in Flossmoor, Ill., and South Bend, Ind., this past summer.
A Thank You from Coach Tim Norris
I want to express my appreciation to all those involved in our golf program - from our players and their parents to all the staff and loyal patrons of Colbert Hills Golf Course. For fear of leaving someone out, I will not mention any specific names, but it seems appropriate to express my thanks at this time of year. The vision of Colbert Hills has been shared by many very generous people. It would have been easy to blink in these very challenging economic times. The thought of Colbert Hills as one of the finest college "home courses" anywhere in the country will only grow with the new clubhouse facilities and the bunker renovation.
I feel very privileged to be the K-State Golf Coach since 1997. Many fine young men have come through our program during that time. I will continue to try and attract student-athletes who will make K-Stater's proud. Thanks to the efforts of many we have a university and golf course that enable us to compete on a national level each year.
Happy Holidays & EMAW!
Tim Norris 12/21/2009