STOCKTON, Calif. – Kansas State’s Joe Ida carded the lowest round ever by a Wildcat on a par-72 course and for the second consecutive day the team fired one of the top scores in school history while leading the field at the Pacific Invitational.
Ida led all competitors at Brookside Country Club with a 7-under 65, and notched the fourth-best score ever by a Wildcat golfer and top score for an individual on a par-72 course. A day after the Wildcats shot a 15-under 273, the third-best round in school history, Kansas State tallied a 14-under 274.
The Wildcats lead No. 1-ranked Charlotte by six strokes and sit alone at the top of the Pacific Invitational leader board at 273-274—547 (-29) with one round left to play on Wednesday. UC-Davis is third at 278-278—556 (-20) and Oregon is fourth at 279-279—558 (-18).
“They answered the call today and they’ve got to go out and answer the call tomorrow,” K-State head coach Tim Norris said. “There are a lot of birdies out there to be had if you make good shots. We got the low score in the first round and the second round and as good as my math is, if we have the low score tomorrow I think we’ll be in good shape. That’s the mindset that they have to play with, go out and keep firing.”
Ida’s record performance vaulted him into a second-place tie with Cal-State Northridge’s Nick Delio at 10-under 134, one stroke off the tournament leader. The Fort Scott, Kan., native recorded his second bogey-free round of the tournament and collected a team-high seven birdies en route to setting a new personal best.
“Wow, he’s been playing great,” Norris said. “Golf is a game of confidence and he has a lot of it right now. He’s hitting the driver well and that sets you up to play the golf course. The driver’s not a scoring club, but it can put you in a position where you can score and the rest of his game is in good shape too. You have to continue to put the ball in play and stay on offense,” Norris said of Ida, who was especially efficient on the back nine with five birdies.
“It’s just Joe being Joe. He’s a good player. He’s a very, very capable player and he’s got a chance to get better too. He’s playing with patience and confidence, throw in a lot of God-given ability and talent and that’s a good combination.”
Robert Streb’s only blemish came on the 16th hole where he carded a six on a par-5, but the junior from Edmond, Okla., had five birdies while scoring the Wildcats’ second best score on Tuesday, a 4-under 68. Streb maintained his position from the start of the day and is tied for ninth at 69-68—137 (-7).
Mitchell Gregson and Kyle Smell both finished under par and helped K-State to its second day with all four contributing scores below the course standard of 72. Gregson finished the day 2-under and was tied for 12th with Smell at 6-under 138.
Ross Guebelle maintained his 54th position and did not contribute to the team total with a 2-over 74.
K-State’s second-round score is the fourth-lowest round since the current records were kept in 1969. Ida’s score tops A.J. Elgert’s 67 in the first round of the 2002 Stevinson Ranch Invitational as the lowest par-72 round. Ida’s previous career best was 70 at the 2006 Wolverine Intercollegiate.
“It’s a lot of fun,” Norris said. “It’s gratifying to see. These guys put in a lot of hard work. You watch them grow and get results. It’s nice to get a little positive reinforcement once in a while. You want to see your players grow and you want to see how you measure up.”
“When we tee it up tomorrow with the No. 1 team in the country and they haven’t lost a stroke-play tournament this year, it’ll be a nice opportunity for our guys to see how they stack up.”
The Wildcats conclude play at the Pacific Invitational on Wednesday with tee times on the 1st and 10th holes at 8 a.m. (PT). Live score updates are available at www.golfstat.com and other tournament information is available at www.pacificinvitational.com.