FORT COLLINS, Colo. – Kansas sophomore Ben Welle's final-round 68 (-2) led the KU men's golf team to an eighth-place finish at the Ram Master Invitational at the Fort Collins Country Club Tuesday.
The Jayhawks recorded 16 birdies and one eagle on the day, leading them to a 279 (-1) third-round score. The 279 marks the first round that Kansas has put up an under-par performance, since the opening round of the Hawkeye Invitational back in April of 2013. KU finished the Ram Master Invitational with a three-round score of 864 (+24), one shot behind seventh-place Cal Poly (863). Denver won the team title with an 847 (+7), one shot ahead of host Colorado State's 848.
Welle, a transfer from Scottsdale (Ariz.) Community College, recorded his first top-20 finish in division one golf with a three-round score of 214 (+4) good enough for a tie for 15th.
"I thought Ben Welle played pretty well," KU second-year coach Jamie Bermel said. "I think he got a little dehydrated and fatigued yesterday afternoon which caused him to not play so well. But he came back today and shot a 68, three under on his last three holes, so that's always good to see."
Junior Logan Philley joined Welle as the only other Jayhawk to shoot under par during the tournament. Philley recorded a 69 (-1) in the final round bringing his three day total to 217, (+7) placing him in a tie for 24th. KU's two-round leader, sophomore Jackson Foth, ended the tournament tied with KU freshman teammate Chase Hanna for 27th with a three-round 218. Foth shot a 3-over 73 in his final round, while Hanna carded a 72 (+2). Junior Stan Gautier shot an even-par 70 Tuesday to improve his second round score by eight strokes. He finished tied for 38th at 220.
"After shooting what we did yesterday I thought the guys battled back," Bermel said. "We turned a really good round into a pretty good round. We had to count three doubles (bogeys) today. Other than that I thought the guys played really well. The new guys were the three low, so that's always good to see."
While the Jayhawks had the third best score on the day, Bermel thought it was a good start to the season, but believes the team still has a long way to go.
"We need to continue to work on the short game," Bermel said. "I don't think we putted the ball well. We have a lot of work to do in a lot of areas. To come back with a nice round definitely helped their confidence and hopefully we can progress from there."
Up next for the Jayhawks will be the Badger Invitational in Madison, Wis., Sept. 29-Oct. 1.
Ram Master Invitational
Fort Collins Country Club * Fort Collins, Colo. * Par-70
April 16-17, Final Results
1. Denver: 287-288-272; 847
2. Colorado State: 280-284-284; 848
3. Nevada: 280-286-288; 854
4. Louisville: 287-283-285; 855
5. Wichita State: 280-291-285; 856
6. Rice: 286-287-287; 860
7. Cal Poly: 290-296-277; 863
8. Kansas: 286-299-279; 864
9. Northern Colorado: 287-287-293; 867
10. Sacramento State: 288-292-291; 871
11. McNeese State: 285-287-291; 873
12. Wyoming: 292-291-293; 876
13. South Dakota State: 298-304-290; 892
14. Weber State: 294-299-300; 893
15. Drake: 312-290-301; 903
Top 10 Individuals: Par 70-70-70 (210)
T1. Oskar Arvidsson, Denver: 72-68-64-204
T1. Cameron Harrell, Colorado State: 70-67-67-204
3. Jordan Wright, Cal Poly: 67-74-68-206
4. Louis Cohen Boyer, Wichita State: 66-74-68-208
5. Victor Doka, Denver: 71-73-65-209
T6. Hampus Bergman, McNeese State: 68-71-71-210
T6. Luke Kristo, Sacramento State: 67-71-72-210
T8. Brian Knoll, Nevada: 72-70-69-211
T8. Antoine Le Saux, Louisville: 70-71-70-211
T10. Robert Geibel, Louisville: 70-72-70-212
T10. Steven Kupcho, Northern Colorado: 70-72-70-212
T10. Kevin Reilly, Rice: 67-74-71-212
T15. Ben Welle, Kansas: 72-74-68-214
T24. Logan Philley, Kansas: 72-76-69-217
T27. Jackson Foth, Kansas: 70-75-73-218
T27. Chase Hanna, Kansas: 72-74-72-218
T38. Stan Gautier, Kansas: 72-78-70-220