LAWRENCE, Kan. Kansas men's golf will open its fall 2013 season Monday at the Ram Master Invitational in Fort Collins, Colorado. The Jayhawks will be led by junior Stan Gautier.
Gautier became interested in golf at the age of four. As a young boy, he broke his arm and later went on to break the cast it was in. In order to prevent him from repeating that incident his mother made him take up golf.
"Growing up, my mom was definitely my biggest influence," Gautier says. "She played at a pretty high level and I wanted to follow in her footsteps. My brother also played golf, so that was a little extra motivation as well."
Following the 2012-13 season, the Jayhawks graduated their top golfer, Chris Gilbert, and Gautier has stepped into that leadership role. While all of the Jayhawks are taking on their own roles, it is Gautier's experience which puts him ahead of the pack.
"Stan is a veteran. He needs to play well every week and he knows that," said head coach Jamie Bermel. "He's a junior and has two years of experience. He needs to step up this season and be a leader."
After the long, hot summer and many hours of practice, the Kansas team has high expectations and welcomes the challenges of the approaching season.
"I think we are going to be very good this year," Gautier said with a smile.
Alongside Gautier, the Jayhawks will be represented in Colorado by sophomore returnee Jackson Foth, transfers Ben Welle and Logan Philley and freshman Chase Hanna.
As Bermel enters his second season at Kansas, he will be making his first trip back to Colorado State where he spent 13 seasons as the Rams' head coach.
The 16-team field, hosted by Colorado State, includes Cal Poly, Denver, Drake, Kansas, Louisville, McNeese State, Nevada, Northern Colorado, Rice, Sacramento State, St. Andrews, South Dakota State, Weber State, Wichita State and Wyoming.
The Ram Master Invitational will be played at Fort Collins Country Club, which will pin the players against a 7,149 yard, par 71 course.