Wildcats Finish Fifth at Big 12 Championships
HUTCHINSON, Kan. – Behind Curtis Yonke’s 10th-place finish, the Kansas State men’s golf team turned in a final-round 51-over 891 to finish the 2013 Big 12 Men’s Golf Championships in fifth place after entering the tournament as the ninth seed.
Yonke, who has now led the Wildcats individually in each of the last five tournaments, carded an 8-over par 218 to medal at the championships.
“I was pleased with the way our guys played,” said head coach Tim Norris. “This is a game of momentum, and we could never get a lot of momentum going this entire spring, but I thought this event was the tip of the iceberg. Maybe we could have played better and finished higher, but all of our guys tried and that is all you can do.”
After dropping one spot on the leaderboard midway through the final round, the Wildcats moved past Texas Tech into fifth place and were able to hold off a late charge from the Red Raider and Baylor to record the program’s best finish in the conference championship since 2010.
Wednesday’s play began with the completion of the second round, which was postponed on Tuesday due to darkness. Yonke kept pace with the top 10 as he closed out the second round with two pars and a birdie. He was able to record his fourth top-10 finish of the season with a final-round 5-over 75.
“It is a great accomplishment,” said Yonke on his finish. “I am a little frustrated with how I played today but to finish in the top 10 in a conference like the Big 12 feels pretty good. There were only 45 guys playing, but they are 45 of the best players in the country.”
Playing in his second Big 12 Championship, sophomore Kyle Weldon turned in K-State’s best final-round score (3-over) to finish in a tie for 14th place at 9-over 219.
Junior Daniel Wood notched an 18-over 228 to finish in a tie for 31st place, while senior Ben Juffer carded a 20-over 230 to tie for 36th. Rounding out the K-State scoring lineup was freshman Matt Green, who recorded a 26-over 236, to finish in a tie for 43rd place.
Texas bested Oklahoma State by three stokes to claim its fourth team title in the last 10 years. The Longhorns were led by individual champion Brandon Stone, who turned in a 1-over 211 to top Cowboy golfer Talor Gooch by three strokes.
2013 Big 12 Championship
Prairie Dunes Country Club
Par 70/6,593 yards
Team Scores: 1. Texas, 290-281-289–860 (+20); 2. Oklahoma State, 285-291-286–863 (+23); 3. Oklahoma, 296-293-280–869 (+29); 4. TCU, 287-291-293–871 (+31); 5. Kansas State, 291-298-302–891 (+51); 6. Baylor, 297-292-306–895 (+55); 7. Texas Tech, 303-294-300–897 (+57); 8. Kansas, 289-308-302–899 (+59); 9. Iowa State, 306-289-309–904 (+64).
Top Individuals: 1. Brandon Stone, Texas, 70-67-73–210 (E); 2. Talor Gooch, Oklahoma State, 70-69-74–213 (+3); T3. Cody Gribble, Texas, 72-71-72–215 (+5); T3. Abraham Anser, Oklahoma, 71-74-70–215 (+5); T5. Two players tied.
K-State Individuals: T10. Curtis Yonke, 70-73-75–218 (+8); T14. Kyle Weldon, 72-74-73–219 (+9); T31. Daniel Wood, 74-75-79–228 (+18); T36. Ben Juffer, 75-80-75–230 (+20); T43. Matt Green, 79-76-81–236 (+26).
Jayhawks Finish Eighth at Big 12 Championship
HUTCHINSON, Kan. – Kansas senior Chris Gilbert finished among the top-10 golfers in the field for the fifth time this season and helped keep the Jayhawks in contention at times before settling for eighth place as a team at the Big 12 Championship at Prairie Dunes Country Club Wednesday.
Gilbert, who will likely get a chance to keep representing Kansas at an NCAA Regional site in the coming weeks, posted his biggest number of the tournament over the final 18 holes to finish at 69-73-76—218 (+6) and finished tied for 10th. Kansas, which was as high as third after the first round and was within strokes of fifth place at times Wednesday, shot 289-308-302—899 (+59) to finish in front of Iowa State (904) and just behind Texas Tech (897), Baylor (895) and Kansas State (891). Defending National Champion Texas won its fourth Big 12 Conference team title by shooting a 19-over 859 behind medalist Brandon Stone, who finished the par-70, 6,759-yard course at even-par 210.
Gilbert was in third place before carding a double-bogey and a triple-bogey on two of the final four holes – his first two multi-bogey holes in seven career rounds on the challenging course. His finish was a career-best in Big 12 Championship play and earned him Big 12 Championship All-Tournament Team honors.
“He plays well and usually doesn’t make many mistakes,” Kansas head coach Jamie Bermel said of his senior leader. “He made a bad swing on No. 17 he didn’t hit his irons real well today, but the pins were tough. He chipped the ball really well and had another good week – he was right there the whole time.”
Kansas sophomore Stan Gautier joined Gilbert in the top-20 after shooting a 1-over 71 in the final round. Gautier climbed 10 spots on the leaderboard over the final 18 holes while posting a 75-77-71—223 (+13) as KU’s second best shooter. Kansas used a 77 (+7) from Ryley Haas and a 78 (+8) from Paul Harris to shoot the sixth-best round Wednesday, but it wasn’t enough to gain ground on any team but Iowa State. Kansas did manage to stay competitive and avoid finishing last like it did at the 2012 Big 12 Championship.
“We came in here playing with a lot of confidence,” Bermel said. “Through 30 holes we were right there. The wind kicked up Tuesday and just kicked us right in the teeth. We played No. 18 11-over-par and you just can’t do that. Chris didn’t finish well and that hurt, but we were three, four, five strokes out of fifth. Everyone’s got the same story on this golf course – you cannot lose your concentration because if you do, you’ll make a double or a triple.”
Harris, a senior from Oneonta, Ala., contributed two rounds over the weather-shortened, three-round tournament and finished 40th with a 74-80-78—232 (+22). Ryley Haas, who played at nearby Hutchinson Community College, was one spot back in 41st with a 78-78-77—233 (+23) and Alex Gutesha tied for 43rd after shooting 71-82-83—236 (+26).
“We clearly didn’t play very well the last two rounds, but overall I think we had a pretty solid season,” Bermel, who concluded his first conference tournament as KU’s coach, said.
“We made some progress and did some things better as the year went along. We’ve got a long way to go, but I think we’re on the right track.
“Now it’s just a matter of getting guys in that believe in what we’re doing and continuing to work hard in the weight room, getting better in the classroom – really getting better at everything.”