Men’s golf finishes fourth at Firestone Invitational despite final round success

Jed Barker | Collegian K-State senior David Klaudt hits a tee shot during the Jim Colbert Intercollegiate at Colbert Hills Golf Club in Manhattan on Oct. 1.

It was a disappointing finish for the K-State men’s golf team Tuesday in Akron, Ohio at the Firestone Invitational. Despite recording their lowest single-round score of the event, the Wildcats dropped from second to fourth place in a highly-competitve final round.

The Wildcats’ third round one-over par 289 seemed to be enough to put the squad in an excellent position to capture their first team victory of the season; however, Tuesday’s field saw seven other teams record scores lower than Wildcats, including Division II South Carolina-Aiken who went on to win the event at seven-over par 871.

“We came up a little short today, but to only lose by six shots showed signs of progress, and hopefully that will set us up confidence-wise for the last event of the fall,” head coach Tim Norris said to K-State Sports. “I think things are turning in the right direction, but we have to shore up a couple of things. Overall, to be that close to winning was a pretty good performance by these guys.”

Four out of the five Wildcat golfers improved on their second-round scores to help the team to a 13-over par 877 finish at the par-72, 7,125-yard Firestone Country Club North. Senior Alex Carney and sophomore Matt Green continued their impressive form, recording third-round scores of two-under par 70 and two-over par 74, respectively. Carney and Green rounded out the invitational tied for third place at two-under 214 each.

Senior Daniel Wood carded a final-round one-over par 73 to finish the event tied for 32nd at six-over par 222. Junior Kyle Weldon improved six strokes from his Monday afternoon score to end the event at 11-over par 227, while senior Tyler Norris closed out his play with his best round of the event at five-over par 77, good enough for 89th at 27-over par 243.

Eastern Michigan sophomore Stuart Grehan captured his first individual victory of the year at nine-under par 207, shooting his second five-under par 67 of the event Tuesday. This is the third time this season that Grehan has led the Eagles in scoring.

The Wildcats will see some time off before traveling out west to Stockton, Calif. for the 2013 Pacific Invitational, Oct. 31
Nov. 2 at the Stockton Golf and Country Club. Last year at the event, the Wildcats used a Weldon birdie to seal up their second victory of the fall season.