Wildcats struggle in dreary conditions at Duck Invitational

(Photo Courtesy of Scott Weaver, K-State Athletics)

After a rain-soaked two days at the Eugene Country Club in Eugene, Oregon, the K-State men’s golf team found themselves in 12th place out of 15 teams at the Duck Invitational.

The Wildcats finished Tuesday’s final round at a combined 44-over par 908, 45-shots behind the victors, Arizona State. It was the school’s first time competing in the invitational.

“It was a tough week for us,” K-State head coach Grant Robbins said to K-State Sports Tuesday. “We did not handle the conditions very well the first round, and we really struggled to get a fourth score in rounds two and three.”

The good news for K-State was their improvement over the two-day tournament. The Wildcats shot an eight-over par 296 in their final round, six shots better than their second round and 14 shots better than their 22-over par 310 first-round performance.

Freshman Trent Evans topped K-State’s list of golfers, but he was unable to mirror the improvement his team showed. After carding a team-best one-under par 71 in the second round, Evans wrapped up the tournament with a two-over par 74 third round to finish at seven-over par 223 and a tie for 28th place.

Finishing two shots behind Evans, sophomore Seth Smith found himself in a tie for 33rd place with a nine-over par 225. Smith showed steady improvement over the three rounds, improving six shots overall, including a one-over par 73 in the third and final round.

After taking seventh in K-State’s last meet, redshirt sophomore Matt Green finished in 41st place with a 10-over par 226. In his final round, Green put together his best performance with an even-par 72 to improve 10 spots on the leaderboard to crack the top 50.

“Matt and Seth came back strong today, and Trent gave us a really good round yesterday,” Robbins said. “But, unfortunately, we were not able to take advantage of it.”

Up next for the Wildcats is the Gary Koch Invitational in Gastonia, North Carolina on April 6-7.

“We just have to get these guys to play with more confidence going forward,” Robbins said. “We definitely have a lot to work on these next couple of weeks.”