The Kansas State men’s golf team begins their fall portion of the schedule this weekend when they play in the Rod Myers Invitational at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina on Saturday and Sunday. There will be 36 holes played on Saturday and a final round of 18 on Sunday with play beginning at 7:40 a.m. eastern time on both days.
There will be 14 teams competing in the tournament including Kansas, Maryland, Notre Dame and Tulsa.
“The course is very difficult, but our guys strike the ball well so I think we will be fine there,” head coach Grant Robbins said. “The field is really strong with lots of conferences represented in the tournament.”
The Wildcats bring back three returners this season and two international players that have joined the squad.
“We added six new guys this off-season,” Robbins said. “With that comes a lot more competition, which is a good thing. It’s a process of getting better and this will make us better.”
A redshirt senior from last year, Kyle Weldon, is slated at number one on the team and in 2013-14 he had three top-10 finishes and six top-20 finishes.
“He is our team leader and he is very solid in every aspect of his game,” Robbins explained. “He has a really good short game.”
Jeremy Grandon is a freshman from Charpey, France and will be competeing in his first collegiate meet this weekend. Grandon has played for the France National Team in the past.
“He is extremely intelligent about the game,” Robbins said. “He is inexperienced when it comes to college meets, but he has lots of competitive experience since he has played all over the world.”
The Cats will also brought in Oscar Spolander, who is a native of Sollentuna, Sweeden, and transferred this season from West Texas A&M.
“Oscar played in the national championship for West Texas last year,” Robbins said. “He has played in college tournaments before so this won’t be new to him.”
Matt Green returns for his junior season after finishing his season at NCAA Regionals last year in San Diego.
“Matt was our best player last year and he had a really good summer,” Robbins said. “He has won a college tournament and brings back experience.”
Round out the opening tournament line-up is another junior for the Wildcats is Connor Knabe, who played in all 11 events for the team a year ago.
“He has really improved from last year and really worked hard to get his game where it is now,” Robbins said. “Connor will only continue to get better this year. This could the year where he really breaks out.”
Robbins said they have lots of depth this year, which gives him lots of hope.
“We have five guys in the line-up that are capable of shooting under par,” he said. “When you have that, you always give yourself a chance.”
The fall schedule puts the Cats in tournaments in Iowa, Louisiana and two in North Carolina.
“Our schedule is much tougher this year than normal,” Robbins said. “There are top 10 teams from a year ago in every tournament we go to. It will give us a good idea where we are at.”
Robbins is exited to get the season started, but doesn’t have any set goals to determine whether it will be a successful year.
“I don’t really put a number on how many wins or anything we need to have a good year,” Robbins said. “If our guys just buy into the process, we will have a good year.”
You can track this weekend’s tournament on www.golfstat.com and click the Rod Myers Invitational to get up to date scoring on all the teams and players.