Wildcats notch top 5 finish in first spring tournament

Trent Evans, sophomore, eyes his putt on the green of hole 9 at Colbert Hills during a team practice on October 1, 2015. (File photo by Evert Nelson | The Collegian)

The Wildcats did not end their men’s golf fall season on a high note. The team finished in eighth place at the Bridgestone Golf Collegiate in October, which left them with a mark to accomplish for the fall season.

The Wildcats stepped up their play this week in Mobile, Alabama, as they partook in the Mobile Bay Intercollegiate at Magnolia Grove Golf Club.

The tournament started on Monday for K-State, as the Wildcats played 36 holes to start the tournament.

Senior Kyle Weldon led the Wildcats on the first day. Weldon shot a 2-over par, 74, on his first round on Monday. Weldon would better that score on the second 18 holes by recording six birdies and shooting a 2-under par, 72, to put him in 18th after the first day.

Also checking into the leaderboard at 18th was junior Matt Green. He fired the exact same scores as Weldon did, and the duo tied after the first day.

Junior Jack Rickabaugh shot a 1-over par 73 on his first 18, but then shot even-par to finish Monday at 1-over and in 23rd place. Sophomore Trent Evans came in at 26th place after rounds of 74 and 72 on Monday.

Freshman Andrew Beckler shot an even-par 72 on his first 18, but then dropped 7 strokes on the second 18 to finish at 7-over par and in 60th place.

All together, K-State shot team scores of 293 and 284 to finish Monday in fifth place.

“Our ball striking was really solid today,” head coach Grant Robbins said to K-State Sports on Monday. “We just did not make enough putts and we did not do a very good job on the last few holes when we had a chance to finish off a low round, but I am still very proud with how we competed.”

On Tuesday, the play of Green and Rickabaugh helped boost the Wildcats. Green fired in a 70 in his final round of the tournament, while Rickabaugh bested that score by one stroke with a 69. The two golfers finished in 12th place.

Weldon scored a 72 on Tuesday to finish the tournament in 17th place, while Beckler scored his best round of the tournament with a 70 to finish in 43rd. Evans finished up the scoring for K-State with a 78 on Tuesday to finish in 54th place.

The Wildcats shot a 7-under par, 281, on Tuesday and made a charge for a fourth-place finish in the tournament.

“I am really proud of how the guys competed this week,” Robbins said to K-State Sports. “We did a great job today of keeping the ball in play and had lots of good birdie looks. We finished off the round much better, which is something we have been stressing all year.”

The Wildcats will be in action again shortly when they travel to Opelika, Alabama, March 6-8 to compete in the Tiger Intercollegiate at Grand National.