Tiger Invitational proves troublesome for K-State golf

Kyle Weldon, senior, lines up his putt on hole 4 at Colbert Hills during a team practice on Oct. 1, 2015. (File Photo by Evert Nelson | The Collegian)

Competition failed to favor the K-State men’s golf team in the Tiger Invitational in Opelika, Alabama. The meet took place Sunday, Monday and Tuesday with each round of competition causing trouble for the Wildcats.

K-State finished the competition in a tie for 12th with a 54-hole score of 37-over 901.

“It was a tough week and disappointing finish,” head coach Grant Robbins said to K-State Sports. “Our inexperience really showed, but it is part of the process.”

The opening round of the Tiger Invitational failed to work in K-State’s favor.

The Wildcats ended the first day 15-over 330 with 36 holes left to play, putting them in 11th place.

Junior Matt Green fared the best for the Wildcats, recording a 2-under-par finish and tying for 12th place. Green’s day featured a birdie right out of the gate on the first hole, and he got three more on the back nine.

Junior Jack Rickabaugh finished second-best for K-State. He fared well on the front nine with six consecutive pars. He struggled the rest of the day, however, hitting just one birdie to four bogeys and ending the day 3-over par in a tie for 38th place.

After falling behind to 4-over in the first nine holes, senior Kyle Weldon managed to regroup and build back up to 2-over with two holes to play. Weldon finished the first day in a tie for 56th at 5-over 77.

The tournament’s host team sat at the top of the 18-team field after the first day. Auburn carded a 3-under score of 285.

Monday proved another struggle for the Wildcats. K-State ended the day with a 10-over 298 on the day, putting them 25-over par. The Wildcats ended the day in sole possession of 11th place.

Green birdied five holes Monday, ending the day with a 1-over 73. Green is now 1-over 145 for the weekend and is tied for eighth place.

Weldon started the day strong with five birdies of his own, but he suffered later on at the end of his day from two double bogies that put him at 4-over par.

Auburn kept its reign on the leader board despite having its struggles on Monday. The Tigers finished Monday at 4-over-par 292 and are just 1-over for the weekend. They hold just a two-stroke lead over Troy.

Mounting bogeys plagued K-State on the final day of competition. The Wildcats recorded 19 total bogeys on the scorecard to finish the day at 12-over 300 to tie for 12th with Minnesota.

Weldon had a strong showing Tuesday, sitting at 3-under par after the first 14 holes, but a series of bogies dropped him to even-par.

Green maintained his consistency and was the highest individual finisher for K-State. Green managed to come back from a triple bogey on the 11th hole to finish the day at 2-over 74. His final score of 3-over 219 put him in a tie for 13th place and his second consecutive top-20 finish.

After holding down the top spot on the leader board for most of the meet, Auburn slipped into second place at 2-under-par 862. The Tigers were bested by Troy, who finished as the tournament champion after carding a 5-under 283 score.

Next up, K-State will head to Goodyear, Arizona, on March 18-19 to play in the Desert Shootout at Palm Valley Golf Course.