K-State golf set to compete in Texas

Paige Nelson, junior, follows her ball to the green of hole 11 at Colbert Hills during a women's golf team practice on October 13, 2015. (File Photo by Evert Nelson | The Collegian)

Coming off of an 11th place finish, the K-State women’s golf team will travel to Dallas, Texas, for this weekend’s tournament. Southern Methodist University will host a 16-team tournament at the Dallas Athletic Club.

The fourth annual SMU-DAC Invitational will kick off at 8 a.m. today with a shotgun start for all golfers. The teams will play 36 holes today and then 18 on Saturday to wrap up the tournament.

“We are looking forward to getting back on track this week at the Dallas Athletic Club,” K-State head coach Kristi Knight said to K-State Sports. “It is time to get back into a confident and aggressive mindset.”

K-State has participated in this event every year of its existence. Last season, the Wildcats finished in seventh place with a team score of 911, or 47-over par. Junior Madison Talley led K-State individually last season as she recorded a score of 227, good for 11-over par and 29th place.

Competing for the Wildcats will be Talley, sophomore Connie Jaffrey, junior Katherine Gravel-Coursol, senior Scotland Preston and junior Paige Nelson.

Talley enters the tournament as the top golfer for K-State. In the team’s last outing, the MountainView Collegiate, she finished in the top five individually. It was the fifth time Talley has done so in her career. She also leads with a 72.96 stroke average in each tournament.

Jaffrey is not far behind her teammate Talley, as the Kilwinning, Scotland, native has a stroke average of 73.90. Her best outing of the season so far was at the Westbrook Invitational in February where she finished in third place.

When it comes to the overall competition that K-State will be facing, it will not be an easy matchup on the course.

Of the 16 teams competing in this weekend’s event, seven are ranked in Golfweek’s top 50 rankings. Washington, Iowa State and UNLV are all in the top 20. Texas Tech, SMU and TCU all check in at the top 40, and Tulane is just outside the top 40 at No. 45.

This event will also be a good tuneup for the Wildcats, as the Big 12 Championships are quickly approaching. The Big 12 Championships will begin on April 22. This weekend, the Wildcats face six teams from the Big 12 Conference before they face the entire conference in just three weeks.