Men’s golf wins 1 of 5 matches at Big 12 Match Tournament

Then-freshman Jeremy Gandon finishes his swing from the fairway of hole 7 at Colbert Hills Golf Course during a team practice on Oct. 1, 2015. (Archive photo by Evert Nelson | Collegian Media Group)

The Kansas State men’s golf team competed in the Big 12 Match Tournament over the weekend in Houston, Texas. The tournament began on Friday and continued through Sunday.

On Friday, the Wildcats competed against the Oklahoma Sooners; this matchup ended in a tie.

Two Wildcats won their matchups: Junior Ben Fernandez had the best day for the Wildcats as he won five and six, and freshman Will Hopkins won his matchup on one and two.

Junior Jacob Eklund played a strong 18 holes, he finished 2 up.

Senior Jeremy Gandon lost his match by one stroke as his put slid just by the edge of the hole, as he ended at 5-under-par.

Senior Roland Massimino and sophomore Kyle Vance both lost their matches. Massimino lost on one and two, and Vance lost on four and five.

On Saturday, K-State competed against the Iowa State Cyclones in the morning and the Texas Longhorns in the afternoon.

As the Wildcats were placed as the 10 seed, upset the Cyclones — who were the seven seed — 3-2-1 behind Fernandez, Gandon and freshman Will Hopkins.

Fernandez scored a five and four, and Gandon and Hopkins scored a three and two, winning their head-to-head match.

K-State then went on to drop their head to head match against the Longhorns 3-2-1.

Edlund carded six and five, while Vance tallied a 1 up, as they both won their head-to-head.

On Sunday the Wildcats faced Baylor University and TCU, they lost both. Because of their sold play overall over the three days, they finished sixth in the standings.

The Wildcats lost to the Bears 0-4-2 and lost to TCU 3-2-1.

In the matchup against Baylor, Vance and Hopkins tied in their head to head matchups. The Wildcats in pool B ended pool play in third place carding four points.

Against TCU it was Gandon and Eklund who had the good performance for the Wildcats; Gandon won five and six, and Eklund won a three and two match.

Head coach Grant Robbins saw his team grow this weekend.

“I saw a lot of growth in our team in this week,” Robbins said to K-State Sports. “This was a great learning experience. Going head to head against some of the best teams in the country, we were able to see firsthand the level we need to get to.

“We are a very good ball-striking team, but for us to take the next step we have to get better on and around the greens,” Robbins continued. “That’s the difference right now. We have some competitive guys. We just have to keep working and keep getting better.”

The Wildcats will next play for the Steelwood Collegiate Invitational in Loxley, Alabama, on Oct. 27 and 28 for their final tournament of the fall season.