The Kansas State men’s golf team rode a second-place individual performance by junior Jacob Eklund all the way to a second-place team finish out of 15 teams total at the Missouri Tiger Intercollegiate in Columbia, Missouri.
The Wildcats played the first two rounds on Monday and finished up with a single round on Tuesday at The Club at Old Hawthorne, a 7,221-yard, par-72 course in Columbia.
Eklund came into the final round of the tournament 13-under-par for the tournament and in first place.
Eklund then came back from a seven-stroke sixth hole to finish even-par in the last round, and thus 13-under overall for the tournament. He was beat out by TCU’s Stefano Mazzoli, losing by just four strokes.
As a team, K-State shot 276 in the first round and matched that score in the second round. This pair of 12-under-par finishes put K-State in third place at the end of the first day.
“We are right where we need to be,” head coach Grant Robbins said to K-State Sports after the second round Monday. “We are eight shots off the lead, so we have a chance on Tuesday. The conditions right now are perfect, and the greens are really good, which obviously can lead to low scoring.”
K-State got a little help from its host school in the form of an 8-over 296 third round that knocked Missouri off the top spot and let K-State climb to second behind TCU.
K-State’s senior Jeremy Gandon scored a 69 in his last round to jump from a tie for 18th to a tie for ninth. He shot a 69 in the first round and a 71 in the second round to go along with that performance.
Junior Ben Fernandez and senior Roland Massimino tied for 18th place at 5-under 211. Massimino had a 73, 68 and a 70 in each respective round of play. Meanwhile, Fernandez shot 68, 72 and 70.
The Wildcats will now turn their momentum to the Hawkeye Intercollegiate in Iowa City, Iowa, on April 20 and 21. That will be their final event before the Big 12 Championship in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia, the following weekend.