The Kansas State men’s golf team doomed itself to a next-to-last-place finish with a rough third round at the Trinity Forest Invitational in Dallas this week.
The three-day tournament featured 17 teams and five more golfers competing as individuals at the 7,486-yard par-71 Trinity Forest Golf Club.
K-State started off day one with a team 291, good for a three-way tie for ninth place with the University of Denver and Sam Houston State.
“I think overall we played pretty solid,” K-State head coach Grant Robbins told K-State Sports. “If you look at our round, I think we gave away most of our shots during a three-hole stretch in the middle of the round. I thought they finished really strong. They took advantage of some of the par-5s on our back nine today and kept ourselves in position.”
Seniors Jacob Eklund and Ben Fernandez paced the Wildcats with a pair of one-over 72s on the day.
“I knew No. 1 was a par 5, I wanted to attack that and make a birdie to bounce back and make sure I shot under par on the last nine,” Fernandez said to K-State Sports. “I made a great putt for birdie, that kind of sparked it. After the up-and-down on No. 2, I didn’t really miss a shot coming in. I’m pretty excited about tomorrow because I found my stride there on the last nine.”
On Monday, the Wildcats jumped up 11 strokes with a four-under 280. The 280 did not improve K-State’s standing on the leaderboard, though. They still sat in ninth.
Eklund recorded a three-under 68 on the round and freshman Riccardo Leo and junior Kyle Vance each shot one-under 70s.
“Riccardo [Leo] birdied his last three holes,” Robbins said to K-State sports. “Jake [Eklund] made a birdie down the stretch and Kyle [Vance] came back with an under-par round, so it felt like a team effort today.”
The Wildcats fell apart on the last day, shooting an 11-over 295 on the final round. The score put them at 14-over for the whole tournament.
Leo’s even 71 was the best score by a Wildcat on the day and brought him into a tie for 41st with Eklund and three others on the individual scoreboard. They both shot 215 for the tournament, which is two strokes over.
The Wildcats’ next action will be Oct. 11 to Oct. 13 at the Big 12 Match Play Tournament in Houston, Texas.