Eklund finishes second, men’s golf finishes fifth at Colleton River Collegiate

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Coach Grant Robbins and Ben Fernandez discuss pitching techniques on the driving range during practice on April 15, 2019 at Colbert Hills golf course. (Brooke Barrett | Collegian Media Group)

Senior Jacob Eklund finished one stroke back of the top spot in the individual competition at the Colleton River Collegiate in Bluffton, South Carolina, leading the men’s golf team to a fifth place finish in team competition.

Kansas State got out to a not-so-hot start on the 7,197-yard, par 72 Colleton River course. They shot ten-over as a team to sit in ninth place out of 15 teams, despite Eklund’s team-leading 71.

In the second round, K-State turned in a 291, just three over par for four golfers. Eklund shot an even 72 and sophomore Will Hopkins turned in a 68. The round started on Monday, but rolled over into Tuesday due to darkness.

“We are in a good spot going into tomorrow,” head coach Grant Robbins said to K-State Sports. “It’s all about coming out with the right mindset, staying in the process and competing until the very end.”

The third round on Tuesday saw Eklund jump eight spots into second place in individual competition due to a four-under 68. He would finish the tournament at 211, five strokes under par.

Eklund got some help from Hopkins, who turned in a one-under par-71 and fellow senior Ben Fernandez’s 72. Unfortunately for K-State, the next-best Wildcat score was a four-over 76 from junior George Clarke.

The team’s third round score of one-under 287 was good enough to jump them two spots into fifth place for the tournament, right behind two strokes behind Memphis and nine behind third-place Notre Dame.

Georgia Southern ran away with the tournament, winning by seven strokes. Big 12 Conference rival Iowa State finished second with the only other team score below par for the whole tournament.

Hopkins finished the tournament one-over with a 217, good enough for 19th place in the individual leaderboard.

Junior Kyle Vance’s three-over scored him a tie for 21st place, but Vance was competing only as an individual so K-State could not claim his scores toward the team score.

K-State’s next action comes at the Dunes Club in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, on March 9 and March 10 for the General Hackler Invitational hosted by Coastal Carolina.

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