Wildcats win share of title at Husker Invitational

Ryan Bender practices at Colbert Hills golf course in 2019. (File photo by Brooke Barrett | Collegian Media Group)

The Kansas State men’s golf team finished with a round-best 6-under par (278) on Sunday to help secure a co-championship finish at the Firethorn Golf Club for the Husker Invitational.

The Wildcats tied with Minnesota for first place.

“I’m really proud of the guys today,” head coach Grant Robbins said in a K-State Athletics press release. “They played well all week, but especially today down the stretch to get the win. It was a total team effort today as every player was in it the entire day. It’s a great way to cap the regular season and gives us a lot of momentum heading into the postseason.”

K-State entered Sunday’s final round in third but finished with improvement, carding a score of 852, even par, for the weekend. This score helped the team win an event for the first time since the Mission Inn Spring Spectacular in 2019.

Sophomore Tim Tillmanns tied for second individually, carding a 4-under par (67) round on Sunday, and finished at 5-under par in total for the tournament. It’s a personal career-best for Tillmans.

Junior Will Hopkins tied for fifth, carding 1-under par (70) on Sunday, finishing at even-par and earning him his second top-five tournament finish this season.

Freshman Luke O’Neil tied for 18th after carding a 2-under par (69) on Sunday. Graduate student Jacob Eklund finished fourth on the team and tied for 21st after finishing at 7-over par (220) for the weekend.

Along with the team finishing well, redshirt sophomore Ryan Bender and senior George Clarke competed as individuals over the weekend with Bender carding a 17-over par (230) finish.

Clarke was disqualified for signing for the wrong score on his scorecard following his first round.

K-State and Minnesota both finished seven strokes ahead of the third-place Michigan State. Minnesota’s Angus Flanagan took home the individual title, shooting 6-under par (207), which was only one stroke ahead of the rest of the field.

The men’s team will turn around to compete in its first in-state tournament this year at the Big 12 Championship in Hutchinson, Kansas, from April 26 to 28.