The Kansas State men’s golf team finished one stroke shy of a top-five finish, claiming a sixth-place finish at the Old Town Collegiate Invitational with the help of redshirt freshman Cooper Schultz’s first individual career top-10 finish.
K-State started out strong with four players in the top 30 through two rounds on Monday. Those players included top-performer Cooper Schultz, sophomore Luke O’Neill, senior Will Hopkins and junior Tim Tillmanns.
With the help of those four Wildcats, the team set themselves up for success, ending day one in seventh-place at the par-70, 6,966-yard Old Town Club. The team finished with an overall score of 10-under par 550 — six shots out of the top five and enough to earn early praise from head coach Grant Robbins.
“I thought we played pretty well today,” Robbins said to K-State Athletics. “The greens were much faster today than they were in the practice round and it took us several holes to get adjusted. We were all pretty solid off the tee all day, which helped set up several birdie looks.”
K-State stayed consistent on day two, finishing in sixth place behind a 5-under par 275 round three to finish off its performance at the course in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. The Wildcats’ 54-hole total of 15-under 825 vamped up the competition, but they still finished one stroke shy of fifth place.
Schultz, Tillmanns, Hopkins and O’Neill all performed well on day two. Schultz wound up finishing tied for seventh place with a 2-under par 68 during the final 18 holes.
Tillmanns climbed 10 spots on the leaderboard Tuesday after duplicating his second-round 2-under par 68 during the final round. Tillmanns finished the invitational with a seventh-career top-20 finish, as well as Hopkins.
Hopkins, the only senior on the team, used his third-straight score of 1-under par 69 to accomplish another top-20 finish, tying with Tillmanns in 19th place at 3-under par 207.
Luke O’Neill shot an even-par 70 in round three to score a 2-under par 208, finishing not far behind Hopkins to tie for 26th place.
“We made a lot of birdies, and we had a couple of guys who, even though they weren’t playing their best, showed a lot of fight and were able to grind out some solid rounds,” Robbins said to K-State Athletics.
K-State finished second out of 13 teams in the home opener at Colbert Hills before the sixth-place finish on Tuesday, and the Wildcat’s plan to continue their hot streak.
“There is definitely lots to build on as we prepare for Rich Harvest Farms this weekend,” Robbins said.
K-State will travel to Sugar Grove, Illinois, from Oct. 2-4 for the Rich Harvest Farms Intercollegiate, hosted by Northern Illinois University.