No. 25 K-State, Tillmans finish first for Johnnie-O Title, team’s fourth season championship

Tim Tillmanns eyes the course during the first round of the Big 12 Golf Championship at Prairie Dunes Country Club on April 26, 2021. (Archive photo by Sophie Osborn | Collegian Media Group)

Backed by a strong final two rounds and an individual title by senior Tim Tillmanns, No. 25 Kansas State men’s golf completed a 10-stroke comeback to win the The Johnnie-O championship. The team title gives K-State its fourth championship on the season, tied for the second-most in program history. 

After the opening round, K-State sat 9-over par which put the team in eighth place. The Wildcats bounced back with a second round performance of 7-under — the best second round of any team in the field that included five other top-50 teams. 

“I’m really proud of our guys for the way they hung in there on a tough day,” head coach Grant Robbins said. “We just persevered and had a few putts fall in the afternoon that gave us some momentum.”

Tillmanns led the Wildcats through the first two rounds. The senior sank a tournament-high 12 birdies on the day, including a four-birdie stretch on holes 5-8. Tillmanns sat at the top of the individual leaderboard with a three-stroke lead going into the final round. 

“Tim was rock solid all day,” Robbins said. “He did a great job of hitting his spots and putted extremely well.”

The Wildcats were in second place going into the final round, two strokes behind No. 37 Ohio State.

The final round was all K-State as only the Wildcats finished under par. The Wildcats’ 2-under-par final round ultimately led to running away with the title, finishing seven strokes ahead of a second place tie between the Buckeyes and No. 30 Cincinnati.

“That was a big-time win for us,” head coach Grant Robbins said. “I’m really proud of how the guys just stayed with the process and showed tremendous toughness and grit down the stretch.”

Tillmanns’ final round saw a 4-under-par performance that put him at 12-under on the tournament — five strokes better than second place. 

“I can’t say enough about Tim,” Robbins said. “He works incredibly hard and has been close a few times, but to see him play a flawless round like he did today with the lead was amazing. I’m just incredibly proud of him and the entire team.”

Senior Will Hopkins finished in sixth place at even-par behind a 2-under-par 68 final round that included an eagle on No. 15. Junior Luke O’Neill was the only other Wildcat to finish in the top-20 at 3-over par. 

Sophomore Cooper Schultz tied for 53rd place at 11-over par, two strokes in front of fellow sophomore Nicklaus Mason in 61st place. Freshman Ben Stoller competed as an individual and tied for 77th place at 23-over par. 

K-State will look to add another accolade to its historic season in the All-American Intercollegiate at the Golf Club of Houston in Humble, Texas, Tuesday and Wednesday.