No. 17 K-State finishes fourth at All-American

Will Hopkins hits the ball 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)

No. 17 Kansas State men’s golf fell short of back-to-back championships, placing fourth at the All-American Intercollegiate. The placement marks the Wildcats’ seventh top-5 finish this season — the fourth most in school history and most since a school-record 10 in 2008-09.

Entering Tuesday’s final round, K-State saw itself in a three-way tie with No. 14 Tennessee and No. 29 Ole Miss. No. 36 Louisville, however, looked to be dominating after Monday’s first two rounds with an eight-stroke lead at 10 under par.

“The course played tough,” head coach Grant Robbins said after Monday’s opening two rounds. “We dropped a few strokes there towards the end, but that can happen pretty easily with as difficult as the finishing holes are.” 

Senior Will Hopkins led the way for the Wildcats on Monday, placing 11th at 1-under-par 143. All four other members of the scoring lineup placed in the top 30. 

“We are in a good spot going into tomorrow. … We just need to continue to be disciplined in our decision making stay with the process, and I think we will be right there,” Robbins said.

The Wildcats were in contention late into Tuesday’s final round, only one stroke behind the lead with an estimated 5-7 holes left to play. K-State stumbled over the remaining holes and finished in fourth place at 2-over par. Ole Miss obtained the team championship with a 7-under-par final round.

“Overall it was a good tournament for us,” Robbins said. “The course played pretty difficult today, and we did a good job of hanging in there and got in contention until the last few holes.” 

The scoring lineup remained competitive from top to bottom with all five Wildcats finishing in the top-35 for the sixth time this season.

Senior Tim Tillmanns enjoyed a successful final round at 3 under to jump 15 spots and into eighth place at a 2-under total. Hopkins, who finished at 3 over, was joined by sophomore teammates Cooper Schultz and Nicklaus Mason in 21st place. Junior Luke O’Neill tied for 33rd place at 5 over.

K-State will take on the first of its two remaining regular season events on April 3 and 4 at the Mossy Oak Invitational. 

“These are great learning experiences for us,” Robbins said. We are going head to head with some of the top programs in the country, and the experience we get being in contention is only going to help us as we get into the postseason.”