Men’s golf finishes 11th in conference match play

Junior Cooper Schultz putts in the Wildcat Invitational at Colbert Hills Golf Course on Sept. 17, 2023. Shultz helped the Wildcats earn 1st at the tournament, tying for third individually with a -8. (Macey Franko | Collegian Media Group)

Kansas State men’s golf compiled a 1-3-1 record at the Big 12 Match Play Tournament, collecting its lone win against Iowa State in the final matchup.

“There are lots of positives we can take from this entire week,” head coach Grant Robbins said to K-State Athletics. “Match play is so different from what we normally do, but it’s a great opportunity to see how our team performs under different pressure situations.”

The format of match play sees players go head-to-head on every hole as opposed to normal stroke play in which the total stroke count is used for scoring. The player who records a lower score takes the hole or they draw until one player has won more holes than remain to be played. 

The Wildcats opened the tournament on Monday with a tie against new conference member BYU (2-2-1) before falling to Cincinnati (3-1-1) that afternoon. 

Tuesday saw the Wildcats’ struggles continue with losses to Texas (3-1-1) and Kansas (4-1-0). The Longhorns would go on to win the tournament while the Jayhawks finished 10th.

Junior Cooper Schultz was a bright spot on Tuesday, recording the only win for the Wildcats in each of their matchups.

“I’m really proud of Cooper, he’s gone out and played extremely well,” Robbins said.

On Wednesday — the final day — the Wildcats rebounded with a playoff-hole win against Iowa State (2-2-1). Victories came from Schultz and junior Nicklaus Mason while senior Luke O’Neill recorded the tie. 

“I’m proud of the way the guys competed today,” Robbins said. “We got off to a poor start, but they kept at it and hit a lot of quality shots down the stretch. It was an exciting finish and a great experience for us.”

Schultz finished the tournament with wins in each of his final four matchups, only taking a loss in the opening round. 

Trailing the Wildcats in the 14-team conference field was the Cyclones, West Virginia and Central Florida. 

K-State will return to stroke play at the Steelwood Intercollegiate — its final fall tournament —  from October 28-29 at Steelwood Country Club in Loxley, Alabama.