Kansas Set to Begin Spring Season

Feb. 23, 2011


After a strong finish to the 2010 fall season, Kansas’ men’s golf team will look to start its spring season on a high note when it competes in the Wyoming Desert Classic in Palm Desert, Calif., Feb. 26-27.

The Jayhawks concluded their fall season with a third-place finish at the Colorado Invitational, a second-place finish at the Bill Ross Intercollegiate, and their first tournament win since 2007 at the Herb Wimberly Intercollegiate.

Head coach Kit Grove believes the spring schedule is a bit more challenging, but his expectations remain high.

“This spring, we are playing a little stronger schedule top to bottom,” Grove said. “Obviously our goal is to get to regionals. Once we get to regionals, our goal is to get to nationals. If the guys continue to play the way they are and the way they’re capable, I’m sure that our national ranking will take care of itself.”

Making the trip to California for the Jayhawks are senior Nate Barbee, Jeff Bell, Chris Gilbert, Alex Gutesha and Doug Quinones. Barbee, Quinones, and Gilbert competed in every tournament during the fall season.

Barbee was the individual medalist at the Bill Ross Intercollegiate and managed to shoot two rounds in the 60s at the Herb Wimberly Intercollegiate, including three eagles on the final day to cement a 73.6 scoring average for the season.

Bell only competed in three tournaments in the fall, but posted a top-10 finish at the Colorado Invitational and ended the first half of the season with a scoring average of 75.

Gilbert’s biggest highlight came when he managed to shoot a round of 65 on the final day of the Herb Wimberly Intercollegiate, matching the seventh-best round in Kansas history, He posted a 73.6 scoring average in the fall.

Gutesha led the team in scoring average at 73.2 and also posted the best 54-hole score over the course of the season with a 210 at the Herb Wimberly Intercollegiate.

Quinones competed in his first semester at Kansas after transferring from New Mexico Junior College. Quinones finished second at the Fairway Club Invitational in just his second tournament as a Jayhawk, and ended his fall season with a 74.8 scoring average.

Grove believes that getting contributions from everybody was the key ingredient to the team’s success during the fall season. He expects that trend to continue this spring.

“The tough thing the last couple of years was it seemed like we had one or two guys who didn’t really help,” Grove said. “If they did, it was their 78 counting instead of somebody else’s 78. Now we’ve got guys who are contributing more. Jeff Bell for example was playing in Colorado and ended up getting 10th in the tournament and was our low finisher. Stuff like that helps us. Nate is still our guy. Week in and week out I think he’s our leader and probably our best player. But all these guys can contribute now and they’re all capable of shooting good scores.

Joining the Jayhawks this weekend are Air Force, Boise State, Cal Poly, Cal State Northridge, Colorado State, Drake, Gonzaga, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Nebraska, Santa Clara, Southern Utah, UC Riverside, UC Santa Barbara, UTEP, Weber State, and Wyoming.

Results and stats can be accessed on golfstat.com and on KUathletics.com.