Kansas Seven Strokes Off Tourney Lead After Two Rounds
March 4, 2013
LAFAYETTE, La. – Three Kansas golfers sat among the tournament’s top-15 scorers after two rounds and the Jayhawks were just seven strokes off the lead with a 292-294—586 (+10) after 36 holes at the 28th Annual Louisiana Classics at Oakbourne Country Club Monday.
Chris Gilbert, Alex Gutesha and Stan Gautier each turned in one round under par with the senior tandem of Gilbert and Gutesha each firing 69s to place among the tournament’s top-five with one round to play on Tuesday. Kansas and Golfweek No. 20-ranked Illinois shared the tournament lead after both carding 4-over 292s in the opening round, but the Fighting Illini distanced themselves somewhat in the second round with a 1-under 287 to lead the 14-team tournament field at 579 (+3). Kansas held a one-stroke lead on No. 23 Kent State (587), and led four other top-50 teams, including No. 14 LSU.
“Before dinner, Chris and Alex told me they’ve never played in the last group in the third round of a tournament, so it’ll be a little something different,” an excited Kansas head coach Jamie Bermel said Monday night. “These seniors have played the course many times so hopefully they just keep doing what they’re doing.”
Gilbert led the Jayhawks and was tied for second after shooting an even-par 72 in the first round and a 69 in the second to tie for second at 3-under 141. Gutesha opened his tournament with his first round in the 60s this season then shot a 74 in the second to sit tied for fifth at 1-under 143. Gautier was tied for 15th after the long day on the par-72, 6,898-yard course.
“Obviously it’s a real good start to the tournament,” Bermel said. “Chris, Alex, and Stan really played well, but we couldn’t get a fourth score. I’m not disappointed in the least though, it’s going to be a fun day tomorrow.”
Gutesha, a senior from Greenwood Village, Colo., helped Kansas jump to the top of the leaderboard and was near the top of the leaderboard himself after shrugging off an early double-bogey to record five birdies over 13 bogey-free holes before taking a six on the par-4, 14th near the end of his opening round. Gutesha’s 69 was his best round since shooting a 68 to close the Cowboy Classic (4/10/12) nearly 11 months ago.
Gilbert, Kansas’ scoring average leader, was among the tournament’s top 10 after the opening round of par and was even through 14 holes in the second round before a birdie on No. 10 and an eagle on No. 11 to move into the hunt for medalist honors. He was tied with Louisiana-Lafayette’s Brandt Garon, three strokes behind tournament-leader Zach Wright of LSU (6-under 138).
Gautier, who led the Jayhawks in scoring at the Wyoming Desert Classic a week ago, continued his steady scoring with a 71 (-1) to open the tournament before firing a 75 (+4) as windy conditions plagued the field through the afternoon.
“We didn’t finish great today,” Bermel said. “We kind of gave up a few coming in but conditions were pretty tough. There was a lot of wind today and it’s a good golf course.
“We’re excited, we’re ahead of some very good teams and we’re a few strokes back of Illinois. We’re going to need four good scores tomorrow to move up, but I think my guys are up to the challenge. Hopefully we can come out and play well, and if we play well, we’ll just let the chips fall where they may.”
Kansas used an 8-over 80 from sophomore Dylan McClure in the first round and used a 4-over 76 as the fourth score in the second after freshman Jackson Foth rebounded nicely from an opening round 85. McClure was tied for 70th at 157 (+13) for the tournament and Foth was tied for 79th at 161 (+17).
The Jayhawks continue the chase for their first team title since the 2010 Herb Wimberly Intercollegiate when the group tees off as part of the final group Tuesday morning at 8 a.m. Live action on holes No. 9 and No. 18 can be seen for free via a live stream at RaginCajuns.com.
KUAthletics.com: The official online source for Kansas Athletics, Williams Education Fund contributions, tickets, merchandise, multimedia, photos and much, much more.