Quinones Just Outside Top 10 After Two Rounds at Irish Creek Collegiate

March 31, 2012

KANNAPOLIS, N.C. – Senior Doug Quinones fired back-to-back rounds of 70 (-1) to tie for 11th place and lead Kansas men’s golf to an eighth-place standing (577, +9) after the first day of the Irish Creek Collegiate Saturday.

The Jayhawks opened the tournament with a 291 (+7) in the morning round before improving by five strokes in the afternoon to shoot a 286 (+2). Four KU golfers posted scores of 73 or better in the second round, led by Quinones and freshman Dylan McClure, who shot an even-par 71 on the second 18 holes.

“Tee to green today was probably the best we’ve played all year,” said Kansas head coach Kit Grove. “I walked with Dylan this morning, and he really struggled with the putter. He had two three-putts and a four-putt, so a 76 (in the first round) is not really indicative of how he played. From a ball-striking standpoint, he’s playing as well as he has all year. I don’t know what the deal was with the putter, but it was not good today. I walked with Alex (Gutesha) in the afternoon. It was the same deal. Alex struck it really well, but he just did absolutely nothing on the greens.”

Gutesha carded rounds of 74 and 72 to tie fellow junior Chris Gilbert (73-73) for 35th place with a two-round total of 146. McClure finished right behind them with a 147 to tie for 39th, but the story of the day was Quinones, who was the top Jayhawk in each of the first two rounds after there was some doubt as to whether or not he would be able to golf Saturday.

“Doug slipped on the steps coming out of breakfast and banged up his elbow,” said Grove. “We were a little worried and unsure if he would be able to play or not. We had the sports medicine guy take a look at him. He said he’ll probably have a bruise, but he was ok. It was a little scary to start the day thinking we may be four-on-five, and then, ironically enough, he ended up being our low man for the day. He played well all day. He was at 4-under through about 30 holes. He just couldn’t quite get it into the clubhouse, but 2-under is very solid. We’re obviously very happy with his play.”

Kansas sits in eighth place entering the final day. However, they are only four shots behind Michigan State for fifth.

“We’re definitely playing better,” said Grove. “Last week, one shot here and one shot there was the difference between fourth and eighth (four strokes). It looks like it’s the same deal this week. We have to get sharper, but from an execution standpoint from tee to green as a whole, this is probably the best day we’ve had so far this spring.”

Kansas will tee off its final round of the Irish Creek Collegiate Sunday morning at 8 a.m. Eastern.

Irish Creek Collegiate
The Club at Irish Creek – Par 71 – 7,099 Yards

Team Results
1. No. 23 Kent State – 280-273 — 553
2. Mercer – 285-280 — 565
3. No. 16 Duke – 284-283 — 567
4. Charlotte – 285-286 –571
5. Michigan State – 287-286 – 573
8. KANSAS – 291-286 – 577

Individual Results
1. Sebastian MacLean (Xavier) – 68-66 – 134
T2. James Beale (Mercer) – 68-68 – 136
T2. Mackenzie Hughes (Kent State) – 71-65 – 136
T4. Dan Ellis (Michigan State) – 70-67 – 137
T4. Kyle Kmiecik (Kent State) – 69-68 – 137
T4. Kevin Miller (Kent State) – 68-69 – 137
T4. Julian Suri (Duke) – 66-71 – 137

Kansas Results
T11. Doug Quinones – 70-70 – 140
T35. Chris Gilbert – 73-73 – 146
T35. Alex Gutesha – 74-72 – 146
T39. Dylan McClure – 76-71 – 147
T62. David Auer – 74-79 – 153