Seniors Lead Way on First Day of Irish Creek Collegiate
April 6, 2013
KANNAPOLIS, N.C. – Chris Gilbert found himself hitting the long irons a little more than usual Saturday with recent rains dampening the Club at Irish Creek and making it play longer than its 7,099-yards, but the Kansas senior found a way to grind out a one-over 72 and an even-par 71 Saturday. Gilbert and Alex Gutesha used their experience to lead Kansas with a pair of top-15 performances after two rounds and had the Jayhawks in the top half of the field, in eighth place with a combined 16-over 584.
Gilbert, whose first three birdies came with three-, four- and five-irons in hand, shot a 1-over 143 over the opening 36 holes along with Gutesha as the pair finished tied for 13th place, four shots out of the top five and seven shots off the lead. Both KU golfers were four strokes ahead of their pace at this point in last year’s tournament, during which they both tied for 35th.
“They’ve been here before and know the course a little bit,” Kansas head coach Jamie Bermel said of his senior duo. “Chris didn’t have his best day but he finds a way. He figures it out and gets it in the hole. Alex played a pretty good first round then played pretty solid second round – a two under out here is a pretty good score.”
Kansas improved 10 strokes from the first round to the second (297-287) and finished the first day a stroke behind Marshall (583) and within six strokes of the top five. North Carolina led the field at 1-under 567 and Davidson’s Richard Fountain was in the top position after shooting a tournament-best 66 in the second round en route to a 6-under 136.
The Jayhawks counted both rounds from sophomore Stan Gautier, who tied teammate Ryley Haas for 47th after shooting 78-71–149 (+7). Haas, a junior from Colby, Kan., nearly turned in KU’s best round over the first 18, but logged a bogey and a double bogey over the last three holes to finish with an opening 73 (+2) – matching his best rounds as a Jayhawk. Haas shot a 5-over 76 in the second round for his 149 total, and junior Bryce Brown shot 85-76–161 (+19) to round out the KU scoring.
“In the first round we’re six over with a couple holes to go and then stumble in,” Bermel said. “We had three double bogeys on the last hole or second to last holes. It’s not like we were on the hardest holes, we just lost concentration. We go from having a pretty solid start to back pedaling and were set behind the eight ball a little bit.
“To our guys’ credit, they played good in the afternoon. It was our first 36-hole day in about a month and you always wonder how they were going to react. I was happy they finished well in the second round, and I think we climbed five or so spots.”
Tournament play concludes with 18 holes Sunday, with a shotgun start schedule for at 7:30 a.m. (CT).
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