Iowa Offers Last Chance Tune-Up for Kansas Men's Golf
April 12, 2013
LAWRENCE, Kan. – Kansas head coach Jamie Bermel won’t be sneaking onto Finkbine Golf Course tonight to turn on the sprinklers, but there won’t be many complaints if the Jayhawks had to slosh their way around at the Hawkeye-Great River Entertainment Invitational in Iowa City, Iowa, this weekend.
Kansas is one of 12 teams that will hit the par-72, 7,180-yard course Saturday for the first two of three total rounds. For the Jayhawks, it’ll be the last time to prep before the team matches up against its Big 12 Conference foes on a Prairie Dunes Country Club in Hutchinson, Kan., that’s often described with words like humbling and demoralizing. It would seem the more mental toughness the team can fortify in the final week of preparations, the better.
“This week will be about battling the elements,” Bermel said. “It’ll be cold with a chance of rain – the golf course will be playing soft, so it will be playing long. We need to go up there with the mindset that it doesn’t matter about the weather or the conditions of the course, we need to play well and fight through those things. We practiced this week in miserable conditions and some guys really played well.”
The Jayhawks will take all three seniors to Iowa with Paul Harris joining regulars Chris Gilbert and Alex Gutesha. Gilbert leads the team with a 71.70 stroke average and Gutesha, who earned Academic All-Big 12 Second Team honors this week, is second with 73.70 strokes per round. Harris will be making his second tournament appearance of the season, having placed 30th as an individual at the Herb Wimberly Intercollegiate last fall.
Junior Ryley Haas, who contributed two rounds to the team score last week in North Carolina, and sophomore Stan Gautier, who along with Gilbert has competed in every Kansas round this year, were strong in practice rounds this week and complete the Jayhawks’ scoring lineup.
“We’ve been practicing the short game pretty hard,” Bermel said. “I felt like, in Charlotte last week, that was our Achilles’ heel. We’ve been doing a lot of chipping, a lot of putting. It seems like we’re making some progress in those areas and if we can get a little break in the weather, we’ll be in good shape going up there.”
The Hawkeye-Great River Entertainment Invitational field includes five teams ranked among the top 100 in Golfweek’s rankings, including host-school Iowa, which checks in at No. 58. Regional foe and fellow Big 12 member Iowa State is also in the field with Charlotte, Miami (Ohio), Michigan State, Minnesota, Nebraska, Notre Dame, Penn State, Washington State and Wisconsin.
Kansas is set to tee off around 9 a.m. Saturday with staggered starting holes and will play 36 holes before closing the weekend with 18 on Sunday.
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