Jayhawks Finish Eighth at Big 12 Championship
April 24, 2013
HUTCHINSON, Kan. – Kansas senior Chris Gilbert finished among the top-10 golfers in the field for the fifth time this season and helped keep the Jayhawks in contention at times before settling for eighth place as a team at the Big 12 Championship at Prairie Dunes Country Club Wednesday.
Gilbert, who will likely get a chance to keep representing Kansas at an NCAA Regional site in the coming weeks, posted his biggest number of the tournament over the final 18 holes to finish at 69-73-76—218 (+6) and finished tied for 10th. Kansas, which was as high as third after the first round and was within strokes of fifth place at times Wednesday, shot 289-308-302—899 (+59) to finish in front of Iowa State (904) and just behind Texas Tech (897), Baylor (895) and Kansas State (891). Defending National Champion Texas won its fourth Big 12 Conference team title by shooting a 19-over 859 behind medalist Brandon Stone, who finished the par-70, 6,759-yard course at even-par 210.
Gilbert was in third place before carding a double-bogey and a triple-bogey on two of the final four holes – his first two multi-bogey holes in seven career rounds on the challenging course. His finish was a career-best in Big 12 Championship play and earned him Big 12 Championship All-Tournament Team honors.
“He plays well and usually doesn’t make many mistakes,” Kansas head coach Jamie Bermel said of his senior leader. “He made a bad swing on No. 17 he didn’t hit his irons real well today, but the pins were tough. He chipped the ball really well and had another good week – he was right there the whole time.”
Kansas sophomore Stan Gautier joined Gilbert in the top-20 after shooting a 1-over 71 in the final round. Gautier climbed 10 spots on the leaderboard over the final 18 holes while posting a 75-77-71—223 (+13) as KU’s second best shooter. Kansas used a 77 (+7) from Ryley Haas and a 78 (+8) from Paul Harris to shoot the sixth-best round Wednesday, but it wasn’t enough to gain ground on any team but Iowa State. Kansas did manage to stay competitive and avoid finishing last like it did at the 2012 Big 12 Championship.
“We came in here playing with a lot of confidence,” Bermel said. “Through 30 holes we were right there. The wind kicked up Tuesday and just kicked us right in the teeth. We played No. 18 11-over-par and you just can’t do that. Chris didn’t finish well and that hurt, but we were three, four, five strokes out of fifth. Everyone’s got the same story on this golf course – you cannot lose your concentration because if you do, you’ll make a double or a triple.”
Harris, a senior from Oneonta, Ala., contributed two rounds over the weather-shortened, three-round tournament and finished 40th with a 74-80-78—232 (+22). Ryley Haas, who played at nearby Hutchinson Community College, was one spot back in 41st with a 78-78-77—233 (+23) and Alex Gutesha tied for 43rd after shooting 71-82-83—236 (+26).
“We clearly didn’t play very well the last two rounds, but overall I think we had a pretty solid season,” Bermel, who concluded his first conference tournament as KU’s coach, said. “We made some progress and did some things better as the year went along. We’ve got a long way to go, but I think we’re on the right track.
“Now it’s just a matter of getting guys in that believe in what we’re doing and continuing to work hard in the weight room, getting better in the classroom – really getting better at everything.”
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