Successful Season Marks the End of an Era

May 31, 2007


The Kansas men’s golf program ended a 29-year chapter in their rich history as head coach Ross Randall stepped down as head coach following the season. Randall guided the Jayhawks to three victories in his final season, along with his 16th invitation to the NCAA Central Regional in the last 18 years. Much of the Jayhawk success can be attributed to the senior combination of Gary Woodland and Tyler Docking as the duo combined for 14 top-10 finishes.<?xml:namespace prefix=”o” ns=”urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office”?>

Woodland capped off his highly successful career in grand fashion. He accumulated a scoring average of 72.26 strokes per round, which was good for the sixth best scoring average in a season during the Big 12 era. Woodland recorded three victories during his senior campaign, including a win at the Kansas Invitational and back-to-back wins during the fall season at the All-American Golf Classic and Louisiana Classic. Woodland’s departure will leave a large hole for the Jayhawks to fill at the top of their lineup next season.

Docking’s absence in the number two slot in the lineup will be equally missed. The Olathe, Kan. native amassed 12 top-10 finishes during his career, including six during his final season. Docking enjoyed a very steady senior season that was highlighted by his second place finish at the All-American Golf Classic. Docking capped off his career with a 53rd place finish at the NCAA Central Regional, his best effort in his three career starts at the event.

Senior Barrett Martens wrapped up his career as a Jayhawk while competing in six events, including the Big 12 Championship and NCAA Central Regional. Martens’ best round of the year was his second-round 69 at the Wyoming Cowboy Classic, leading him to an eventual finish of 46th. Martens opened his senior season in fine fashion by turning in his best finish of the year when he tied for 39th at the Rich Harvest Farms Intercollegiate.

The cupboard will not be bare when assistant coach Kit Grove takes over the helm as head coach next season. All the players on the Jayhawk roster competed in at least three events this season as they gained valuable experience moving forward. Junior Joey Mundy and sophomore Walt Koelbel emerged as possible stalwarts in the Jayhawks’ lineup for next season.

Mundy competed in all but one event during the spring portion of the schedule. He finished tied for 17th at the highly prestigious Western Intercollegiate, turning in three rounds of 73 or better in the process. Mundy emerged as a solid No. 3 golfer for coach Randall in the spring and coach Grove will expect more solid performances from Mundy in the fall.

Koelbel burst onto the scene during the final round of the Big 12 Championship. He fired a final-round score of 69 to climb into the top-10 on the leaderboard. His ninth place finish at the event marked his best finish during his Jayhawk career.

Redshirt freshman Patrick Roth was a solid contributor all year for the Jayhawks. Roth ranked third on the team in scoring average and led the Jayhawks in scoring at the Hawaii-Hilo Invitational with an average of 70. He also recorded top-30 finishes at the Kansas Invitational and All-American Golf Classic.

Sophomore Zach Pederson was a very steady force for the Jayhawks all year long. Pederson’s shining moment of the 2006-07 season was his final round of 66 at the Windon Memorial Classic, a result that vaulted him into a third place finish. Pederson wasn’t used as much during the spring due to a nagging injury, but he will be relied upon heavily during his junior campaign.

Freshman Bobby Knowles emerged quickly during his Jayhawk career. Knowles competed in the first six events of the year while gaining valuable experience in the process. His top finish of the year came at the Kansas Invitational when he finished in 23rd place. Fellow freshman David Cosel competed in three events during his first year as a Jayhawk.

Kit Grove will have big shoes to fill as he takes over for the departing Ross Randall. Randall will stay involved with the program as he shifts to the role of Director of Golf Operations. Grove, who played for Randall for three years during the mid-90’s, will begin his duties effective immediately. Randall led his teams to six NCAA Finals appearances and he has been named conference coach of the year on three different occasions. The names may change next season, but the Jayhawk golf program will still be very rich in talent.