Gutesha Ends Fall Season With Top-10 Finish
Oct. 25, 2011
LAS CRUCES, N.M. – Alex Gutesha followed his career-best round of 66 with an even-par 71 Tuesday to take eighth place and lead Kansas men’s golf to a fifth-place finish at the Herb Wimberly Intercollegiate.
Gutesha finished the team’s last event of the fall with a three-round score of 210 (-3), an identical mark to his total score in last year’s Herb Wimberly Intercollegiate that earned him third place. Gutesha recorded 10 birdies in his 54 holes, including three in the first six holes of the second round Monday to fuel his best performance as a Jayhawk. One of the keys to Gutesha’s round was scoring well on the three par fives on the New Mexico State University Golf Course.
“The par fives are fairly short, so you can take advantage of them if you hit a good drive,” said Gutesha. “My first and fourth holes were par fives. I just played them the way you’re supposed to. I played here in two tournaments before college, so I’m pretty familiar with the course. I know where I have to miss, so I feel comfortable. I have good feelings when I get here, and I expect to play well.”
As a team, KU placed four golfers in the top 30. Junior Chris Gilbert tied for 18th with an even-par 213, while senior Doug Quinones fired a 70 in the final round to improve to 4-over-par and tie for 26th. After back-to-back rounds of 69 Monday, junior Paul Harris posted an 80 Tuesday, but still finished tied for 30th with a 54-hole score of 5-over-par. For the second straight round, freshman Dylan McClure’s score counted toward the team total after he posted a 79.
“Doug, Chris and Alex went out and played pretty solid golf today,” said Kansas head coach Kit Grove. “For the three of them to get around the course at even-par is good, positive stuff for us. Obviously, yesterday was our best day of the year. We got a good team effort; nine of our 10 scores were 74 or better. At the end of the day, you look at the board and see that Nevada nipped you by one, and that’s disappointing, but the week as a whole was much better than the last two events. That allows us to end on a positive note going into the spring.”
Coach Grove emphasized that the team still had plenty of things to improve for the spring, though.
“We did a lot of stuff well, but obviously there are a lot of things we have to work on,” said Grove. “They’re going to need to put in the time in the offseason. We have to get sharper. They’ve got to continue to do the stuff that we’ve been working on the past couple weeks through the offseason.”
Kansas’ spring season will begin with the Louisiana Classic March 5-6 in Lafayette, La.
1. UNLV – 272-271-275 – 818
2. Wichita State – 283-271-272 – 826
3. New Mexico State – 282-277-288 – 847
4. Nevada – 293-275-287 – 855
5. KANSAS – 287-277-292 – 856
1. Hunter Sparks (Wichita State) – 68-65-66 – 199
2. Justin Shin (New Mexico State) – 66-67-68 – 201
3. Nicholas Maruri (UNLV) – 66-66-70 – 202
4. Derek Ernst (UNLV) – 65-69-70 – 204
5. Rafael Becker (Wichita State) – 72-67-67 – 206
8. Alex Gutesha – 73-66-71 – 210
T18. Chris Gilbert – 72-69-72 – 213
T26. Doug Quinones – 73-74-70 – 217
T30. Paul Harris – 69-69-80 – 218
T78. Dylan McClure – 80-73-79 – 232