🏌️♂️ King Wins Individual Title, Jayhawks Finish Third at Gopher Invitational
INDEPENDENCE, Minn. – Kansas men’s golf sophomore Will King, who qualified for the NCAA Championship last season, secured his first collegiate win at the Gopher Invitational on Monday, shooting eight-under in the 54-hole event at Windsong Farm Golf Club. The Jayhawks finished in third place after firing a team score of one-over par.
The Olathe native posted rounds of 68-66-71 in the 54-hole, two-day tournament to claim the individual title. In a field of 75 players, King battled until the last hole to secure his first collegiate win, two-putting for par on the 18th hole. He topped UNCW’s Walker Isley by one shot to claim medalist honors.
“My game didn’t feel great heading into the week,” said King. “I just did a good job of managing my misses and rolled in a few putts. It feels great to get my first win. I’d like to thank my coaches, teammates and parents for making it possible. Excited to get back to work and get a team win soon.”
King’s round of 66 (-5) on Sunday marked a new career-low for the sophomore, giving him a two-shot lead heading into the final round. King stayed solid throughout the majority of the tournament, playing 34 consecutive holes of bogey-free golf at eight-under. In Monday’s final round, King came out hot and birdied two of his first three holes to get to -10 for the tournament. That’s where he remained until the 599-yard par-five 12th hole, where he picked up a rare bogey. Two holes later, he double bogeyed No. 14 to drop into a tie with Isley. But King answered with a monster birdie at the par-three 16th, to regain the lead and parred 17 and 18 to secure a second-straight individual win for the Jayhawks, who saw Cecil Belisle win the Folds of Honor Collegiate last week.
“Will hung in there today for the win,” said head coach Jamie Bermel. “He played like a veteran today after sleeping on the lead last night. He had a bad break on 14 but didn’t flinch and played one-under the last four holes. I’m really proud of him, and how he handled himself in the heat of the battle.”
UNC Wilmington earned the team win at seven-under par, while Kent State earned runner-up with a score of two-under.
“It was a disappointing back nine for us,” added Bermel. “We got off to a nice start and actually had the lead at the turn. We didn’t really execute golf shots on the back nine.”
Senior William Duquette picked up rounds of 73-72-70 and tied for 25th. Duquette played a solid final round, carding three birdies for a one-under 70. Belisle fired a tournament score of four-over to finish tied for 37th. Belisle compiled rounds of 72-72-73 after his win at the Folds of Honor Collegiate.
Gunnar Broin, a senior from Shorewood, Minnesota, finished T45 after rounds of 73-72-74 (+6). Senior Davis Cooper posted an eight-over for the event, scoring rounds of 78-70-73 to finish T51.
The back-to-back individual medalist for Kansas is the first time the Jayhawks have accomplished that feat since Gary Woodland won consecutive tournaments in 2006-07.
The Jayhawks take a break from play for the month of September before traveling to South Bend, Indiana to compete at the Fighting Irish Classic at The Warren Golf Course, Oct. 1-2.