Match Preview: Big 12 Match Play Championships
Dates: Oct. 2-4
Course: Houston Oaks
Format: Match Play
Par / Yardage: 71 / 7,007
HOCKLEY, Texas – Fresh off a fourth-place finish at the Colonial Collegiate in Fort Worth, the Kansas Jayhawks men’s golf program is now primed for the Big 12 Match Play Championship for its second tournament of the year beginning Friday.
At Colonial, playing with the other nine conference teams, Kansas tied with Baylor and TCU for fourth at 23-over. The Jayhawks will now turn their attention to Hockley, where they will use the same lineup as at Colonial.
“It’s a big three days of golf coming up,” Coach Jamie Bermel said. “We start out on Friday morning with Texas Tech, and they are the defending Match Play champions. Friday afternoon, we have Texas. Both teams are capable of winning a national title this year. Our goal is to win each match. Match Play is very unique in the sense each hole counts for the same amount regardless of your score. If you make a double bogey, and the other guy birdies, it still is only one hole. I know the guys are excited for the challenge.”
Making their second straight starts for the Jayhawks are Harry Hillier, Ben Sigel, Luke Kluver, William Duquette, Zach Sokolosky and Sion Audrain.
The Jayhawks had some outstanding individual performances at their first tournament of the year. Hillier posted rounds of 69-70-70 to finish tied for second at -1. He was near the top of the leaderboard all tournament and led at two different points. Dating back to last season, Hillier has three straight top-10 finishes and showed great improvement in the offseason, according to Bermel.
Sigel also finished in the top ten. The Deephaven, Minnesota native fired rounds of 71-69-71 to finish at +1 and tied for sixth. Sigel also continued his stellar play from last season over to this year. Sigel tied for first at the TPC Dorado Beach Collegiate in the team’s second-to-final tournament of the season. It was Sigel’s third career top-10 overall.
William Duquette and Luke Kluver also had good starts to the season in Fort Worth, finishing in the top 35. Both players tied for 34th. Duquette’s low round of 72 came in the opening round. Kluver’s low round of the tournament was an even par 70 on the first day.
Zach Sokolosky and Sion Audrain also competed for the Jayhawks, and finished in the top 55.
“We know we have our hands full, but we also know we have done very well in this event the previous two years,” Bermel said. “We have some experience, and we have some young guys playing. If we can win a couple of matches with the young guys, we will do just fine.”
Oklahoma State is the fourth team in the Kansas grouping. Live stats for the event will be available through golfstat.