Jayhawks fight off tough conditions to end round one in second
HUTCHINSON, Kan. – After a windy day at Prairie Dunes Country Club, Kansas men’s golf is in a tie for second, led by junior Daniel Hudson, who is on top of the individual leaderboard after one round at the Big 12 Championship.
Originally scheduled to be a 36-hole Monday, high winds caused the second round to be postponed until Tuesday, with the third round to be played immediately after.
“You certainly can’t win the tournament on the first day but you can lose it,” head coach Jamie Bermel said. “I’m happy for the team. Dan (Hudson) was solid all day and hit a lot of good shots. He managed his game and putted really well in windy conditions. He has played well for us, especially this spring and he just keeps plugging along.”
Hudson got off to a slow start with back-to-back bogeys and played the first eight holes at 4-over par. A birdie entering the turn got Hudson’s wheels rolling as he collected two additional birdies on his back nine. Hudson’s 2-over-par day puts him alone in first place by one stroke.
“It is the kind of day that you go out and par is irrelevant,” Hudson said. “You just try and make a score. It was nice to see some putts go in. It was unfortunate that some guys got on the bad end of the putting green, with the wind and balls blowing off. Fortunately, I was lucky and none of that happened to me.”
Continuing his usual steady play, junior Daniel Sutton ended the first round in a tie for 12th at 7-over par. Sutton entered the back nine at 5-over par, where he was able to find his two birdies for the day on the par-4 fourth and par-5 seventh.
Senior Chase Hanna continued fighting all day, finishing his first round with an 8-over par, 78. Following the theme of the day, the back nine of the course is where Hanna found problems, posting bogeys on his first three holes and playing his front nine at 4-over par. Hanna found a lone birdie on the back and is in a tie for 18th entering the second round.
Playing in his first Big 12 Championship, freshman Andy Spencer battled the unfavorable conditions to enter the clubhouse with a 79. His 9-over par finish resulted in a tie for 22nd place through 18 holes.
Sophomore Charlie Hillier was able to play 17 holes at 8-over par, but an unfortunate lie on his final hole of the round caused a triple bogey for a first-round, 81.
“It was a grind all day,” Bermel said. “I don’t know what was tougher, the downwind holes or the holes that were into the wind. Putting was difficult as well. There were pin locations that were just so hard to get to. We didn’t get off to a very good start and came back in the middle and toward the end of the round and hung in there well from top to bottom. I know Charlie got a bad break at the end there with his ball being in a footprint in the sand, which is just unlucky. Good performance overall.”
Leading the field with nine birdies, Kansas finished the first round in second place, just four strokes behind the leader, No. 2 Oklahoma State, and edging out No. 4 Baylor by one stroke. The Jayhawks lead No. 13 Oklahoma, No. 11 Texas Tech and No. 18 Texas by two, three and seven strokes respectively.
Play will resume on Tuesday at 8 am CT, with 36 holes to be played.
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