Jayhawks in the hunt after day one
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. – In his first event as a member of the Kansas men’s golf team, junior Daniel Sutton got off to a quick start at the Maui Jim Intercollegiate followed closely by sophomore Charlie Hillier, with four Jayhawks posting scores under par, resulting in a tie for the third spot on the leaderboard at the Mirabel Golf Club.
Sutton, who ended the day with a five-under-par, 66, stands tied for fifth. Sutton was nearly perfect as he had only one bogey on the card. With a birdie on the eighth, Sutton gained some momentum, starting his back nine in dramatic fashion with a birdie on hole No. 1 followed by an eagle on hole No. 2.
“It was nice to get Dan Sutton into the lineup,” head coach Jamie Bermel said. “He has a lot of experience and pretty much just played his game. Fairways and greens. He made a nice hole out eagle on his 11th hole today.”
Hillier was on a roll as he ended the day with six birdies on the card, four of which were consecutive. He ended tied for ninth with a four-under-par, 67. Hillier comes off of a tied for seventh place finish in the Rod Myer and will look to continue his momentum and earn his fourth top-five finish.
“Charlie was solid all day,” Bermel said. ” He putted well and managed his game. He looked good. He’s growing up. He has really matured his game from last year and (Friday) was very good.”
Despite a slow start with two bogeys, a birdie on the eighth gave senior Chase Hanna the confidence he needed as he made the turn. Hanna was flawless on the back nine racking up four birdies with no bogeys to end the day tied for nith with a four-under-par, 67.
“Chase got off to a slow start, but he’s a senior and never count him out of the round,” Bermel said. “He’s one of the best competitors I’ve ever coached and his second nine was impressive.”
As the other Jayhawk to eagle the par five second hole, Daniel Hudson was able to navigate the course on his way to a one-under-par 70, putting him tied for 32nd. Freshman Andy Spencer ran into challenges towards the end of his round, finishing the day tied for 67th with a 74.
Redshirt-freshman Alex Moorman competed as an individual, marking his first collegiate event. Moorman started strong with a birdie on the first hole followed by pars on the rest of his front nine. He was able to knock down three birdies on the back with only one hiccup on the par-3 sixth to finish the day with a three-under-par 68 and tied for 15th.
“Very proud of Alex Moorman,” Bermel said. “First collegiate event and I thought he played well. He’s worked hard the last 13 months for this opportunity and he had a good start to his first collegiate event.”
As a team the Jayhawks were able to take advantage of perfect scoring conditions, recording a team 12-under-par on par fives throughout the day. Kansas solid start put the squad in a tie for third place in the event, six strokes behind the leader Kent State. The Jayhawks are also one stroke behind No. 24 Baylor and are currently ahead of four ranked schools – No. 7 LSU, No. 17 South Carolina, No. 11 Cal and No. 22 South Florida.
“We need to keep doing what we are doing,” Bermel said. “Fairways and greens. This is a course where any of the guys can make six birdies in 18 holes. There’s still 36 holes to play, but a very solid start to the tournament.”
Kansas will start its second round Saturday at 8 a.m. local time.
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