Kansas Heads to Louisiana to Chase Another Title
LAWRENCE, Kan. – In pursuit of a second consecutive tournament title to begin the 2016 spring season, the Kansas men’s golf team will travel to Lafayette, Louisiana to participate in the Louisiana Classics Invitational Feb. 29 – March 1. The two-day event will take place at Oakbourne Country Club, where the par-72, 7,098-yard course will consist of some of the most talented teams in the country, including No. 1-ranked Illinois.
“It’s another big event in Lafayette,” Kansas head coach Jamie Bermel said. “The No. 1-ranked team will be there and that should give us a pretty good indication as to where our team is at compared to them.”
This is the fourth-consecutive year that the Jayhawks will have competed in Louisiana Classics Invitational, where the team has improved its placing in each of the past two years. Last season, Kansas placed fifth in the event, which was at the time the team’s sixth top-five finish of the year.
Featuring three experienced upperclassmen, including two seniors, and two talented underclassmen, the Jayhawks will be represented by the same squad that won the Desert Intercollegiate this last week. Freshman Charlie Hillier, who led Kansas in scoring at the Desert Intercollegiate, will look to continue his strong rookie campaign, as the New Zealand product is averaging 70.67 strokes per round thus far in the spring season.
Alongside Hillier is his fellow underclassmen, sophomore Daniel Hudson. After finishing last week with his second-best placing of his KU career, Hudson is hoping to have a repeat performance of last year’s outing at the Louisiana Classics. By the time he walked off the course, Hudson carded a 215 (-1), which was good enough to place tied for eighth.
Senior Connor Peck, who has been one of the team’s most consistent players all season long, is looking to continue his steady play. So far in 2015-16, Peck has seven rounds of par or better and his 91.7 percent of rounds counted this year are a team best.
Peck’s senior counterpart, Ben Welle is hoping to bounce back from his rough start to the spring season. The 2015 September Big 12 Golfer of the Month and Ram Masters Invitational Individual title winner is seeking his fourth top-10 finish of the season.
Junior Chase Hanna has seen success in Louisiana so far in his career. In the two appearances he has made at this tournament, the Leawood, Kansas native has seen top-15 finishes in each performance, while carding three-round scores of 220 or below.
Competing as an individual is sophomore Brock Drogosch. This event will be his third tournament of the season and he has improved his scores and finishes in each of those events. Drogosch also participated in Louisiana Classics last season, where he finished eight-over par.
“I think the guys are ready, as we have had a solid week of preparation,” Bermel said about his team.
Participating with the Jayhawks is a 12-team field made up Illinois, Illinois State, Kent State, Louisiana, Middle Tennessee, Southeastern Louisiana, Southern Mississippi, Texas State, UTSA, UT Arlington and Texas A&M.
Tee-off for the event is scheduled for a shotgun start at 8 a.m. local time. Live streaming of the ninth hole will be available, as will live stats and up-to-date scores on golfstat.com.
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