Kansas stays focused heading to Phoenix

LAWRENCE, Kan. – Entering the home stretch of the spring season, Kansas head coach Jamie Bermel makes sure his familiar five keeps the right mindset as they prepare to travel to Phoenix, Arizona, to compete in the Cowboy Classic at Whirlwind Golf Club, April 10-11.

“You always want to monitor rest and keep them fresh,” Bermel said. “Obviously, this week has been a struggle with the weather. We have been able to practice a couple of hours here and there. But I don’t think it is a problem. We will be ready to go when we get to Phoenix.”

As usual, senior Chase Hanna will lead the Jayhawks, competing in every event this season. As the only member of the squad with a scoring average under par, Hanna leads Kansas, posting a 70.81 (.96 strokes under par) this season. Hanna comes off of a career-record-setting seventh top-20 finish in the regular season, after a tie for 17th at the Hootie at Bulls Bay, March 26-28.  

Junior Daniel Hudson has managed to find himself inside the top-20 in two of three events so far this spring, highlighted by a tie for fifth at the Desert Intercollegiate, February 17-19. Hudson proves his reliability week in and week out, with 22 of his 27 rounds contributing to the teams overall score.

Posting two of his three rounds at even-par or better at the Hootie at Bulls Bay, junior Daniel Sutton will strive to play all three rounds under par to earn his second top-20 finish of the spring. Sutton finds himself in the third spot for the second straight event.

Sophomore Charlie Hillier looks to carry the momentum from his final round at the Hootie at Bulls Bay, where he shot a team best, 68. Placing inside the top-20 in four of six events in the fall, Hillier will look to get his first of the spring, after running into struggles in the first few events.

“The main thing is to keep focusing on the fundamentals,” Bermel said. “For the guys who are struggling, we continue to work on things to help them get out of their funk. A lot of the times it is little things that get off kilter just a bit. For the most part we keep working on short game and fundamentals.”

With a 72.11 (.11 strokes over par) scoring average in the spring, freshman Andy Spencer will round out the lineup. Spencer is tied for a team best two rounds in the 60’s this spring.

Given an opportunity to improve his skills in tournament play, sophomore Jake Scarrow will compete in the event as an individual.

Wyoming will host the 21-team field that is highlighted by No. 25 Arizona State and No. 28 Colorado. Kansas will also go up against Colorado State, where Bermel held the head coaching job for 12 years before coming to Kansas, as well as Air Force, where associate coach Chris Wilson coached before coming to Kansas. Included in the rest of the field is Denver, UC Davis, Houston Baptist, Weber State, UC Santa Barbara, Southern Utah, William and Mary, Utah State, Gonzaga, UC Northridge, Long Beach State, Sacramento State, Idaho, Wichita State and Old Dominion.

“We are going to a course that some of the guys have played,” Bermel said. “We are somewhat familiar with Phoenix because we have been there a couple of times, so I think that helps the mindset”

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