Three top-20 individual finishes lead to another top-5 team finish
PALM DESERT, Calif. – With junior Charlie Hillier leading the way and notching his second top-10 finish on the season, the Kansas men’s golf team was able to walk away with a fourth-place finish at the 2018 Bighorn Invitational.
The finish marks the fifth-consecutive top-5 finish for head coach Jamie Bermel and his squad, and has upped the season-total for top-5 finishes on the season to seven.
“We played fairly well today,” said Bermel. “We struggled to get an under-par fourth score, but I thought we played solid.”
Hillier was the frontman for the Jayhawks, as his 7-under score earned him a share of sixth place individually. The junior flirted with a top-5 spot all round, even reaching a share for the lead, but three bogeys in the final six holes left him one stroke out. Hillier’s final-round 70 upped his season total of rounds even or under-par to 19, the most on the team.
“Charlie played well today,” said Bermel. “It’s unfortunate that he came up just short of an individual title, but he competed.”
Six spots behind Hillier was senior Daniel Hudson, whose 3-under 69 during Saturday’s final round was tied for the best performance on the day for the Jayhawks. Hudson was tied for 12th place at the end of the competition, which improves his career top-20 finish total to 19.
Also shooting a 3-under 69 during the final round was sophomore Andy Spencer. The score lowered his overall score to 5-under, putting him at a tie for 14th place. Spencer recorded four birdies on his front nine alone during the final round, contributing to his 17 birdies on the event, the second-most in the field.
“It was really nice to see [Spencer and Hudson] play well today,” added Bermel.
Senior Daniel Sutton started off his third round strong, tallying three birdies on the front nine. Though the senior parred his first six holes after the turn, two bogeys and a double bogey on his final three holes plagued his scorecard. Sutton ended the day with a 3-over 75, upping his score to 7-over, putting him at 49th place.
Freshman Harry Hillier also started off strong, shooting 2-under on the front, only to succumb to a 3-over on the back. His 1-over 73 during the third round was his best round of the event, as he ended at 11-over, tied for 57th.
Playing as an individual, Jake Scarrow ended tied for 60th at 13-over. Scarrow was one of three Jayhawks to have multiple birdies on the back nine of the third round.
Though the team hasn’t placed outside the top-5 since October, Bermel knows that his team still has room to grow.
“Moving forward, we need to tighten up the mental mistakes,” said Bermel. “We need to work on par-5 scoring as well. We’re making way too many countless errors still, and hopefully we can grow and improve heading into the final stretch of the season.”
The Jayhawks are now one top-5 finish away from setting the record for most consecutive top-5 finishes under Bermel. The Crimson and Blue will return to action on April 7, when the team plays in the Irish Creek Intercollegiate in Kannapolis, North Carolina. The two-day event will be played at the Club at Irish Creek.
KUAthletics.com: The official online source for Kansas Athletics, Williams Education Fund contributions, tickets, merchandise, multimedia, photos and much, much more.