Kansas Men’s Golf Travels to Texas for Big 12 Championship
LAWRENCE, Kan. – The Kansas men’s golf team will travel to Trinity, Texas, to compete in the 2014 Big 12 Championship at Whispering Pines Country Club on April 25-27.
“Anytime you are in the Big 12, it’s going to be hard,” KU second-year head coach Jamie Bermel said. “You have four (Big 12) teams in the top 25 and seven teams in the top 50.”
Based on most recent Golfweek/Sagarin team rankings, Kansas enters the 2014 Big 12 Championship as the eighth seed in the nine-team field. The Jayhawks will be paired with No. 7 TCU and No. 9 Kansas State in Friday’s first day of 36 holes. Oklahoma State is the No. 1 seed, followed by Oklahoma, Texas, Baylor, Texas Tech and Iowa State.
“I just want to go there and compete and do better each round and see where the chips fall,” Bermel said. “I tell the guys every week, we’re there to win it. We’re not going there to finish second. It’s not going to be a feel-good story. We need to go in there and compete as hard as we can. Last year we were in the lead after 27 holes. Anything can happen. We need to make progress every day, every round and with every person.”
The Jayhawk’s will be turning to their youth for this year’s tournament as Bermel is going with the same lineup he has for the last three tournaments. Making an appearance in every tournament this season will be freshman Chase Hanna, sophomore Ben Welle and junior Logan Philley. Rounding out the KU squad is sophomore Connor Peck, who is making his eighth-straight start and senior Ryley Haas, who is the lone Jayhawk with Big 12 Championship experience.
Hanna in 10 contests this season has led the Jayhawks in six events behind five top-20 finishes. Hanna currently leads the team in average round score at 72.97 strokes per round. Hanna also has seen 25 of his 30 rounds count toward the Jayhawks final score.
Welle through the course of the season is averaging 73.3 strokes per round as he has led the Jayhawks in three events. Welle has had 28 of his 30 rounds count toward the Jayhawks final score behind three top-20 finishes.
Philley is seeing action in his 11th tournament this season as he is currently averaging 75.03 strokes per round backed up by the lowest tournament score of any Jayhawk this season – 9-under par 207 at the Desert Shootout in Phoenix, Ariz., finishing in eighth. Philley has led the Jayhawks in scoring one time this season.
Peck has been the most efficient golfer this season for the Jayhawks as all 21 of the rounds he competed in have counted toward the team’s final card. Peck has averaged 73.33 strokes per hole this season as he is looking to carry his hot streak from last week’s tie for seventh finish at the Hawkeye Invitational, 216 (E), into the Big 12 Championship.
Haas looks to improve on last year’s Big 12 finish where he placed in 41st with a 233 (+23). He currently is averaging 76.25 strokes per round in 2013-14.
In Bermel’s first season Kansas, the Jayhawks finished eighth at the 2013 Big 12 Championship with a three-round total of 899 (+59) at Prairie Dunes Country Club in Hutchinson, Kan., site of the 2014 NCAA Championship (May 27-June 1). Then-KU senior Chris Gilbert tied for 10th at the conference championship with a 218, earning him all-tournament team honors. Gilbert current competes professionally on the Adams Tour.
In the 17-year history of the Big 12, Kansas is one of six schools to have won the Men’s Golf Big 12 Championship. Kansas’ lone title was in 1999 where the team was led by current Adams Tour professional Chris Thompson with a three-round 210 at Prairie Dunes Country Club.
The Big 12 Championship will be played on a 7,021-yard, par-72 course at Whispering Pines Country Club. The event will feature 72 holes as the competitors will see 36 holes on Friday, April 25, and 18 holes on Saturday, April 26, and Sunday April 27.
KUAthletics.com: The official online source for Kansas Athletics, Williams Education Fund contributions, tickets, merchandise, multimedia, photos and much, much more.