Ben Welle Signs to Play Men’s Golf at Kansas

LAWRENCE, Kan. – Minnesota standout Ben Welle has signed a grant-in-aid agreement to play men’s golf at Kansas, KU head coach Jamie Bermel said Tuesday.

A native of Moorhead, Minn., Welle comes to KU after one season at Scottsdale (Ariz.) Community College where he was named 2013 NJCAA Division I All-America First Team by Golfweek for head coach Dan Dersam. Last spring, Welle won two tournaments for Scottsdale CC, including the NJCAA Region I Championship on the Gold Canyon Sidewander Course in Phoenix, Ariz. Welle also led the Fighting Artichokes to the Region I team championship. Earlier in the season he won the Mesa Community College Invitational by carding a pair of 4-under 68s.

In his one collegiate season, Welle averaged 71.3 strokes per round, won two tournaments, placed in the top 10 in three of six events and nine of his 16 rounds were par or better. Included were four rounds of 4-under. Following his NJCAA Region I individual title, Welle would go on to finish 2-under and tie for 13th at the NJCAA National Championship at the Texas Tech Rawls Course in Lubbock, Texas.

“Ben is one of those guys out of Minnesota who won the state high school title his senior year and played hockey as well,” Bermel said. “He didn’t have a lot of national playing experience and went down to Scottsdale to get some better exposure. Not only does he bring winning to the team, he brings a year of college experience as well.”

Over the summer, Welle finished second at the 110th MGA Amateur at Medina Golf and Country Club in Medina, Minn., July 15-17. Welle shot a three-round 213 (-3) which included a 3-under 69 on the opening day, two even-par marks and was one shot behind winner Sam Matthew’s 212 (-4). A week later, Welle would tie for seventh overall, fourth among amateurs, at the Minnesota State Open shooting a three-round 213 (-3) at Edinburgh USA Golf Club in Brooklyn Park, Minn.

“Ben has a lot of upside to him because he has really only concentrated on golf for a year or so,” Bermel said. “He’s inexperienced but had a great summer finishing second in the Minnesota amateur and seventh in the (Minnesota) open.”

Prior to Scottsdale CC, Welle was a four-year varsity letterwinner at Moorhead High School in Moorhead, Minn. In 2012, his senior season, Welle tied for the state individual title in guiding the Spuds to their first-ever 3A state golf team title under head coach Eric Tollefson.

Welle joins Brock Drogosch (Windermere, Fla.), Chase Hanna (Leawood, Kan.), Connor Peck (Ankeny, Iowa), Logan Philley (Robert Lee, Texas), Danny Summers (Leawood, Kan.) and Jacques Wilson (Minnetonka, Minn.) in Bermel’s first KU recruiting class. Philley will be a junior this fall, while Peck and Welle will be sophomores and the other four will be freshmen at Kansas.

“From top to bottom I think we have seven guys who are very excited about being here and trying to change the culture of the team,” Bermel said. “All seven are really good students, and I think that all seven are going to have a chance to play right away. That’s going to be exciting and hopefully most of these guys can hit the ground running.”

Kansas men’s golf begins its five fall competitions at the Ram Masters Invitational in Fort Collins, Colo., Sept. 16-17. The official online source for Kansas Athletics, Williams Education Fund contributions, tickets, merchandise, multimedia, photos and much, much more.