Kansas Men's Golf to Open Season at Rod Myers Invitational
LAWRENCE, Kan. – Led by junior Chase Hanna, the Kansas men’s golf team will begin the 2015-16 season in Durham, North Carolina, to compete in the Rod Myers Invitational. The event takes place September 12-13 at the Duke University Golf Club. With nine players returning from last year’s roster, the Jayhawks plan on using its experience, along with young talent, to compete for a top spot at the event.
After three weeks of practice, KU head coach Jamie Bermel has seen a lot of growth from his returning players, which gives him a positive outlook on the season.
“It (the growth) is very encouraging,” Bermel said. “Just looking at the stats, we had three guys under par for qualifying and two at even par. Last year, the best score was over par, so we are pretty far ahead of that from last year. We have some experience and some guys that have played quite a few years now.”
The experience that guys like Hanna bring with him this season, is second to none. During the 2014-15 campaign Hanna led Kansas in 10 statistical categories, including events played (12), scoring average (72.3) and rounds in the 60’s (8). He shot a total of 19 rounds that were even or under par, which also led the team.
This will be the third season Hanna has been under the command of Bermel. The head coach, who enters his fourth season with the Jayhawks, hopes New Zeland freshman Charlie Hillier can make an immediate impact and become a top golfer. As one of five new faces to the Jayhawk roster, Hillier comes in ranked in the top 50 recruits according to Golfweek.com.
“I always tell these kids the best part about being a freshman is that next year you’re a sophomore,” Bermel said. “I think it’s a huge difference, but Charlie is a veteran. He’s been around a long time, playing competitive golf and traveled halfway across the world to get here. I think he’s serious about playing and playing well. He’s been a nice addition so far.”
Accompanying Hanna and Hillier at the Rod Myers Invitational will be senior Connor Peck and sophomores Spencer Painton and Daniel Hudson. Painton and Hudson are coming off of a hot summer, after qualifying to play in the 2015 U.S. Amateur Championship this past summer, which is known as the world’s most competitive tournament for amateur players. Not to be outdone, Hanna won the 2015 Watson Challenge, in Kansas City, this past summer.
Peck’s leadership and veteran presence will be looked up heavily for Rod Myers, as he will be the lone KU senior competing this weekend.
“There are basically five guys, where if they play well, get a few breaks, they can win the golf tournament,” Bermel said. “That may or may not happen, but I think we have some guys up and down the lineup where if they do what they are supposed to do, they may have a chance to win.”
The 14-team field consists of: Kansas, host Duke, Davidson, East Carolina, Kansas State, Liberty, Loyola, Maryland, Notre Dame, Penn State, Tulsa, UNC Greensboro, UNC Wilmington and Wake Forrest. Stats and live scoring for the Rod Myers Invitational will be available at golfstat.com.
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