Kansas to Play in the Badger Invitational Again

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LAWRENCE, Kan. – Coming off of a second-place finish at the Ram Masters Invitational, the Kansas men’s golf team will travel to Madison, Wisconsin for the third time in as many years, to participate in the Badger Invitational.  The three-day event will take place at the University Ridge Golf Course and is slated to begin September 27, where the Jayhawks look to improve from last year’s eighth-place finish on the par-72, 7,259-yard course.

The 12 team field is made up of: Kansas, host-Wisconsin, Rutgers, Illinois State, Drake, USC Upstate, Texas Rio Grande Valley, William & Mary, Ball State, Miami (OH), Butler and Western Carolina.

Kansas is hopeful to use the experience it has to its advantage as the Jayhawks will be bringing four golfers, seniors Ben Welle and Connor Peck, junior Chase Hanna and sophomore Daniel Hudson, who have played in the Badger Invitational before.  These experienced players will be looked upon to help guide freshmen Charlie Hillier and Drake Hull, who are also participating in the event.

“We have three guys in the lineup that have played there for three years – two seniors and Chase (Hanna),” head coach Jamie Bermel said.  “We were close one year and didn’t play so well last year, but I think we are playing really well right now. Our goal is the same every week – we want to win. We figured out how to move from fifth to second, so hopefully we’ll figure out how to finish first.”

This will be the third time in Welle’s seasoned career he has played at the Badger Invitational.  Last year, he shot an astonishing five-under, 139, in the first two rounds before he was disqualified.  He seeks to build on last week’s performance at the Ram Masters Invitational, where he won the individual tournament by two strokes.

Welle’s fellow senior classmate Connor Peck also looks to build from last week’s outing, as he too finished in the top-five (T4) at the 2014 Ram Masters. Peck has been one of KU’s more consistent golfers the season. With his 71.33 stroke average this season, he hopes to see his name near the leaderboard once more.

“If Connor gets a hot putter, he can certainly win the entire thing.  He’s a senior and has been around a long time. He had a good summer and certainly has the ability to win,” Bermel said of Peck.

Hanna is another player who has found success at the Badger Invitational. In his freshman year, the Leawood, Kansas native shot rounds of 71-73-2–216 (E), which was good enough to place tied for fifth at the event. He comes into the tournament with two years of experience under his belt, holding a career average of 73.33 strokes per round.

Returning to the Badger Invitational for the second time, Hudson hopes to improve from last season’s disqualification at the event. 

This will be Hillier’s third tournament in his young KU career. So far this season, the newcomer has shot one round even par, which also happens to match Hull, who is playing the event as an individual.   

For up-to-date stats on the event, live scoring will be available on birdiefire.com.

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