Kansas Golf On the Rise, Kawinpakorn and Welle Named Jayhawks of the Week
A number of Kansas teams – soccer, softball, track & field and volleyball – have joined Kansas men’s basketball with recent success on the national stage and both Kansas golf teams might be next. Ben Welle and Yupaporn Kawinpakorn both earned medalist honors last week as the teams continued a fall slate of tournament competition in preparation for next spring’s conference and national tournaments.
For Kawinpakorn it was her third individual tournament title, having led KU to the NCAA Championship two years ago, but Welle’s win marked the team’s first since 2012 and could be the spark men’s coach Jamie Bermel has been preparing for. Both student-athletes were named this week’s Jayhawks of the Week, presented by Muscle Milk.
Ben Welle, Sr., Moorhead, Minn. (Men’s Golf)
Welle became the first Jayhawk men’s golfer to win a tournament since 2012 when he claimed the crown at the Ram Masters Invitational in Colorado Springs. Welle carded back-to-back career-low-tying rounds of 67 on the first day of the tournament before closing with a 1-over 72 for a total of 206 (-4). In the victory, Welle tallied a tournament-leading 14 birdies. It was Welle’s first tournament title while at Kansas and helped the Jayhawks finish second.
Yupaporn Kawinpakorn, Sr., Samutprakan, Thailand (Women’s Golf)
Kawinpakorn claimed the title at the Schooner Classic in Norman, Okla., a tournament hosted by country singer Toby Keith’s Belmar Golf Club. She used a school- and course-record 63 (-8) in the opening round Saturday, before Sunday’s round was washed out. Kawinpakorn then shot at 68 (-3) on Monday to claim her third individual title over Oklahoma State’s Chih-Min Chen and run her streak to six straight top-10 finishes. Kansas finished fourth in the 12-team field.