Kansas Looks to Capitalize on Recent Success
LAWRENCE, Kan. – Following its first victory of the 2015-16 campaign, the Kansas men’s golf team will continue to use the early season momentum it has, as the Jayhawks travel to Pearland, Texas to compete in the Bayou City Collegiate Classic. The 54-hole, two-day tournament will take place at Golfcrest Country Club and is slated to take place on October 12-13.
This is the first time the Jayhawks will be playing on the par-72, 7,272-yard course, as the team hopes to build on their win at the Badger Invitational in its last competition. Kansas has finished in the top-five of all three events this year, improving its finishes from fifth to second to first in those tournaments.
“I think we are settling in,” KU head coach Jamie Bermel said. “The seniors are playing well and it’s a big event down there. I’m sure there will be some good teams.”
Representing KU will be a member of each class, as seniors Ben Welle and Connor Peck, junior Chase Hanna, sophomore Spencer Painton and freshman Charlie Hillier will comprise the squad.
Welle, the 2015 Big 12 Golfer of the Month for September, leads the team in average strokes per round (71.33), rounds in the 60’s (3) and tournament victories (1). In his first event of his senior campaign, the Moorehead, Minnesota native came out on top, winning the Ram Masters Individual title by a two-stroke margin.
As his fellow senior counterpart, Peck has been one the KU’s more consistent players to this point in the young season. He has finished in the top-15 in all three tournaments he has competed in, which includes a top-five placing at the Ram Masters Invitational as well.
“He’s been solid and if he can get a hot putter, maybe he can snap off a win too. He’s very experienced and right now he’s playing pretty well,” Bermel said of Peck.
Hanna is KU’s leading scorer from last season and he began to show signs of that throughout his previous event. He comes into this tournament following a top-five finish at the Badger Invitational, where he found himself amongst the leaderboard for much of the competition.
Playing in his fourth event of his young career, Hillier will look to build from last week’s performance and seek to crack the top-five. The newcomer’s 73.11 scoring average per round ranks third on the team, behind only experienced leaders Welle and Peck.
“He’s gaining more and more experience and I think being around such experienced players has helped,” Bermel said of the New Zealand native.
Painton finds himself participating in just his second tournament of the year. He hopes to improve from his finish at the Rod Myers Invitational, where he finished tied for 38th place.
Making up the 14-team field is Kansas, host-Houston, Denver, Houston Baptist, McNeese State, North Texas, Rice, Sam Houston State, Southern Mississippi, Tulsa, Texas State and UTSA.
For up-to-date stats and live scoring, be sure to follow the event on golfstat.com.
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