RCW: Sport Spotlight 4.5 (Men's Golf)
— Kansas Men’s Golf (@KUMensGolf) September 24, 2017
The Kansas men’s golf team returned to Lawrence with a seventh-place finish at the Maui Jim Invitational in Scottsdale, Arizona. The front man for the Jayhawks was senior Daniel Sutton, who recorded the team-best score in all three rounds of the tournament, and even managed to pick up the first two eagles of the Jayhawks’ 2017-18 campaign.
Over the three-day span, the Desert Forest Golf Club wreaked havoc for golfers across the field, as there wasn’t a single team under-par entering the final day. Despite the course’s challenging nature, it seemed to be an ideal fit for Sutton.
“This is the perfect course for him,” said Jayhawk head coach Jamie Bermel. “It requires accuracy off the tee and that’s what he does.”
Sutton kicked off the tournament showing consistency and control, as he tallied a par on 12 of his first 14 holes on the day. A pair of bogeys on holes 13 and 15 looked troublesome, but the senior was able to cancel them out with consecutive birdies on his final two holes. His strong finish found Sutton in a share of 11th place on the individual leaderboard heading into Saturday’s second-round action.
Saturday’s round was highlighted by Sutton’s first eagle of the season on hole No. 2 (his 11th hole). The Birmingham, England native was not fazed by the 594-yard par-five, as he was able to muscle the ball to the green in just two shots.
“I hit a good drive which allowed me to get to the green in under regulation,” said Sutton. “I followed that with a good approach shot, which left me about 30 feet out, and from there I holed the putt.”
Thanks to a birdie on his second-to-last hole, Sutton finished the day with a 1-under 71; the only under-par round the Jayhawks had throughout the entire tournament.
Entering Sunday’s final round, Sutton found himself at a tie for seventh place at 1-under. He headed into the turn riding the momentum of an eagle-par-birdie finish on his final three holes on the front nine. His second eagle of the tournament came on another par-5, where his approach shot landed a mere five feet from the hole, to which Sutton was able to tap in.
A pair of bogeys and a double bogey brought his third-round total to a 1-over 73, resulting in a 54-hole total of 216, which was the best on the team and tied for 12th place in the field.
“I had good control of my ball in all areas this weekend,” said Sutton. “I hit a lot of fairways which was key to this course, and then from there I hit the green with almost every iron shot.”
With a top-20 finish in each of the Jayhawks’ two tournaments this season, Sutton’s senior campaign is off to a grand start. Sutton will look to add onto his string of top-20 finishes at The Jackrabbit, beginning on October 1 at The Prairie Club in Valentine, Nebraska.