Friday, April 25, 2014

KU freshman golfer Chase Hanna eager for Big 12


Kansas University freshman Chase Hanna — who was a three-time Sunflower League golf champion at Shawnee Mission East and continued his success into last summer when he won both the Kansas Amateur and Kansas Junior Amateur — is ready to see how he fares in the biggest meet of his young college career.

“I’m excited, obviously, (with this) my first time playing the Big 12s,” said Hanna, who will tee it up today through Sunday at Whispering Pines in Trinity, Texas. “I’m looking forward to it and seeing how I stand up against all these guys.”

Hanna is off to a fast start in college. He led KU in six of 10 events behind five top-20 finishes. He leads the team in scoring at 72.97 strokes per round. He has had 25 of his 30 rounds count toward the Jayhawks’ final score.

The biggest difference between high school and college?

“I think the depth of the fields,” Hanna said. “I think top-to-bottom it’s much different than even your premier junior events. Top-to-bottom, every player is very talented and has the potential to go out there and play well.”

KU enters seeded eighth of the nine teams.

Ben Welle, a sophomore from Moorhead, Minn., has averaged 73.3 strokes per meet and has led the Jayhawks in three events. Welle has had 28 of his 30 rounds count toward the Jayhawks’ final score behind three top-20 finishes.

Logan Philley, a junior from Robert Lee, Texas, averages 75.03 strokes per round. He has the lowest tournament score of any Jayhawk this season – 9-under par 207 at the Desert Shootout in Phoenix. He placed eighth at that meet.

Connor Peck, a sophomore from Ankeny, Iowa, has had all 21 of his rounds count toward the team’s final result. Peck has averaged 73.33 strokes per hole. He tied for seventh at last week’s Hawkeye Invitational.

Ryley Haas, a senior from Colby, averages 76.25 strokes per round.

Oklahoma State enters as No. 1 seed, followed by Oklahoma and Texas.

“We’re not really worried about any other team because golf can go either way on any type of day, especially on this golf course,” Welle said. “Anybody is welcome to win the thing. That’s what I like.”

Noted coach Jamie Bermel: “I just want to go there and compete and do better each round and see where the chips fall. I tell the guys every week, we’re there to win it. We’re not going there to finish second. It’s not going to be a feel-good story. We need to go in there and compete as hard as we can. Last year we were in the lead after 27 holes. Anything can happen.”


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