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Two KU golfers make 24-man playoff, fail to advance to match play at U.S. Amateur

KU senior golfer Daniel Hudson, right, takes some chip shots inside the new KU Golf facility at the Jayhawk Club. Pictured from left are team members Harry Hillier, his brother Charlie Hillier, Andy Spencer, Ben Sigel and Hudson.

KU senior golfer Daniel Hudson, right, takes some chip shots inside the new KU Golf facility at the Jayhawk Club. Pictured from left are team members Harry Hillier, his brother Charlie Hillier, Andy Spencer, Ben Sigel and Hudson. by Mike Yoder

A whopping 24 players, including two current University of Kansas golfers, tied after two rounds of stroke play for the 64th and final spot in match play in the U.S. Amateur.

The 24 players, including KU junior Andy Spencer and sophomore Ben Sigel, all finished stroke play, which consisted of a round at Pebble Beach and a round at Spy Glass Hill, at 4-over par.

The playoff started at 9:30 a.m. and took two holes to complete after two players advanced with a birdie.

The playoff started at No. 17 at Pebble Beach, a par 3, and concluded on No. 18, a par 5. Neither Spencer nor Sigel made it past the first hole.

Playing in the second foursome to tee off in the playoff, Spencer pulled his tee shot well left of the green into a deep rough, missed a long putt on a misread and picked up.

Sigel teed off in the third foursome, and reached the front of the massive green. He initially took a few practice swings with a wedge and then put that club back in the bag in favor of a putter. He left the putt well short, then left his par putt of about 75 feet, which, as it turned out, was meaningless anyway, an inch short.

Another player left in the same spot later in the playoff hit wedge from there and left it a few feet from the pin. Had he sunk it, he would have incurred a two-stroke penalty anyway because he had suffered a brain cramp and left the pin in.

Jacob Bergeron emerged from the playoff victorious with a bogey 6 on No. 18, knocking Peter Quest, who knocked his second shot into the ocean, out of match play. Quest missed his 5-foot bogey putt.

Bergeron earned the No. 64 seed in match play and advanced to a first-round match with Daniel Hillier, 19, of New Zealand. By the way, Hillier is not a brother to KU golf team brothers Charlie and Harry Hillier.

A replay of the playoff can be watched on the USGA Twitter account.

Reply 1 comment from Phil Leister

Putts mean more than money for Kansas pro golfers

Gary Woodland reacts to a missed birdie putt on the fifth green during the third round of the PGA Championship golf tournament at Bellerive Country Club, Saturday, Aug. 11, 2018, in St. Louis. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)

Gary Woodland reacts to a missed birdie putt on the fifth green during the third round of the PGA Championship golf tournament at Bellerive Country Club, Saturday, Aug. 11, 2018, in St. Louis. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson) by Jeff Roberson (AP photo)

Stop grousing about that 10-foot putt you barely missed costing you 10 bucks. Nobody wants to hear it. Besides, it could be worse. You could be missing it on the PGA Tour, where one stroke sometimes costs you more than 10,000 times as much as that.

Gary Woodland’s 16-foot birdie putt on No. 18 in the 100th PGA Championship at Bellerive Country Club came up an inch short, bumping him from what would have been a three-way tie for fourth place with Stewart Cink and Jon Rahm into a four-way tie for sixth with Thomas Pieters, Francesco Molinari and Justin Thomas.

That one stroke was the difference between making $452,833 and $334,712.50. In other words, one inch equated to $118,120.50.

Woodland’s frustration over the putt coming up short had nothing to do with $118,120.50. At this point, every putt that drops draws him a little closer to joining the best of the best American golfers and becoming a player who could represent his country in the Ryder Cup. His effortless swing produced terrific results for him all week and he had an incredible day with the putter on Aug. 9 to become the first-day leader on his way to becoming the second-day leader.

He didn't play as well on the weekend, but could move himself from the outside looking in at Ryder Cup contenders to gaining serious consideration if he can get hot in the first three of four FedExCup playoff tournaments. Woodland is taking off this week's Wyndham Championship to gear up for the Northern Trust at Ridgewood Country Club in Paramus, N.J. the following week.

Caddie Chevy Hartzog has been pointing the way for Chris Thompson during his strong finish to the Web.com season. Thompson heads into the final round of the KC Golf Classic tied for third. (Photo by Tom Keegan)

Caddie Chevy Hartzog has been pointing the way for Chris Thompson during his strong finish to the Web.com season. Thompson heads into the final round of the KC Golf Classic tied for third. (Photo by Tom Keegan) by Tom Keegan

On the same day Woodland completed his strong PGA performance with a 69, 2,000 miles to the west, Web.com touring pro Chris Thompson made a 15-foot putt on No. 18 that gave him a 64 for the day and a solo third-place finish. He made $40,800 in the tournament. Had he missed it, he would have been in a seven-way tie for third, which would have paid him $25,843. So that’s a difference of $14,957, basically a grand per foot.

Again, it’s not the money itself that made it such a big putt. It’s what the money did for Thompson’s standing on “The 25,” which is what the Web.com Tour calls its money list because the top 25 finishers on the money list in the regular season earn PGA Tour cards. He stands at 19th with one tournament remaining. Had he missed the putt, he would be in 24th, $16 ahead of Ben Taylor, squarely on the bubble heading into the Portland Open, which has an $800,000 purse.

The higher purse means there could be more movement than usual in “The 25,” but it would take an awful lot of things to have to happen for Thompson to drop below 25. For example, if Thompson didn’t earn any money, then the six players directly behind him all finished in the top 13 in the tournament, that would do it, but that’s not very likely to happen.

Reply 1 comment from Jayhawkmarshall

A hot few weeks could bring Gary Woodland into Ryder Cup consideration

Gary Woodland and Tiger Woods head toward fourth tee box at Bellerive in the 100th PGA Championship as Missouri Gov. tugs at his sunglasses. (Photo by Tom Keegan)

Gary Woodland and Tiger Woods head toward fourth tee box at Bellerive in the 100th PGA Championship as Missouri Gov. tugs at his sunglasses. (Photo by Tom Keegan) by Tom Keegan

St. Louis — Based on a points system, the top eight players gain automatic spots on the America's Ryder Cup team and four captains’ picks will be added.

After finishing in a tie for sixth in the 100th PGA Championship, Woodland finished 19th in the final Ryder Cup standings.

The eight players who earned automatic spots, in order of their points: Brooks Koepka, Dustin Johnson, Justin Thomas, Patrick Reed, Bubba Watson, Jordan Spieth, Rickie Fowler and Webb Simpson.

Woodland doesn’t seem to be in the conversation yet for one of the captains' picks, but with strong finishes in the first three FedExCup playoff tournaments, he could make it happen.

“I definitely think there’s still room,” Woodland said Thursday after taking the first-round lead with a 64.

Woodland’s best previous finish at a major was tied for 12th at the 2011 PGA, so this was a significant step for him.

Now he’ll turn his attention to the FedExCup playoffs.

“That's been as frustrating as my major record. I've been in the fitting, I think, for the last seven years for all the Ryder Cup and Presidents Cup's fittings,” Woodland said. “I tried all the clothes on. I’ve seen them all, and I've just never had a chance to make the team. Last year, I think, was probably as close as I made, and that's frustrating.”

Ryder Cup captain Jim Furyk said he will hold one pick until after the BMW Championship (Sept. 6-9), the third FedExCup playoff tournament.

“If there isn’t someone who just sticks out as a hot player, we’ll take the best player available,” Furyk said.

Woodland, who has made great strides in his smooth, powerful swing working with Butch Harmon, has time to become that hot player.

“I got off to a great start this year, but I made a lot of changes because of my major record,” Woodland said. “Pete Cowen and I have made a lot of changes in the short game, that was with Butch’s recommendation. I just, the short game has really held me back. I hit the ball beautifully, but to contend week in, week out, I have to get better in those areas.”

Resurgent Tiger Woods, who stormed to a second-place finish, playing his Sunday round with Woodland, likely will lock up one captains' pick, Phil Mickelson another. Bryson DeChambeau was edged by Simpson for the final automatic spot, so he’ll receive strong consideration.

Mickelson finished 10th, Woods 11th.

The Ryder Cup points standings don’t determine anything beyond the top eight spots, but are worth looking at to see what other golfers Woodland would have to beat out. Spots 12 through 18: Xander Schauffele, Matt Kuchar, Kevin Kisner, Tony Finau, Kyle Stanley, Brian Harman and Kevin Na.

Woodland earned $334,712.50 for finishing in a tie with Thomas Pieters, Francisco Molinari and Justin Thomas at the PGA Championship.

Jon Rahm, of Spain, was the only one of five players who finished ahead of Woodland who has not won a major, and Peters, of Belgium, was the only one who tied him who is without a major.

Woodland’s winnings moved him to 32nd on the PGA Tour money list with $2,601,066, and 32nd in the FedExCup standings. He moved up to 39th in the Official World Golf Ranking.

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Tidbits on Round 4 PGA Championship playing partners Tiger Woods and Gary Woodland

Gary Woodland gestures after putting on the 18th green during the third round of the PGA Championship golf tournament at Bellerive Country Club, Saturday, Aug. 11, 2018, in St. Louis. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)

Gary Woodland gestures after putting on the 18th green during the third round of the PGA Championship golf tournament at Bellerive Country Club, Saturday, Aug. 11, 2018, in St. Louis. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson) by Brynn Anderson (AP Photo)

Welcome to the first breakfast version of Lunch Break.

In almost 40 years as a sportswriter, I can’t recall any organization doing as through a job supplying information as the PGA does for the fourth major. (Next year it will move to the second major, after The Masters, and will be played May 16-19 at Bethpage Black).

Consider some the facts and figures provided by the PGA staff after the third round about Gary Woodland and his playing partner today for a 1:35 p.m. tee time:

Woodland hit 15 of 18 greens in regulation in the first two rounds, but just 10 of 18 in the third round.

He made 152 feet, 5 inches of putts Thursday, 72 feet, 5 inches Friday, and 49 feet Saturday.

This is his seventh PGA. His best finish, tied for 12th, was in 2011. It's his best finish in a major and this is his 28th.

He ranks sixth this week with an average drive of 317.5 yards, behind Rory McIlroy (330.30, Jason Day and Brooks Koepka (325.8), Ollie Schniederjans (323) and Byeong Hun An (318.5).

Woodland is second to Brooks Koepka (1.59) in the tournament in strokes gained off the tee (1.255).

Woodland is the only one to make a triple bogey on No. 10 in the event, but the par-4 hole was the hardest on the course Saturday with a 4.3 average, compared to the easiest, the par-5 17th (4.45).

Woodland would rather be leading, but in some ways it might be less pressure coming from behind. He knows what he'll need to do to regain the lead.

"I'm going to have to play aggressive," he said. "Going to have to make a lot of birdies. It's going to take that tomorrow. All in all, we'll play aggressive and just stick to what we've been doing."

Woods had a similar outlook after his round: "Not just myself, but everyone's going to have to shoot low rounds. Its soft, it's gettable and you can't just go out there and make a bunch of pars. You're going to have to make some birdies."

Information provided on Woods includes but is not limited to:

This is the first time Tiger has been in the top 10 after 54 holes in consecutive majors since the 2012 British Open (fourth-place finish) and PGA (tied for sixth).

The four-time PGA Championship winner made five birdies and one bogey through eight holes and finished with 10 consecutive pars.

He played 29 holes Saturday, including 11 holes of his second round.

In his third round, he hit 10 of 14 fairways, 15 of 18 greens in regulation, was 3 for 3 scrambling and stroked 30 putts.

This is his first PGA since 2015, when he shot 75-73 and missed the cut.

Can tie Jack Nicklaus and Walter Hagen with the most PGA Championship titles (five).

Ranks 47th in FedEx Cup standings and the two-time FedEx Cup champion has not qualified for the playoffs since 2013.

Former KU All-American Ryan Vermeer sizes up the birdie putt he made on No. 8 at Bellerive on Friday in the 100th PGA as John Daly waits his turn. (Photo by Tom Keegan)

Former KU All-American Ryan Vermeer sizes up the birdie putt he made on No. 8 at Bellerive on Friday in the 100th PGA as John Daly waits his turn. (Photo by Tom Keegan)

That's just a small sampling of information provided on every player in the field, including the 20 club professionals who qualified in the PGA Professionals Championship, won by former University of Kansas All-American Ryan Vermeer, 40.

Ben Kern, the only club professional to make the cut, shot a 67 Saturday to move to 3-under for the tournament. Kern was just one of three players who made it through his round without a bogey, joining Daniel Berger (66) and Jon Rahm (66).

Vermeer’s 6-over was fifth best among club pros. By winning the club pros championship, Vermeer not only took home a $55,000 check, he qualified for six PGA Tour events next season. So if Chris Thompson can finish strong in the final two weeks of the Web.com Tour regular season and finish in the top 25, there could be a few PGA tour events featuring three Jayhawks. Wonder if a tournament director might put them in the same grouping for the first two rounds? I think the three Jayhawks would enjoy that.

Reply 1 comment from Pius Waldman

Woodland takes one stroke lead into 1:38 tee time

Gary Woodland, left, shakes hands with Kevin Kisner, right, on the ninth green after they finished the second round of the PGA Championship golf tournament at Bellerive Country Club, Friday, Aug. 10, 2018, in St. Louis. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)

Gary Woodland, left, shakes hands with Kevin Kisner, right, on the ninth green after they finished the second round of the PGA Championship golf tournament at Bellerive Country Club, Friday, Aug. 10, 2018, in St. Louis. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson) by Brynn Anderson (AP Photo)

St. Louis — Gary Woodland’s PGA Championship record of 130 strokes for two rounds held up as the lead heading into the third round after several players completed their second rounds Saturday morning.

Woodland, who is 10-under, holds a one-stroke lead over Kevin Kisner and a two-stroke lead over Brooks Koepka and Rickie Fowler on a star-studded leaderboard.

Woodland, Kisner and Koepka tee off at 1:38 p.m. at Bellerive Country Club.

Other past major winners with striking distance include Dustin Johnson and Charl Schwartzel at 7-under, Justin Thomas at 6-under, Adam Scott, Francesco Molinari and Jason Day at 5-under, Zach Johnson, Tiger Woods, Webb Simpson and Stewart Cink at 4-under and Jordan Spieth, Keegan Bradley and Rory McIlroy at 3-under.

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Gary Woodland competing in U.S. Open for eighth time

Dustin Johnson chips onto the second green as Gary Woodland looks on during a practice round for the U.S. Open Golf Championship, Monday, June 11, 2018, in Southampton, N.Y. (AP Photo/Julie Jacobson)

Dustin Johnson chips onto the second green as Gary Woodland looks on during a practice round for the U.S. Open Golf Championship, Monday, June 11, 2018, in Southampton, N.Y. (AP Photo/Julie Jacobson) by Julie Jacobson (AP photographer)

The U.S. Open doesn't randomly group golfers into threesomes when making tee times. Think themes.

For example, the English threesome of Tyrrell Hatton, Danny Willett and Ian Poulter tees off No. 1 at Shinnecock Hills at 6:51 (Central time). Spaniards Sergio Garcia, Jon Rahm and Rafa Cabrero Bello tee off No. 1 at 12:14 p.m.

Money leader Justin Thomas, Official World Golf Rankings leader Dustin Johnson and TV ratings leader Tiger Woods tee off No. 1 at 12:47 p.m.

So it's never too tough to guess Gary Woodland's playing partners with a reasonable degree of accuracy. Think long ball.

Woodland, who ranks fifth on the PGA tour in driving distance (313.3), ranks third in his threesome in that statistic. Tony Finau (315.3) is second on tour, Luke List (314.6) fourth. They tee off at 12:03 p.m. from the first tee. FS1 and Fox will televise the U.S. Open.

Woodland, who on Super Bowl Sunday won the Phoenix Open for his third tour title, is coming off a slump-busting, tied-for-23rd finish in the Memorial two weeks ago. Knocked out of contention by a blow-up round on Saturday, Woodland shot 69-68-75-67 for the tournament.

The strong showing enabled Woodland to break a streak of five consecutive missed cuts.

This will be Woodland's eight U.S. Open. He missed the cut three times and his best finish, tied for 23rd, came at Congressional in 2011.

A look at how Woodland, 34, stacks up statistically against the leaders in various categories heading into the U.S. Open:

Category Gary Woodland rank PGA tour leader
Official World Golf Ranking 55 Dustin Johnson
2018 PGA Tour money list
32 ($2,011,702) Justin Thomas ($5,764,100)
Vegasinsider.com odds to win 175/1 Dustin Johnson 7/1
Driving distance 5 (313.3) Trey Mullinax (318.4)
Driving accuracy T69 (63.57)
Henrik Stenson (77.9)
Greens in regulation 5 (71.35) Henrik Stenson (75.0)
Scrambling 196 (52.47) Louis Oosthuizen (67.98)
Sand-save pct. 192 (39.84) Phil Mickelson (64.21)
Strokes gained putting 70 Jason Day
Source for stats: PGAtour.com
Reply 1 comment from David Kelley-Wood

KU men’s postseason golf, from eagles to triples

KU senior golfer Daniel Hudson, right, takes some chip shots inside the new KU Golf facility at the Jayhawk Club. Pictured from left are team members Harry Hillier, his brother Charlie Hillier, Andy Spencer, Ben Sigel and Hudson.

KU senior golfer Daniel Hudson, right, takes some chip shots inside the new KU Golf facility at the Jayhawk Club. Pictured from left are team members Harry Hillier, his brother Charlie Hillier, Andy Spencer, Ben Sigel and Hudson. by Mike Yoder

Stillwater, Okla. — Illustrations of the punitive nature of Karsten Creek, site of the NCAA championship, are easy to find.

First, consider that Northwestern, which led the first day after stroke play with a team score of 8-under 280, didn’t make the first cut, blowing up to 308 in the second round and finishing at 296 in Sunday’s third round.

The Wildcats tied for 16th with Stanford and only the top 15 advanced to today’s final round of stroke play. The top eight advance to match play.

Second, consider that Kansas which did not have anything higher than a double bogey on a card en route to winning the three-round Pacific Regional and had just four doubles, had 12 doubles and seven triples in three rounds at Karsten Creek.

Third, realize that the more Oklahoma State players compete on their home course, the more the point that conservative golf is the smart way to go.

“This course is so demanding you can’t really force anything out here,” said OSU’s Matthew Wolf, who shot 69 Sunday. “As soon as you force things and go after pins, that’s when you start making high numbers and mistakes that you wouldn’t normally make. I think we really had a good game plan sticking with being conservative.”

Karsten Creek has been OSU’s home course since 1994.

“That’s such an advantage we have knowing the course,” Wolf said.“Things might look pretty easy from the fairway, but if you miss it in one direction you’re probably making par or bogey. We stuck to our game plan well, aimed for the middle of the green and took advantage of the par 5s.”

KU senior Daniel Sutton, foreground, and other members of the KU golf team practice putting inside the new KU golf facility at the Jayhawk Club, formerly the Alvamar Country Club. The team is the 15th seed in the NCAA Men’s Golf Championships, which begin Friday in Stillwater, Okla.

KU senior Daniel Sutton, foreground, and other members of the KU golf team practice putting inside the new KU golf facility at the Jayhawk Club, formerly the Alvamar Country Club. The team is the 15th seed in the NCAA Men’s Golf Championships, which begin Friday in Stillwater, Okla. by Mike Yoder

A look at each of KU's players' score breakdowns from the NCAA finals:

Golfer Eagles Birdies
Pars Bogeys Doubes Triples Total Score
Daniel Sutton, Sr. 1 9 34 7 2 1 219 (+3)
Daniel Hudson, Sr. 0 9 34 9 1 1 221 (+5)
Harry Hillier, Fr. 1
11 27 8 4 3 228 (+12)
Andy Spencer, So.
0 7 30 14 3 0 229 (+13)
Charlie Hillier, Jr. 0 4 31 14 2 3 239 (+23)
Total
2 40 156 52 12 8 +30 (Counting top four
scores each day)

A week earlier, at The Reserve at Spanos Park in Stockton, Calif., crooked numbers were far more rare. The five Jayhawks combined for only four doubles and didn't have any doubles en route to the winning the Pacific Regional.

Player Birdies Pars Bogeys Doubles Total Score
Andy Spencer 15 32 7 0 208 (-8)
Daniel Sutton 15 30 8 1 211 (-5)
Charlie Hillier 11 35 7 1 214 (-2)
Daniel Hudson 11 33 10 0 215 (-1)
Harry Hillier 11 35 6 2 215 (-1)

The players' combined breakdowns for both the regional and the finals:

Player Eagles Birdies Pars Bogeys Doubles Triples Total Score
Daniel Sutton 1 24 64 15 3 1 430 (-2)
Daniel Hudson 0 20 67 19 1 1 436 (+4)
Andy Spencer 0 22 62 21 3 0 437 (+5)
Harry Hillier 1 22 62 14 6
3 443 (+11)
Charlie Hillier 0 15 66 21 3 3 453 (+21)
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Steady Kansas one of seven Big 12 schools in men’s golf finals

In becoming one of four Big 12 schools to win one of the six NCAA men's golf regionals and one of seven Big 12 schools to advance to the finals, Kansas was a model of steadiness and consistency.

KU's team score for the three days was -7, -6, -7. For comparison purposes, second-place Stanford scored -3, -5, -11. All five KU golfers finished in the top 23 in the 75-man regional. Stanford had just two in the top 23.

Eleven of the 13 teams in the Pacific Regional in Stockton, California, had at least one eagle during the tournament. Kansas and Southern California were the lone exceptions.

All 15 rounds played by KU's five golfers fell in the 67-to-74 range and 11 of the 15 were in the 69-to-72 range.

Name Class Hometown NCAA Regional score NCAA Regional tidbits
Andy Spencer Sophomore Leawood 69-69-70—208 3.77 average on par-4 holes
lowest in regional.
Daniel Sutton Senior Birmingham, England
67-73-71—211
Opening-day 67 team's best
score for tournament.
Charlie Hillier Junior Te Puke, New Zealand 72-73-69—214 KU's low scorer on final day.
Harry Hillier Freshman Te Puke, New Zealand 74-69-72—215 Averaged team-best 4.5
on par-5 holes.
Daniel Hudson Senior Lagrange, Illinois 73-71-71—215 Team-best 1-under
on par-3 holes.

The regional round of tournament amounted to a resounding endorsement for the Big 12.

Kansas, Texas, Oklahoma and Oklahoma State won a regional, and Baylor, Iowa State and Texas Tech also will be among the field of 30 at the NCAA men's golf championships at Oklahoma State's home course, Karsten Creek, May 25-30.

This is the first time the Big 12 has had seven schools advance to the finals. TCU, which finished eighth in the Pacific Regional won by Kansas, was the only Big 12 school in the NCAA tournament that did not advance.

Reply 2 comments from Dirk Medema Pius Waldman

Kansas wins regional, advances to NCAA national championships in men’s golf for first time since 2000

When Kansas last advanced beyond the NCAA regionals in men’s golf, President Bill Clinton had recently announced that GPS access would no longer be restricted to just the U.S. military, and the Xbox did not yet exist.

It had been that long, 2000, to be exact. The drought has ended.

The Jayhawks played their way into the NCAA national championships by winning the Pacific Retional in most impressive fashion Wednesday at Spanos Regional Course in Stockton, California.

The top five schools among 13 competing at the regional qualified and Kansas left no doubt from start to finish in the final round that it would be included.

The Jayhawks finished one stroke ahead of Stanford, two ahead of Iowa State and five in front of Alabama. Oregon was in safe position to secure the final spot.

Each school had five golfers competing, but just the four best rounds each day counted toward the team score.

KU’s strong depth proved to the be the difference. All five golfers finished the regional with under-par scores.

KU’s individual finishes and places at the time its last player finished his round: Andy Spencer (-8, T5), Daniel Sutton (-5, T10), Charlie Hillier (-2, T24).Harry Hillier and Daniel Hudson both finished the tournament at 1-under.

The national championships take place May 25-30 at Karsten Creek, Oklahoma State’s home course.

Oregon’s Norman Xiong shot a 62 Wednesday and was low medalist at 15-under for the three rounds, edging Stanford’s Brandon Wu (-14).

I filed updates throughout the day, tracking the scores on golfstat.com:

3 p.m.: Andy Spencer, who birdied No. 17 to get back to 2-under on the day and 8-under for the tournament, is KU’s lone remaining player on the course. Daniel Sutton finished at 5-under, Charlie Hillier at 2-under, Harry Hillier and Daniel Hudson at 1-under.

2:45 p.m.: Freshman Harry Hillier (-20) finished his third and final round at -1, which also was his score for the tournament and Kansas expanded its lead over second-place Iowa State to three strokes.

2:30 p.m.: Junior Charlie Hillier, the first KU player to complete his round, carded a bogey on No. 18, but still shot a 3-under 69 for the Jayhawks, tied for first with Iowa State at 19-under.

2:15 p.m.: In a remarkable show of depth and consistency, all five Kansas players are under par in today's round. Andy Spencer, Daniel Sutton and Daniel Hudson each have birdied their most recent holes and Charlie and Harry Hillier have gone birdie, par in their most recent two holes. Kansas (-22) is in first place, four strokes ahead of second-place Iowa State.

2 p.m.: How is that Iowa State and Kansas are doing so well in a sport that warm-weather schools tend to dominate?

Kansas coach Jamie Bermel and Cyclones coach Andrew Tank have taken similar paths in building their rosters. Both coaches try to land the best players in their states and then head overseas to recruit tough-minded players.

KU’s five players competing in the regional come from Kansas (Andy Spencer), Illinois (Daniel Hudson), England (Daniel Sutton) and New Zealand (Charlie and Harry Hillier).

Iowa State has two players from Iowa competing, two from New Zealand and one from Australia.

With their five players having anywhere from two to three holes remaining, Kansas stands in first at 21-under, three strokes ahead of Iowa State and Alabama, who are tied for second.

Oregon’s Norman Xiong and Stanford’s Brandon Wu are tied for the individual lead at 12-under and KU’s Andy Spencer is tied for fifth at 8-under.

1:45 p.m.: Junior Charlie Hillier of New Zealand is having a terrific final round in the Pacific Regional at Spanos Regional Course in Stockton, California. Through 16 holes, Hillier had made five birdies and one bogey. His brother Harry is a bomber off the tee, but Charlie’s strength is his exceptional short game. Kansas (-21) has opened a three-stroke lead on second-place Iowa State and is 16 strokes ahead of sixth-place LSU.

1:30 p.m.: On a day when the pressure was greatest, all five Jayhawks have delivered steady rounds and not one is over par. Charlie Hillier is -3 for the day, Daniel Sutton -2, Andy Spencer -1 and Daniel Hudson and Harry Hillier are even par and Kansas remains atop the leaderboard at 19-under, one stroke in front of Iowa State.

1:15 p.m.: KU's impressive performance in the clutch continues and the Jayhawks are back on top at 20-under, two strokes ahead of Iowa State. Senior Daniel Hudson of Birmingham, England, birdied the first three holes of the back nine to move into a tie for eighth at 6-under, two strokes behind sophomore Andy Spencer of Leawood, who is tied for third.

1 p.m.: The Big 12 certainly is flexing its golf muscles in regionals across the country.

Iowa State (-20) leads Kansas by a stroke in the Pacific Regional.

Oklahoma State has an eight-stroke lead at the Columbus Regional and Texas Tech is fifth there.

Texas has a 27-stroke lead in the Raleigh Regional and Baylor is in third at the College Station Regional.

The NCAA Championships will be held from May 25-30 at Karsten Creek, home course of Oklahoma State.

12:45 p.m. The Jayhawks' aren't taking any chances and are delivering clutch performances up and down the lineup. They are tied with Iowa State for first at 19-under, 16 strokes ahead of sixth-place LSU.

Andy Spencer is tied for third at 8-under and all five golfers are tied for 24th or better in a field of 75 golfers.

12:30 p.m.: Kansas sophomore Andy Spencer, the team’s steadiest performer throughout the regional, finished his front nine with consecutive birdies to move into a tie for third place with Iowa State’s Sam Vincent at 8-under. Spencer shot 69-69 the first two rounds.

Kansas, in second place at 18-under, one stroke behind Iowa State, has a 15-stroke lead on sixth-place Colorado.

The regional includes four schools ranked int the top 20 nationally, but it looks as if just two, No. 7 Alabama and No. 18 Stanford, will qualify. No. 6 LSU is in eighth, five strokes out of fifth at even par, and No. 19 Southern California is a stroke behind LSU.

12:15 p.m.: New Zealand has been very, very good to Big 12 schools at the Pacific Regional.

Sam Vincent and Denzel Ieremia of New Zealand are Iowa State's two top scorers. Vincent is in third, Ieremia in fifth on the individual leaderboard, helping the Cyclones to the top of the team standings at 19-under, one stroke ahead of second-place Kansas. Brothers Charlie (tied for 20th) and Harry Hillier (tied for 24th) of New Zealand are competing well for KU.

Midway through the round, Kansas has a 12-stroke cushion on fifth-place Oregon.

Noon: Tied for first with Iowa State at 18-under, KU is 12 strokes ahead of fifth-place Oregon. KU has shown remarkable balance and depth. All five players are under par for the tournament. Andy Spencer is tied for fifth at 6-under. Daniel Sutton (-4) is tied for 11th. Charlie Hillier (-2) is tied for 19th and Harry Hillier and Daniel Hudson are tied for 22nd at 1-under.

11:45 a.m.: Junior Charlie Hillier has finished his front nine in 3-under with six pars and three birdies and Kansas is tied with Iowa State at 19-under, 12 strokes in front of fifth-place TCU. Things are looking good.

11:30 a.m.: Harry Hillier, Daniel Sutton and Daniel Hudson all have carded a bogey since the last update and KU has fallen into second place at 16-under and the Jayhawks' lead over fifth-place TCU has dropped from 11 to eight strokes.

11:15 a.m.: The Hillier brothers from New Zealand came to play today. Charlie a junior is 2-under through seven holes. Harry, a freshman, is 2-under through six holes. Kansas sits atop the leaderboard at 19-under, two strokes ahead of second-place Iowa State, and 11 strokes ahead of fifth-place TCU.

11 a.m.: Kansas is off to a blistering start in the third and final round of the Pacific Regional of the NCAA men's golf tournament.

With their five players (only four best count toward team score) having played through anywhere from two to six holes, the Jayhawks are 5-under on the day and in a first-place tie with Iowa State at 18-under.

Reply 11 comments from Marius7782 Buck Bukaty Titus Canby Dirk Medema David Kelley-Wood The_muser Tom Keegan Dave Coen Pius Waldman

Kansas gunning for first appearance in NCAA golf championships since 2000

The Kansas men’s golf team made it to an NCAA regional nine times in Ross Randall’s final 10 seasons of a 27-year career as head coach, a stretch that included eight consecutive appearances (1998-2005). Upon Randall’s retirement after the 2007 season, KU experienced an eight-year drought and is in the midst of a revival under sixth-year coach Jamie Bermel.

The Jayhawks are playing in an NCAA Regional for the third consecutive year, this time the Pacific Regional in Stockton.

If KU can finish in the top five, it will advance to the NCAA Finals for the first time since 2000. Off to a good start, the Jayhawks were in second at the beginning of the second of three days of competition.

Kansas is seeking its sixth appearance in the NCAA Championships.

A look at some details of the first five:

Year Place in NCAA
Championships
Top Individual
at regional
Top individual
at championships
1989 22 John Ogden/ John Sinovic
Sean Thayer MC/148
1993 15 Matt Gogel Matt Gogel (T-34)
1996 15 Dan Rooney Slade Adams (T-21)
1999 22 Chris Thompson Ryan Vermeer (T-23)
2000 21 Conrad Roberts Ryan Vermeer (T-30)

Live scoring is available at golfstat.com. It offers a hole-by-hole scorecard for each player. A quick check of it this morning revealed that Daniel Sutton had carded an early bogey, Andy Spencer an early birdie, drawing them into a tie for fourth place in the individual standings. Shortly after that, KU had pulled within a stroke of first-place Iowa State in the team standings, thanks to consecutive birdies from Harry Hillier.

Warning: Tracking golfers via live scoring can be very addictive.

2:08 p.m. update: Kansas is in first place in the team standings, one stroke ahead of Alabama, the nation's No. 7-ranked team.

2:12 p.m. update: Kansas has fallen two strokes behind Alabama.

2:19 p.m. update: The Jayhawks have drawn within one stroke of Alabama.

2:32 p.m. update: KU and the Crimson Tide are tied for first at 14-under.

2:48 p.m. update: Kansas has fallen into second-place tie with Iowa State at 13-under, one stroke behind Alabama.

2:56 p.m. update: Kansas has dropped into third place, one stroke behind co-leaders at 14-under Alabama and Iowa State.

3:09 p.m. update: The top four scores from the five golfers competing for each team count, so after two days, that's eight rounds per team, a lot of room for separation, yet somehow the team scores are almost always so close. That always blows me away.

Alabama and Iowa State are atop the team leaderboard with 562 strokes (14-under) and Kansas is third with 563 (13-under). The rest of the schools still have golfers on the course. At the moment, Stanford stands four at 8-under, TCU fifth at 7-under.

Reply 8 comments from Jerry Ryan Dirk Medema Tom Keegan The_muser

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