Full-Strength Wildcats Take Aim at Desert Shootout

MANHATTAN, Kan. – The Kansas State men’s golf team will head west for the first time in 2016 to Goodyear, Arizona, the site of the Desert Shootout, Friday and Saturday at Palm Valley Golf Club. 

The Wildcats, paired with Northern Colorado, Tulsa and Idaho, are set to tee off the first two rounds on Friday beginning at 9:30 a.m. (CT) with Saturday’s final round also slated to begin at 9:30 a.m.

The par-72, 7,015-yard course will host K-State for the first time since March 2014, when the Wildcats placed fifth out of 15 teams with a score of 23-under par 841. Only senior Kyle Weldon remains from that trip, in which he led the charge for K-State with his 10-under par 206 that tied him for sixth place.

“We are really looking forward to playing this weekend. We have had a good week of practice and it's good to be back at full strength with Jeremy (Gandon) returning to the lineup,” said head coach Grant Robbins. “The course sets up well for us. It's going to be a matter of getting the putts to fall and making a lot of birdies.”

The Wildcats will use their third different lineup of the spring, featuring Weldon and Gandon in addition to Matt Green, Andrew Beckler and Oscar Spolander. 

Green moves into K-State’s No. 1 position following his second consecutive top-20 finish when he tied for 13th place at the Tiger Invitational with a 3-over par 219. Gandon’s addition to the lineup marks his first nod of spring despite the freshman coming off a fall slate that included two top-five finishes and a team-leading 73.17 stroke average. 

Weldon will look to better his 2014 performance in the Desert Shootout and improve upon his team-leading number of rounds at even or under par (9), while both Beckler and Spolander seek to end their streaks of rounds over par. 

The field of 20 at this year’s Desert Shootout will feature host school Denver and also include BYU, Boise State, Colorado State, Columbia, Eastern Michigan, George Washington, Grand Canyon, Idaho, Iowa State, Kansas, Nebraska, Northern Colorado, Northern Illinois, Omaha, Southern Utah, Tulsa, Wichita State and UMKC.

Live scoring from Palm Valley can be found at www.birdiefire.com, while updates from the Desert Shootout will be available at www.k-statesports.com as soon as they are made available following each day of competition.