Gandon Ties for Fourth, Cats Sixth at Big 12 Championship

TRINITY, Texas – Kansas State men’s golfer Jeremy Gandon matched the second-best finish ever by a Wildcat at the Big 12 Championship after his 1-over par 73 during Sunday’s final round tied him for fourth place at the Whispering Pines Golf Club. Gandon’s 72-hole score of 3-under par 285 is the best score versus par by a K-State golfer in the Big 12 Championship era.

Gandon, who became the 10th Wildcat to earn a spot on the Big 12 All-Tournament team and the first freshman to earn the honor, helped K-State move up one spot to finish in a tie for sixth place at 33-over par 1,185.

Gandon birdied his opening hole, the 10th, to start his day and would go bogey-birdie-par-birdie his next four holes to get to 2-under through five, positioning him in first place on the individual board at 6-under. However, the Charpey, France native was unable to birdie another hole down the stretch and dropped back to 1-over par on the day after back-to-back bogeys on holes four and five. He made five consecutive pars to end his round as he tied Matt Van Cleave (2005) for the second-best finish by a Wildcat in a Big 12 Championship and finished one place shy of tying Robert Streb (third in 2009) for the top spot in school history.

As a team, the Wildcats were hit by the double-bogey bug on Sunday, accumulating five doubles in total. K-State carded a 4-over par 292 in the final round en route to its tie for sixth place with Kansas.

“I'm really proud of the team this week. They did a great job of grinding and hanging in there today even when they weren't at their best,” said head coach Grant Robbins. “It was also nice to see our freshmen, Jeremy and Andrew (Beckler) have such a good week playing in their first Big 12 Championship.”

While Gandon had the scorecard to watch on Sunday, it was another freshman in Beckler that had the best day for the Wildcats. The Topeka, Kansas, product bogeyed his opening hole but bounced back with three-consecutive birdies to get to 2-under par through four holes. He would par 13 of his final 14 holes to end his round at 1-under par 71. His 72-hole score of 7-over par 295 tied him for 16th place in his first time competing at the Big 12 Championship.

Junior Jack Rickabaugh was close behind Beckler on Sunday, carding an even-par 72. Rickabaugh was able to overcome a triple bogey and a double bogey in his round by making six birdies. His weekend finished at 17-over par 305 to tie for 40th place.

Matt Green, the Wildcats’ top golfer of the spring, continued to feel the wrath of Whispering Pines on Sunday during his 4-over par round. Bogey woes troubled Green for much of the weekend and four more on Sunday prevented him from staying near par. A total of seven birdies through Green’s four rounds hurt the junior, slipping him back to 43rd at 20-over par 308.

K-State’s lone senior, Kyle Weldon, rounded out the lineup on Sunday with a 7-over par 79. Three double bogeys squandered Weldon’s chances for a low final round as he moved back to finish at 23-over par in his last Big 12 Championship.

“I'm very excited about the future of this program,” Robbins said. “We are recruiting the right guys and they represent everything we want to be about both on and off the course. The future is very bright for K-State golf.”

The Big 12 Championship was captured by Texas for the fourth-consecutive year. The Longhorns shot a staggering 15-under par on Sunday to win by 26 strokes. Texas’ lineup earned a total of 21 birdies during the final round, as the Longhorns placed four golfers inside the top-10. The individual title went to Oklahoma State’s Stratton Nolen, whose 2-under round on Sunday was just enough to hold off Texas’ Beau Hossler down the stretch. Nolen won the event by one stroke, using his third under-par round to finish the weekend at 6-under par 282.

Selections for the 2016 NCAA Division I Men’s Golf Championships will be announced on Golf Channel Morning Drive and streamed live on the Golf Channel website on Thursday, May 5. Morning Drive starts at 7:30 a.m. (CT) with the regional selections announcement taking place at 8:30 a.m,

The field for the 2016 NCAA Division I Men’s Golf Championships will consist of 81 qualifying schools, which includes 31 conference automatic qualifiers, 50 teams selected at-large and 45 individuals not on those teams.

Big 12 Championship

Trinity, Texas 

Whispering Pines Golf Club

Par 72, 7,473 yards

Team Scores: 1. Texas, 292-293-280-273--1138 (-14); 2. Oklahoma State, 292-300-280-292--1164 (+12); 3. Texas Tech, 298-295-281-291--1165 (+13); 4. Oklahoma, 307-297-281-291--1176 (+24); 5. Baylor, 309-300-281-292--1182 (+30); T6. Kansas State, 302-303-288-292--1185 (+33); T6. Kansas, 307-309-289-280--1185 (+33); 8. TCU, 302-306-281-298--1187 (+35); 9. Iowa State, 305-312-292-287--1196 (+44); 10. West Virginia, 311-314-289-291--1205 (+53).

Top Individuals: 1. Stratton Nolen, Oklahoma State, 71-73-68-70--282 (-6); T2. Beau Hossler, Texas, 72-70-72-69—283 (-5); T2. Paul Barjon, TCU, 69-73-68-73--283 (-5); T4. Jeremy Gandon, Kansas State, 70-75-67-73--285 (-3); T4. Doug Ghim, Texas, 74-72-67-72--285 (-3).

K-State Individuals: T4. Jeremy Gandon, Kansas State, 70-75-67-73--285 (-3); T16. Andrew Beckler, 76-75-73-71--295 (+7); T40. Jack Rickabaugh, 80-75-78-72--305 (+17); 43. Matt Green, 78-78-76-76--308 (+20); 47. Kyle Weldon, Kansas State, 78-82-72-79--311 (+23).