K-State in Fifth, Gandon Fourth at Big 12 Championship

TRINITY, Texas – Behind freshman Jeremy Gandon’s 1-over par outing, the Kansas State men’s golf teams sits in fifth place at the conclusion of 36 holes of the Big 12 Championship on Friday at the Whispering Pines Golf Club in Trinity, Texas. The Wildcats are 29-over par 605 heading into Saturday’s third round of play.

K-State shot out of the gates to begin play on Friday, briefly holding down the top spot on the leaderboard behind a series of birdies from Gandon. The Charpey, France, native birdied the final three holes of his front nine during the first round to get to 4-under par, inching K-State out front, but the Wildcats couldn’t overcome mounting bogeys, dropping to a tie for fourth place at 14-over par 302 after the first round. A second round score of 15-over par has K-State 20 shots off the lead – but only one shot away from a tie for fourth – heading into the weekend.

“I’m really proud of the guys today. We had some trouble finishing off both rounds but they really battled,” said head coach Grant Robbins. “It's a grind when you have to play 36 holes on a course as hard as this with the wind. I thought they did a very good job of staying in control of their emotions and putting bad shots behind them. We have a lot of holes left. We just need to keep focusing on the things we can control and the result will take care of itself.”

Gandon, who also held the individual lead for some time on Friday, earned a total of 13 pars to finish his first round in second place at 2-under par 70. The freshman battled his way to 1-over par through 15 holes during his second round before suffering from two bogeys to end his day and second round at 3-over par 75. He heads into Saturday in fourth place at 1-over par 145. 

Fellow freshman Andrew Beckler is not far down the leaderboard, currently in a tie for 15th place at 7-over par 151. Beckler’s up-and-down first round included seven bogeys with three birdies filtered in between, amounting to a 4-over par round. The Topeka, Kansas native’s second go at the course ended at 3-over, but did feature 13 pars.  

Junior’s Jack Rickabaugh and Matt Green sit close together at 11-over and 12-over par, respectively. Rickabaugh moved up 11 spots in the second round following a first round score of 8-over par 80. While both rounds for Rickabaugh included six bogeys, his second round on Friday included three birdies and helped him bounce back to card a 3-over in the afternoon. Green, in a tie for 34th, lacked rhythm throughout much of Friday’s rounds. Two birdies and two bogeys for K-State’s number one golfer had him at even par through his first 13 holes, but he would drop to 6-over par 78 after the first 18. Green was unable to get out in front during his second round as well, with two double bogeys sinking him to a duplicate 6-over par scorecard. 

Rounding out K-State’s lineup was senior Kyle Weldon, who’s scorecards of 78 and 82 have him at 16-over par 160. Weldon was only able to grab two birdies on Friday compared to 11 bogeys and two double bogeys. 

Three-time defending Big 12 Champions, Texas, holds down the top spot after day one. The Longhorns went 4-over and then 5-over par for their two rounds and are in first place by seven strokes at 9-over par 585. Texas’ Beau Hossler, the nation’s top ranked individual, is atop the player leaderboard alongside TCU’s Paul Barjon. Hossler and Barjon are the only two players in the tournament under par, as their 2-under par 142’s have them out front by two strokes. 

The third round of the Big 12 Championship is set to begin Saturday morning at 9:00 a.m. Live results from Whispering Pines Golf Club can be followed on www.golfstat.com, while results will be posted at www.k-statesports.com at the conclusion of the round.

Big 12 Championship

Trinity, Texas 

Whispering Pines Golf Club

Par 72, 7,473 yards

Team Scores: 1. Texas, 292-293--585 (+9); 2. Oklahoma State, 292-300--592 (+16); 3. Texas Tech, 298-295--593 (+17); 4. Oklahoma, 307-297--604 (+28); 5. Kansas State, 302-303--605 (+29); 6. TCU, 302-306--608 (+32); 7. Baylor, 309-300--609 (+33); 8. Kansas, 307-309--616 (+40); 9. Iowa State, 305-312--617 (+41); 10. West Virginia, 311-314--625 (+49).

Top Individuals: T1. Paul Barjon, TCU, 69-73--142 (-2); T1. Beau Hossler, Texas, 72-70--142 (-2); 3. Stratton Nolen, Oklahoma State, 71-73--144 (E); 4. Jeremy Gandon, Kansas State, 70-75—145 (+1); T5. Doug Ghim, Texas, 74-72—146 (+2); T5. Scottie Scheffler, Texas, 71-75—146 (+2). 

K-State Individuals: 4. Jeremy Gandon, Kansas State, 70-75—145 (+1); T15. Andrew Beckler, 76-75--151 (+7); T31. Jack Rickabaugh, 80-75--155 (+11); T34. Matt Green, 78-78--156 (+12); T42. Kyle Weldon, Kansas State, 78-82—160 (+16).