K-State’s Gandon in Second at Big 12 Championship

TRINITY, Texas – Kansas State men’s golf freshman Jeremy Gandon is tied for second place after firing a 5-under par 67 in Saturday’s third round of play of the 2016 Big 12 Championship at the Whispering Pines Golf Club. Gandon’s score of 67 put him at 4-under par 212 through 54 holes, two shots behind the leader heading into Sunday’s final round.

The Charpey, France, native helped K-State card an even-par 288 on Saturday, keeping the team at 29-over par with a three-round total of 893 to sit in seventh place.

Saturday’s third round was delayed until 12:30 p.m., after thunderstorms disrupted the morning schedule. However, that did not stop Gandon and the Wildcats from coming out hot in the third round, as the team sat at 3-under par through the first nine holes. Only three total birdies on the back nine slowed K-State’s effort to climb the board, as the Wildcats’ late bogeys forced them back to even par for the day.

“It was a solid round for us today. The conditions were perfect for scoring, but unfortunately, we weren't able to really take advantage of Jeremy's great round,” said head coach Grant Robbins. “However, I'm pleased with where we are at. Everyone is playing well. We just have to stick to the process and keep focusing on playing the course shot by shot and finish strong tomorrow.”

Like Friday’s rounds, Gandon worked ahead from the start, jumping out to 4-under par through six holes. The freshman would birdie the par 4 10th, before carding pars on his final eight holes to end his round at 5-under par 67. It was his lowest round since shooting a 6-under par 66 during the final round of the Golfweek Conference Challenge on Sept. 27. 

Gandon is joined in the top-20 by freshman Andrew Beckler, who carded a 1-over par 73 on Saturday. Beckler parred 14 holes on the afternoon, with back-to-back birdies on holes seven and eight to move him to 1-under. He would fall to 1-over after a double bogey on No. 18, dropping him to a tie for 19th place at 8-over par 224 for the weekend.

Tied at 40th are junior Matt Green and senior Kyle Weldon. Green bettered his efforts from Friday, but the Wildcats’ No. 1 golfer was unable to overcome five bogeys on Saturday, settling for a 4-over par 76. Conversely, Weldon improved 10 strokes from his second round to his third round, shooting an even-par 72 on Saturday. The Des Peres, Missouri, native was able to collect 14 pars with a bogey on No. 18 ultimately knocking him back to even par. Both Green and Weldon are at 16-over par 232 for the tournament.

The Wildcats’ final member on the board is junior Jack Rickabaugh, who fell 13 spots on Saturday with his 6-over par 78. Rickabaugh battled bogey troubles throughout the third round, beginning his first two holes at 2-over par and adding five more in the round. He is tied for 44th place at 17-over par 233.  

The top six teams heading into Sunday’s final round carded 7-under par or better rounds on Saturday, including overall leader Texas, whose 8-under par 280 matched Texas A&M’s 2010 team for the lowest score ever at Whispering Pines in the Big 12 Championship. Oklahoma State also matched the record at 8-under par on Saturday but sit seven strokes behind the Longhorns in second place.

Atop the individual board for the second straight day is TCU’s Paul Barjon, whose 4-under par 68 on Saturday moved him to 6-under par overall. Barjon holds a two stroke lead over Gandon, Oklahoma’s Grant Hirschman and Oklahoma State’s Statton Nolen. Hirschman set a new Big 12 Championship record for lowest round on Saturday, ripping off a 9-under par 63 that included eight birdies and an eagle. 

The final round from Whispering Pines Golf Club is set to begin at 8 a.m., on Sunday, with the Wildcats teeing off at 8:22 a.m. Live results from the Big 12 Championship 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, 292-293-280--865 (+1); 2. Oklahoma State, 292-300-280--872 (+8); 3. Texas Tech, 298-295-281--874 (+10); 4. Oklahoma, 307-297-281--885 (+21); 5. TCU, 302-306-281--889 (+25); 6. Baylor, 309-300-281--890 (+26); 7. Kansas State, 302-303-288--893 (+29); 8. Kansas, 307-309-289--905 (+41); 9. Iowa State, 305-312-292--909 (+45); 10. West Virginia, 311-314-289--914 (+50).

Top Individuals: T1. Paul Barjon, TCU, 69-73-68--210 (-6); T2. Jeremy Gandon, Kansas State, 70-75-67--212 (-4); T2. Stratton Nolen, Oklahoma State, 71-73-68--212 (-4); T2. Grant Hirschman, Oklahoma, 73-76-63—212 (-4); 5. Doug Ghim, Texas, 74-72-67--213 (-3).

K-State Individuals: T2. Jeremy Gandon, Kansas State, 70-75-67--212 (-4); T19. Andrew Beckler, 76-75-73--224 (+8); T40. Matt Green, 78-78-76--232 (+16); T40. Kyle Weldon, Kansas State, 78-82-72--232 (+16); T44. Jack Rickabaugh, 80-75-78--233 (+17).