K-State Heads to San Antonio to Kick-Off The Spring

Thomas Birdsey

Feb. 11, 2011

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MANHATTAN, Kan. - The Kansas State men’s golf team will travel to San Antonio, Texas, to compete in the UTSA Oak Hills Invitational at the Oak Hills Country Club, Monday and Tuesday, Feb. 14-15. Before the event, on Saturday, Feb. 12, the Wildcats will compete in a Tri Match with North Texas and Oklahoma at the La Cantera Golf Club on the Palmer Course at 12:30 p.m. to get a warm-up for the UTSA Invitational. The tournament, which marks the start of the spring season for the Wildcats, tees off with a shotgun start at 8 a.m., on Monday. Tuesday’s final-round tee times off No. 1 and No. 10 will begin at 7:30 a.m. Live results can be found at golfstat.com.

THE LINEUP: The Wildcats will be led into action by a trio of freshmen in Thomas Birdsey, Tyler Norris and Jack Watson. Birdsey and Watson have combined for five top-20 finishes and two top-5 finishes on the season. They will be joined by sophomore, Ben Juffer as well as senior Ross Geubelle to round out the scoring lineup. It marks the first time this season that this lineup has been used.

LOOK AT THE FIELD: The 16-team field includes No. 20 Texas Tech, Air Force, Baylor, Illinois State, Iowa State, Kansas State, Louisiana-Lafayette, North Texas, Oklahoma, Sam Houston State, Southeastern Louisiana, Stephen F. Austin, Texas State, Tulsa, UTSA and Wichita State.

YOUTH MOVEMENT: With 70 percent of the K-State roster being made up of underclassmen, the 2010-11 Wildcats have had a bevy of young golfers receive invaluable experience. Those underclassmen are taking advantage, accounting for nine of the team’s 11 top-20 finishes in just six tournaments during the fall, including both top-5 finishes. K-State’s freshmen class was ranked 14th in the latest golfstat.com Freshman Impact Rankings.

UTSA INVITATIONAL: K-State has competed in the UTSA Invitational on five previous occasions including appearances in 1997, 1998, 2001, 2002, and 2003. The Wildcats best performance came in 2003 when the team tied for third place out of 15 teams with a one-round score of 305. Former Wildcat Aaron Watkins led the Wildcats in that event, shooting a 73 to put him in second place.

LAST TIME OUT: The Wildcats were unable to crack the top five during three rounds, finishing in 10th at the Pacific Invitational in Stockton, Calif. Sophomore Ben Juffer was the top performer for the Wildcats, carding an even par 213 to put him in a tie for 14th