Former Wildcat Kern Wins First Professional Event

LITCHFIELD PARK, Ariz. - Ben Kern, a K-State letterwinner from 2003-06 and the school's all-time leader in career stroke average, picked up his first professional victory on Wednesday by winning Tournament 6 on The Gateway Tour's Desert Winter Series.

The Tucson, Ariz., native, carded a three-round score of 6-under par 210 (72-69-69) on the par 72, 7,074-yard The Wigwam Resort Gold Course. Kern won the event by two strokes over Brian Smock, who shot even-par 72 during the final round, allowing Kern to jump him on the leaderboard.

With the victory, Kern pocketed $17,400, moving to third on the series' moneylist with a grand total of $28,668.50. The former Wildcat also carries a stroke average of 71.47 through six events, ranking him 10th in the series.

Kern has been on fire the past three tournaments, as he had tied for third at Tournament 4 and eighth at Tournament 5 before picking up in the win on Wednesday. During that three-event stretch, Kern has amassed a stroke average of 69.22.

The next tournament for Kern will be Tournament 7, Feb. 21-March 1, at Vistal Golf Club in Phoenix, Ariz. That will be followed by The Gateway Tour's Winter Series Championship, March 7-10, in Palm City, Fla.

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