Wildcats in Fourth After First Round of Braveheart Classic

BEAUMONT, Calif. A pair of Kansas State golfers finished the opening round in the top-10 and helped the Wildcats move into fourth position before darkness suspended play near the end of the second round at the Braveheart Classic on Monday. The field was scheduled to complete two rounds at Oak Valley Golf Club but strong winds and hard greens slowed play enough to leave most competitors two or three holes short.


K-State’s Joe Ida finished the first round tied for fourth after shooting a 75 (+3) on the first 18 holes and Mitchell Gregson was tied for eighth after carding a 77 (+5). Both scores helped the Wildcats to an opening round 314 (+26) and to stay within range of TCU, the tournament leader at 307 (+19). K-State is three strokes behind third-place Cal-Poly (311) and five behind second-place UC-Riverside (309). 


“It’s the first round, no matter how many balls you hit out of the indoor facility,” K-State head coach Tim Norris said. “Success comes by playing in tournaments, being sharp, being able to concentrate. Overall if we can finish the second round out strong and finish out tomorrow, we’ll be in good shape.”  


Winds over 40 mph tormented the entire field early Monday with only 27 of the 92 players recording scores in the 70s. Ida and Gregson were the only two members of the Wildcat scoring team in the 70s but were joined by K-State individual Daniel Wood, who carded a 79 (+7).


Robert Streb and Kyle Yonke contributed their scores to the Wildcats total in the first round as both recorded an 81 (+9). Kyle Smell carded a 10-over 82 on the first 18.


The Wildcats and the rest of the field were faring much better in the second round as winds subsided somewhat in the afternoon and evening. Wood was the only K-State golfer to finish the second round and improved three strokes while recording a 76 (+4), although his score won’t become official until the entire round is finished on Tuesday morning.


“The scores are going to look like two different golf tournaments,” Norris said. “The round is not official until we get done but we’ve been doing much better in the afternoon with the wind dying down. You still have to play well and hit a lot of quality shots.”


Norris was encouraged by what he saw from his team in its first action of the spring and was particularly pleased with the play of his top three scorers.


“It just looked like they were able to stay away from a lot of bogeys,” Norris said. “(Ida and Gregson) had a couple birdies that helped off-set some mistakes. Mitch holed a wedge shot this afternoon. Things are looking up for those guys.


“Daniel played pretty solid golf. He worked awfully hard this off season and the early part of the spring. I’m looking for good things from him this semester.”


The Wildcats resume play Tuesday morning with the conclusion of the second round and will begin the final round immediately. K-State finished last year’s Braveheart Classic in ninth place.