K-State Finishes Fifth at Braveheart Classic

BEAUMONT, Calif. Mitchell Gregson shot an 8-over 224 for the third top-10 finish of his sophomore campaign and the Kansas State Wildcats finished the Braveheart Classic in fifth place on Tuesday.


K-State carded the second-lowest team score in the second round at Oak Valley Golf Club after resuming the final three holes from suspended play on Monday, but closed with a 307 (+19) over the final 18 and finished the tournament 18 strokes behind Cal Poly, 311-301-288900 (+36).


Kansas State’s team score of 314-297-307918 (+54) left the Wildcats six strokes behind TCU 307-306-299912 (+48), eight strokes behind UC-Santa Barbara 320-300-290910 (+46), and 10 strokes behind host UC-Riverside 309-295-304908 (+44).


“There were a lot of missed opportunities today and some poor finishes at the end,” K-State head coach Tim Norris said. “I know the guys were trying to make something happen, but it just doesn’t work that way, especially on a really good golf course. You just have to keep plugging away.”


Gregson continued his strong start from Monday and finished as the low scorer for the Wildcats and one stroke off the second round lead with a 1-under 71. Gregson placed sixth with his 77-71-76224 (+8), four strokes off UC-Riverside’s Nick Paez and Spencer Paschall (4-over 220).


“He bogeyed his second to last hole today to finish the round, that soured him a little bit,” Norris said. “Being four stokes away from wining the tournament, that’s pretty good. He commented that he putted the ball pretty well and hopefully he can build off of that and be a little sharper at the next event.”


Joe Ida notched his fifth top-20 finish of the 2007-08 season while finishing tied for 17th at 14-over 230. Daniel Wood, playing as an individual, tied teammates Kyle Yonke and Robert Streb for 27th with a 17-over 233. Kyle Smell, 238 (+22), finished tied for 57th.


“It was great that we had a chance to win you can’t ask for a whole lot more than that in the first tournament of the spring,” Norris said. “The guys knew we were close, but toward the end we had a couple of wayward shots. I’m really optimistic about getting in position and taking confidence from this even though it didn’t turn out the way we would have liked.


“There were good conditions and some good, low scores today, but you had to earn it and we weren’t quite up to the task. Hopefully we can get things corrected and squared away before we leave for Fresno.”


Kansas State will return to California next week and will compete at the Fresno Lexus Classic hosted by Fresno State at Fort Washington Country Club. Play begins Monday, March 10, and will conclude on Tuesday, March 11.


NOTES: Former K-State golfers Ben Kern and Aaron Watkins begin their quest for the Gateway Tour Winter Series Championship at Encanterra Golf Course in Queen Creek, Ariz., on Thursday. Both golfers competed on the Gateway Desert Winter Tour and finished in the top 36 percent of the money winners to earn an invite to the championship. Kern was the No. 2 money winner on the Desert Tour and Watkins finished 10th. Kern won the second event of the season at Vistancia Golf Club in Peoria, Ariz., and has three top-five finishes. Kern graduated in 2006 and was the last K-State golfer to win an individual tournament. Watkins graduated from K-State in 2004 and is third in career stroke average (74.30) at K-State and was K-State’s first golfer selected to the PING All-Central Region Team in 2003. He was also selected to the team in 2004. Live results from the Gateway Tour Winter Series Championship can be found on the tour website at www.gatewaytour.com.