K-State Stays in State for Shocker Classic

Monday-Tuesday, April 2-3, 2007

     Monday: 8:30 a.m. - Shotgun Start
     Tuesday: 8:30 a.m. - Shotgun Start
Wichita Country Club
Wichita, Kan.
Par 71 / 6,814 yards
Hosted by Wichita State
Teams (16):
Arkansas, Colorado, Drake, Evansville, Iowa State, KANSAS STATE, Nebraska, Northeastern State, Oklahoma Christian, Oklahoma City, Rice, Sam Houston State, Stephen F. Austin, Texas-Arlington, Texas-San Antonio, Wichita State.

MANHATTAN, Kan. - Coming off a season-low 14-under par 850 two weeks ago at the Ron Moore Invitational, the Kansas State men’s golf team will look to continue its consistent play from the past two events as the Wildcats head to Wichita, Kan., for the Shocker Classic, Monday through Tuesday, April 2-3. The Shocker Classic, held at the Wichita Country Club, marks the first in-state appearance by the Wildcats since the Kansas Invitational in the fall of 2004. The event tees off with an 8:30 a.m. shotgun start to the first two rounds on Monday. Tuesday’s play will also begin with a shotgun start at 8:30 a.m. Live results will not be available for the event. Results will be posted on www.k-statesports.com at the conclusion of play each day.

     With over 100 years of service to the Wichita area, the Wichita Country Club opened its doors in 1900, making it the longest-running private club in the state of Kansas. The par 71, 6,814-yard course has hosted many amateur and USGA championships, including the 1963 NCAA Championship. The course will be the site of the 2008 Kansas Amateur. For more information on the Wichita Country Club, please visit www.wichitacountryclub.org.
     K-State is 4-8 against the field this season, picking up victories over Colorado, Iowa State, Texas-Arlington and Texas-San Antonio... Wichita State is the highest-rated Division I team in the event (No. 59 by Golfweek)... Oklahoma Christian and Oklahoma City are ranked Nos. 1 and 2, respectively, in the latest NAIA Golfworld/Nike Coaches Poll... Five opponents hail from the Central Region (Colorado, Drake, Iowa State, Nebraska , Wichita State)... Wichita State and Colorado finished first and second, respectively, at the Stevinson Ranch Invitational a week ago.

     After finishing 18th at the Rio Pinar Intercollegiate to start 54-hole play this spring, Kansas State caught fire during March, especially in its last two events. K-State finished seventh at the Fresno State Golf Classic with a score of 17-over par 881 and tied for third at the Ron Moore Invitational with a season-low 14-under par 850. During those two events, the Wildcats recorded four of their top five team rounds, increased their winning percentage from .309 to .419, and bettered its Golfweek ranking from 160 to 139.

     Individually, Kyle Yonke has led K-State’s charge as he has averaged 71.17 strokes per round over the last two events, followed by Mitchell Gregson (72.67), Joe Kinney (73.00) and Robert Streb (73.17). K-State has collected seven of its top 10 individual rounds over the past two events, all top-five individual 54-holes scores, recorded four top-20 finishes, and have seen five players record their career-low 54-hole scores .

     After taking a seven-year hiatus from the event, the Wildcats will be playing in the Shocker Classic for the first time since 2000. Kansas State was a staple in the tournament throughout the late 1970s, 1980s and 1990s, playing in the event a total of 19 times (1977-82, 1986 [fall], 1989-2000). K-State’s best finish in the event was in 1993, when head coach Mark Elliot led his squad to a second-place finish, carding an 897. Having only coached in the event three times, the Wildcats best finish under Tim Norris was 10th in 2000 following a three-round score of 916.

     The Shocker Classic will mark the first time the Wildcats will compete in the state of Kansas since the Kansas Invitational, Sept. 20-21, 2004. K-State finished the Kansas Invitational 2nd of 13 teams after carding a 13-over par 877. The last time the Wildcats participated in an event in the Wichita area was April 12-13, 2000, in the Shocker Classic. Kansas State will make two appearances in the Sunflower State within the month of April, as the 2007 Big 12 Championships are held April 23-24 in Hutchinson.

     According to the latest district rankings by Golfweek released March 19, the Wildcats are on the outside looking in when it comes to making the NCAA Regionals. According to the publication’s website, which has K-State ranked 14th, seven teams from the Central District are allocated spots in regionals. However, Kansas State is arguably the hottest team in the district over the past few weeks. The Wildcats are averaging a 54-hole score of 865.5 over its past two events. Only No. 5 Wichita State (856) and No. 6 Nebraska (860) have better scores. Other teams that are currently ranked in the top seven in the district are No. 1 Oklahoma State (887.4), No. 2 Tulsa (867.6), No. 3 Kansas (890.5), No. 4 Colorado (881.5) and No. 7 Iowa State (892.5).

     Kansas State has relied heavily on the play of junior Kyle Yonke, sophomore Robert Streb and freshmen Mitchell Gregson and Joe Ida. Yonke has appeared in 28 career tournaments to date, including 15-straight and all 10 this season, a streak that will continue this week at the Shocker Classic. Since coming to K-State, Streb has seen action in 22 of 23 team events and also competed as an individual in the 2006 NCAA Championship. Both Gregson and Ida has competed in all 10 events this season. Sophomore Joe Kinney appears to be a major part of the spring lineup as he was a year ago as a freshman. Last year, Kinney saw action in seven-straight events and is in the lineup for the fifth-consecutive time this spring.

     The Wildcats have faced tough competition up to this point in the season and will continue to tee it up against highly-ranked opponents. K-State has faced or will face seven of the top 25 teams in the latest Golfweek/Sagarin Ratings, including three top-10 teams, during the 2006-07 campaign.

     The Wildcats were in a shooting slump the first two spring tournaments, placing third of three at the Lochinvar Challenge and 18th at the Rio Pinar Intercollegiate. The Rio Pinar marked only the second time in the Tim Norris era that K-State has finished last in a field that had 10 or more squads (Rice Intercollegiate, Feb. 12-13, 2001, 10th of 10). However, history is on K-State’s side as that 2001 squad improved in the standings in the next four events, finishing as high as second in a 10-team field at the Branson Creek Invitational. In three events since the Rio Pinar, the Wildcats have improved their finish from the previous event, placing ninth at the Braveheart Classic, seventh at the Fresno State Lexus Golf Classic, and tied for third at the Ron Moore Invitational.

K-State's Shocker Classic Lineup
NAME              YR-EXP HOMETOWN        RDS  AVG.
Robert Streb      So.-1L Edmond, Okla.    25  75.32 
Mitchell Gregson  Fr.-HS Waterloo, Ill.   28  75.61 
Kyle Yonke        Jr.-2L Lubbock, Texas   28  74.68 
Joe Kinney        So.-1L Antioch, Ill.    16  76.31
Joe Ida           Fr.-HS Ft. Scott, Kan.  28  75.96
Spencer Alefs     Fr.-RS Wichita, Kan.     9  78.00
* Denotes competing as an individual