Wildcats Look For Gold in Silver State

Monday-Tuesday, Oct. 2-3
    Monday: 8:00 a.m. - Shotgun Start
    Tuesday: 8:00 a.m. - Shotgun Start
Wolf Run G.C.
Reno, Nev.
Par 72 / 7,100 yards
Hosted by the University of Nevada
Air Force, Arkansas, Boise State, Colorado State, Denver, Fresno State, Gonzaga, Hawaii, Iowa State, Louisiana-Monroe, KANSAS STATE, Nevada, New Mexico State, Southern Utah, Texas-Arlington, Utah, UTEP and Wyoming.

MANHATTAN, Kan. - Following a week absence, the Kansas State men’s golf team will travel to Reno, Nev., to participate in the Wolf Pack Classic, Oct. 2-3. The 54-hole event tees off Monday with an 8:00 a.m. (PT) shotgun start to the first two rounds. The final 18-holes will also begin at 8:00 a.m. (PT) on Tuesday, with tee times based on Monday’s results determining when the Cats begin play. Live statastics will not be available for the event. Results will be posted on www.k-statesports.com as soon as they are made available.
Rated three and a half stars by Golf Digest, Wolf Run Golf Club is located just south of downtown Reno. Founded in 1996, Wolf Run G.C., the home of the University of Nevada’s men’s and women’s teams, was owned an opperated by the university until 2003. It is estimated that 23-25-percent of the course’s play is dedicated to tournaments. For more information on Wolf Run Golf Club, please visit www.wolfrungolfclub.com.
Most of the field K-State will see in Reno will be making a return visit from last year’s event. From the 18-team field in 2005, 11 teams return, including all of the top-5 teams (Nevada, New Mexico State, Arkansas, Utah and Denver). The Cats have yet to face any of the teams in the field this season, but did hold a 12-3-2 against 11 of the teams last year.
The Wolf Pack Classic will mark what is believed to be K-State’s first appearance in the state of Nevada. Due do insuffiecient information in the K-State archives, tournament results are not available before the 1969 season. Squaring off against the Wolf Pack is almost just as rare as the Wildcats playing in Nevada. K-State has faced Nevada just twice in the past four season, with the two squads taking one victory each.

The Wolf Pack Classic will serve as a mini high school reunion for K-State’s Robert Streb and Nevada’s Tony Palmer. Palmer, a senior, and Streb played together at Edmond (Okla.) North High School. Unfortunately, the Huskies were unable to bring home any state championships while they played together (Streb led his squad to a championship his senior year). Palmer, a transfer from Louisiana-Monroe, has participated in one event this year, finishing in a tie for 67th at the Tucker Intercollegiate.

With a final-round score of 12-over par 296, the Kansas State men's golf team dropped two spots to finish ninth at the Wolverine Intercollegiate. K-State carded a 287-288-296871 (+19) and finished just nine strokes out of second place. Wisconsin, which held only a four-stroke lead over Michigan heading into the final round, ran away with the team title, carding the lowest final-round score, a 3-over par 287, to win by 11 strokes. The Badgers finished the tournament at 1-under par 851. Oregon State's Mitch Gillis fired a 54-hole score of 6-under par 207 (65-70-72). Freshman Joe Ida paced the Wildcats through the first two rounds and finished tied for 15th at 2-over par 215. Junior Kyle Yonke finished tied for 17th at 3-under par 216. His 17th-place finish equals the best placing of his career. As a freshman, Yonke tied for 17th at his first tournament, the Kansas Invitational. The Lubbock, Texas, native, also tied his lowest career 54-hole score of 216, the same score he recorded at last year's Alister MacKenzie Invitational. It was his best score vs. par since firing a 1-over par 217 at the Barona Collegiate Cup last fall. With the 13th and 17th place finishes by Ida and Yonke, it marked the first time since last season’s ASU Thunderbird Invitational that the Wildcats placed two players in the top 20 in an event. During the 2006 ASU Thunderbird Invitational, Ben Kern took home first-place honors while Tyler Cummins tied for 11th.

At first glance, it may seem that Kansas State had an off-tournament with its ninth-place finish. However, a deeper look at the statistical summary shows that the play wasn’t as bad as one might think. As a team, the Wildcats carded the second-most birdies throughout the tournament with 40. Only Wisconsin drained more at 41. Moreover, K-State finished the tournament fifth in par three scoring at 3.18, only .10-strokes per par three hole worse than top-team Akron. Individually, Mitchell Gregson tied for first in par three scoring at 2.83. Over all par three holes, Gregson came away at 2-under par. Joe Ida and Kyle Yonke drained the most birdies for the Cats with 12 and 11, respectively. Individual champion Mitch Gillis of Oregon State sunk only one more birdie than Ida, draining 13 throughout the 54-hole event.

Host school Nevada held on for a two-stroke victory over New Mexico State in the 2005 Wolf Pack Classic. The Wolf Pack carded a 12-under par 852 (286-285-281), just edging the Aggies, who finished at 10-under parl 854 (287-281-286). The top five teams, which are all back to compete for this year’s crown, each finished the 54-hole tournament under par. Individually, Arkansas’ Matt Bortis carded a third-round score of 9-under par 63 en route to a first-place finish. Bortis finished the tournament at 10-under par 206, holding off Danny Bowen of New Mexico State, who finished at 9-under par 207 (69-68-70). Last year’s tournament was held at Arron Creek Country Club, which, like Wolf Run G.C., is a par 72, but plays considerably shorter in distance at 6,937 yards.

Although K-State lost its all-time career stroke average leader in Ben Kern, the Wildcats might have one of the most promising young golfers in collegiate golf in sophomore Robert Streb. As a freshman, Streb placed second on the team in stroke average at 73.83 strokes per round, the best stroke average by a freshman in the Tim Norris era. He also became only the fourth golfer and first freshman in K-State history to advanced to the NCAA Championship. The Edmond, Okla., product, moved on to nationals on the heels of a tie for 12th at the NCAA Central Regional. He was the top individual not on an advancing team. Kyle Yonke returns as the Wildcats’ most experienced golfer in terms of events played. A junior from Lubbock, Texas, Yonke competed in 11 of the team’s 13 events last season, boasting a 75.25 stroke average. The Wildcats also sport a five-man recruiting class that have made a name for themselves on the high school level. All five guys finished in the top-five of their respective state tournaments last spring, with Fort Scott, Kan., product Joe Ida leading the way after claiming the Kansas Class 4A State Championship. Two more Kansas natives, Ross Geuebelle and Jason Schulte, had successful summers on the junior circuit as Geubelle finished seventh at the national Big I Junior Classic in Odessa, Texas, and Schulte took home first-place honors at the Kansas Junior Amateur in July. Mitchell Gregson, who will see his first tournament action as a collegiate golfer this weekend, also came to K-State with an impressive resume. The Waterloo, Ill., native, was an all-conference selection all four years of high school, and completed his senior season with a 72.00 stroke average. Gregson placed first in the Illinois High School Association (IHSA) regionals and sectionals, carding a 69 and a 71, respectively. He also broke an IHSA Class AA record, carding a 71-70141 (-3) during the state tournament. He made a birdie putt on the last hole to force a playoff in that tournament, but lost in a four-hole playoff.

K-State's Wolf Pack Classic Lineup
NAME              YR-EXP  HOMETOWN        RDS.  AVG.
Joe Ida           Fr.-HS  Ft. Scott, Kan.  6   75.50
Kyle Yonke        Jr.-2L  Lubbock, Texas   6   74.67 
Mitchell Gregson  Fr.-HS  Waterloo, Ill.   6   74.33 
Robert Streb      So.-1L  Edmond, Okla.    6   75.67 
Jay Kramer        Sr.-1L  Lenexa, Kan.     --   --