Weldon Cards Top-Five Finish at Hawkeye Intercollegiate

IOWA CITY, Iowa – Kansas State men’s golf senior Kyle Weldon earned his second top-five finish of the year, but an even par final round of the Hawkeye Intercollegiate dropped the Wildcats to a fifth-place finish on Sunday at Finkbine Golf Course.

K-State finished at 1-over par 865 for the weekend despite entering Sunday’s final 18 holes in a tie for second place with Iowa State at 1-over par, as the Cyclones and overall leader Kansas pulled away as the tournament closed.

“I'm proud of the guys with how they competed,” said head coach Grant Robbins. “Obviously when you go into the final round with a chance to win and you finish fifth, it’s a disappointment, but the guys gave it all they had and this was a great learning experience, especially for our three first-year players.”

K-State’s 288 round was backed by three scores at even or under par, highlighted by Weldon. The Des Peres, Missouri, native nabbed his first top-five finish since tying for fifth at the Rod Myers Invitational on Sept. 12-13, 2015. Weldon birdied three of his first six holes on Sunday, but he dropped back to even par by the end of his front nine. He would par all nine holes on the back nine for an even-par outing, staying put at 4-under par 212 for the tournament to tie for fifth place.

Junior Matt Green, who had the toughest day for the Wildcats on Saturday by shooting 8-over through two rounds, had the low score for the team on Sunday. Green birdied five holes in his final round for a 2-under par 70, moving him up 20 spots on the individual board for a tie for 34th place. Green would finish at 6-over par 222 for the weekend, marking the first time this spring that Green has not finished inside the top-20.

Also in a tie at 34th was junior Jack Rickabaugh, who carded an even-par 72 on Sunday. Rickabaugh eagled the par-5 15th to get to 2-under, but bogeys on his final two holes slipped him back to a 6-over 222 for the tournament.

Freshman Jeremy Gandon barely missed his third top-20 finish of the year as he tied for 21st place at 2-over par 218. Gandon jumped out to 2-under through five holes on Sunday, but his final day steered south after a triple bogey on the par-5 sixth. He would card only two more birdies compared to four bogeys, shooting a 4-over 76.

The Wildcats’ number three golfer, freshman Andrew Beckler, bogeyed only one of the same seven holes that trumped him during Saturday’s second round. He finished at 2-over par 74 on Sunday, good for a tie for 30th place at 5-over par 221 for the tournament.

The Hawkeye Intercollegiate title went to Kansas, which lead by four strokes heading into the final round. The Jayhawks finished at 15-under par 849, pulling away from the field with the best round of the tournament at 12-under par 276 on Sunday.

“Hats off to Kansas. I was really impressed with their team. They came into the final round with the lead and they just stepped on the gas today and played a really good round,” said Robbins. “That's what good teams do. Coach (Jamie) Bermel has done a tremendous job there.”

On the individual board, it was Iowa State’s Ruben Sondjaja that captured the title after his 6-under 66 jumped him up two spots to the top on the final day. Sondjaja’s seven birdies on Sunday helped him finish the tournament at 10-under par 206, winning the event by three strokes over UMKC’s Francois Lagraulet.

Up next for K-State is a trip to the Big 12 Championship, set for April 29-May 1, at Whispering Pines Golf Club in Trinity, Texas. 

Hawkeye Intercollegiate

Iowa City, Iowa 

Finkbine Golf Course

Par 72, 7,239 yards

Team Scores: 1. Kansas, 282-291-276--849 (-15); T2. Iowa State, 287-290-281--858 (-6); T2. Iowa, 290-288-280—858 (-6); 4. SMU, 292-287-285--864 (E); 5. Kansas State, 285-292-288--865 (+1); 6. UMKC, 283-305-278--866 (+2);  7. Idaho, 295-293-286--574 (+10); 8. Wichita State, 295-300-288--883 (+19); T9. DePaul, 292-296-297--885 (+21); T9. Nebraska, 292-302-291--885 (+21); 11. Denver, 305-296-291--892 (+28); T12. South Alabama, 289-304-300--893 (+29); T12. Minnesota, 307-290-296--893 (+29); South Dakota State, 301-305-295--901 (+37). 

Top Individuals: 1. Ruben Sondjaja, Iowa State, 70-70-66--206 (-10); 2. Francois Lagraulet, UMKC, 67-71-71--209 (-7); 3. Nate Yankovich, Iowa, 68-71-71--210 (-6); 4. Daniel Hudson, Kansas, 71-74-66—211 (-5); T5. Connor Peck, Kansas, 74-70-68—212 (-4); T5. Kyle Weldon, Kansas State, 71-69-72--212 (-4); T5. Austin Smotherman, SMU, 69-73-70--212 (-4). 


K-State Individuals: T5. Kyle Weldon, 71-69-72--212 (-4); T21. Jeremy Gandon, 70-72-76—218 (+2); T30. Andrew Beckler, 70-77-74--221 (+5); T34. Matt Green, 74-78-70--222 (+6); T34. Jack Rickabaugh, 76-74-72--222 (+6).