Nov. 20, 2012
MANHATTAN, Kan. – Kansas State men’s golf coach Tim Norris announced the signing of three golfers to National Letters of Intent on Tuesday as J.P. Derksen, Connor Knabe (ka-NOB-ee) and Seth Smith will join the Wildcat golf team next season.
“I feel very good that we were able to attract some of the best players in the region to join the Wildcats next fall,” said Norris. “The chance to play and practice at a facility like Colbert Hills was a large part of their decisions to come to Kansas State. They have excellent junior golf records at this point, but more importantly, each of them have their best golf in front of them. Their work ethic, passion for the game and commitment to academics in high school will ensure that the transition to college golf will be a smooth one.”
Derksen comes to K-State after a successful prep career at South High School in Blue Springs, Mo., where he is a three-year letterwinner under head coach Mike McGown. Derksen was named to the Suburban Big 6 All-Conference Team in 2010-12, as well as the All-District 7 Team. As a junior, he was named to the Kansas City Star All-Metro Team, set a school-record for a 9-hole score (3-under 33) and earned All-Area and Player of the Year honors from the Independence Examiner. Derksen lead the South Jaguars to a Big 6 Conference championship, and as an individual, finished in third place in the 2012 Missouri Class 4 State Championship to help Blue Springs South to a second-place finish.
As an individual, Derksen won the 2011 Kansas City Junior Championship, the 2012 Midwest PGA Junior Championship and finished third in both the 2012 Missouri Junior Amateur and 2012 AJGA Junior at Quad Cities Championships. He also earned 31st-place honors in the 2011 National Big I Championships at the Country Club of North Carolina in Pinehurst, N.C.
Knabe joins the Wildcat program from Shawnee Mission East High School in Prairie Village, Kan., where he is a three-year letterwinner in basketball and golf. As a junior, Knabe led the Lancers to a Sunflower League and district championships. Knabe also helped SME to a third-place finish in the 2012 6A State Championship where he tied for fifth place as an individual. In 2011-12, Knabe’s stroke average of 74.7 earned him six top-five finishes in 10 events during his junior season.
Rounding out the signing class for Norris’ squad is Smith, who is a standout golfer at Ladue Horton Watkins High School in St. Louis, Mo, where he has earned multiple honors, including 2012 conference player of the year. Smith is also a two-time all-state, three-time all-conference and three-time all-metro honoree. Additionally, Smith is currently the No. 1 golfer in Missouri as ranked by the National Junior Golf Scoreboard as he recorded three top-10 finishes in AJGA events during the summer of 2012.
K-State will be back in action this spring as the Wildcats will travel to San Antonio, Texas, to compete in the 2013 UTSA Invitational, Feb. 11-12, at the par-71, 6,765-yard Oak Hill Country Club.