Chris Gilbert and Alex Gutesha earn top-10 finishes.
Sept. 25, 2012
ERIE, Colo. - Chris Gilbert's final-round 69 (-3) led Kansas men's golf to a tie for fifth place with a three-round total of 858 (-6) and earned the senior his second top-five individual finish in his career at Colorado National Golf Club Tuesday.
The Jayhawks posted a 288 (E) as a team on the final day to conclude their first tournament where the team shot even-par or better in each round of the event since the Fairway Club Invitational on Sept. 14-15, 2009. The 288 followed KU's first consecutive rounds under par in nearly two years after the Jayhawks shot 287 (-1) and 283 (-5) to open the Colorado Invitational Monday.
"We're getting better," said first-year Kansas head coach Jamie Bermel. "We've progressed over the course of three weeks. We're making less mistakes. We're certainly not where we want to be, but the guys are making progress, so that part of it is encouraging."
Entering the final day in ninth, Gilbert carded his third-straight red number to climb into a tie for fifth place. Gilbert notched three birdies on his first five holes of the day and then recorded a par on each of his final 13 holes to register his second round of 69 for the event after mixing in a 71 Monday afternoon.
"It was a hot start, so I was thinking a lot lower number," said Gilbert about his Tuesday performance. "I stayed patient, but I just couldn't get the putts to fall. I was hitting it well all day, but I just couldn't match the reads with the speed."
With rounds of 69, 71 and 69, Gilbert was one of only five golfers to shoot under par each round, but the senior felt he could have gone even lower on his scorecard.
"It was encouraging because I played well, but at the same time, I know there's room for improvement," said Gilbert. "There were a lot of opportunities on par fives and drivable par fours that I didn't really capitalize on for the whole tournament. I think I can play even better than I did, so that's encouraging for the next few weeks."
Alex Gutesha fired the second-best round by a Jayhawk Tuesday with an even-par 72 to tie for 10th place, marking the fifth top-10 of his career. Gutesha's highlight came on the 364-yard, par-4 No. 17. The senior drove the ball on the green to within 10 feet of the hole and made the putt for an eagle.
Just like the first round, Stan Gautier earned the third-best score by a Jayhawk with a 1-over 73. Freshman Jackson Foth followed up the first even-par round of his career with a 2-over 74 on the final day, while sophomore Dylan McClure shot a 75 in the last round. McClure finished as KU's third-best individual with a 220 (+4) to tie for 43rd, and Gautier tied for 52nd with a 54-hole aggregate of 222 (+6). Making his collegiate debut, Foth finished tied for 62nd with an 8-over 224.
Kansas will have more than a week off before participating in its next event, the Brickyard Collegiate in Macon, Ga. The three-day tournament hosted by Mercer will begin Friday, Oct. 5.