Kansas sits in fourth place after 18 holes with even-par 288.
Oct. 5, 2012
Round 1 Results
MACON, Ga. - Stan Gautier recorded a tournament-high six birdies, including three on his final five holes, to tie for second place with an opening-round 69 (-3) and lead Kansas men's golf to a fourth-place standing (288, E) after the first round of the Brickyard Collegiate at Riverside Golf Club Friday afternoon.
Making his fourth tournament appearance of the season, Gautier fired his first round in the 60s as a Jayhawk. Beginning his round on the 10th tee, the sophomore transfer from Arizona State stumbled initially with back-to-back bogeys out of the gate. However, a birdie on the par-4, 488-yard No. 12 turned the rest of the day around for the Paris, France native. Gautier also birdied Nos. 15 and 18 to make the turn at 1-under 35.
Sitting at even-par through 13 holes, Gautier went on a tear on his way in to the clubhouse with three birdies on his last five holes, capped off by a closing birdie on the par-5, 477-yard No. 9 to pull within one shot of the leader, Nicholas Reach of Georgia.
"Absolutely," said Kansas head coach Jamie Bermel when asked if he felt Gautier had the potential to be a contender at this week's event. "He didn't start out very well, but he made a nice comeback. I'm happy for him. He's put together some good 16-hole stretches this season, but couldn't get it finished. I think it was frustrating for him, but he also learned and started believing in himself a little bit. He finally closed the deal today."
As a team, Kansas posted a 288 (E), marking its fourth-straight round of even-par or better dating back to the first round of the Mark Simpson Colorado Invitation. KU sits eight shots behind the tournament leader, Georgia, with two rounds remaining at the Brickyard Collegiate hosted by Mercer.
"I'm certainly proud of the way we started today because this is a difficult course," said Bermel. "Even-par on this course is a great start. Obviously we have 36 holes left, so there's still a lot of work to do. You can't win the tournament on the first day, but you can certainly shoot yourself in the foot and be way down in the standings, which we did in a couple earlier events. I think we're making progress and heading in the right direction."
One other indicator of the team's progress was all five golfers posting scores within three shots of par. Senior Chris Gilbert used a steady round that included 14 pars to shoot 72 (E) and tie for 19th, while sophomore Dylan McClure tied for 24th with a 1-over 73. Right behind him was freshman Jackson Foth, who counted as the fourth score toward the team total with a 74 to tie for 34th individually. Proving the strong contributions from each member, the Jayhawks did not need to use senior Alex Gutesha's 75 (+3) despite the fact that he posted a tournament-best 15 pars in the first round.
"We didn't use Alex's score, but he was right there," said Bermel. "Three bogeys and 15 pars is still pretty solid. We didn't have a big number, so there was no pressure there. Hopefully we can do the same for the next two rounds."
Kansas will begin its second round Saturday morning at 8:20 a.m. Central with the final round scheduled for Sunday morning.