Three Jayhawks Finish Among Louisiana Classics' Top 20
March 5, 2013
LAFAYETTE, La. – Kansas seniors Alex Gutesha and Chris Gilbert each finished among the top-five and sophomore Stan Gautier tied for 17th, but a handful of strong team performances saw the Jayhawks drop from second-place to sixth to close the Louisiana Classics at Oakbourne Country Club Tuesday. Kansas finished the two-day event with a three-round total of 292-294-295—881 (+17), 15 strokes behind tournament champion Illinois (866).
Gutesha carded his second round under par during the tournament’s final 18 holes and finished in third place with a 69-74-70—213 (-3), while Gilbert closed the round just two strokes back and tied for fifth at 72-69-74—215 (-1). Gautier logged his second consecutive finish in the top-20 as he tied for 17th with a three-day score of 71-75-73—219 (+3). Kansas opened the tournament tied with Golfweek’s No. 20-ranked Illinois for first after 18 holes, then sat in second place at the end of the second round, just seven strokes back. Illinois closed with a 1-under 287 to win the tournament and four other teams managed to post low scores Tuesday and slide ahead of Kansas.
“There was a little better weather, a lot less wind today so some teams took advantage of that,” Kansas head coach Jamie Bermel said. “We did not.”
“It’s the same scenario – when you count a 78 you’re not going to beat a lot of teams. Anytime you can get a couple guys in the top-five and one in the top-20, you like your chances of winning. That part of it is a little frustrating because you just need one score and we would’ve been right there. That’s the way it is.”
All five of the teams that finished in front of Kansas were ranked 38th-or-higher in Golfweek’s most recent rankings, including No. 14 LSU, which finished second at 874 (+10), and No. 23 Kent State, which finished tied for fourth at 877 (+13).
“There were some very good teams here – some very good southern teams, and this time of year they have a bit of an advantage on us,” Bermel said. “We held our own – we were 15 shots from first – that’s encouraging, but we need to find a way to limit our mistakes and get better.”
Gutesha became the second Jayhawk to lead at a tournament this spring, following Gautier’s lead at the Desert Intercollegiate, and was the third Jayhawk to lead in a tournament in the last three events dating back to Gilbert’s tournament win at the Herb Wimberly Intercollegiate last fall. It’s an encouraging sign for Kansas as the team looks to complement its scoring-leader Gilbert’s steady play.
“It’s always good to see different guys (lead),” Bermel said. “It’s not like Chris has played poorly, there are just guys stepping up and playing better. That’s always good to see and hopefully they can continue to push Chris and hopefully we can continue to search for a fourth. Maybe someone else will step up.”
The Jayhawks will get a little more than two weeks to continue developing the scoring lineup before returning to the links for the Desert Shootout in Goodyear, Ariz., March 21-23. The three-round tournament will be played at Palm Valley Golf Club, with one round of 18 holes played each day.
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