Jayhawks will be one of 15 teams in the Golfweek Conference Challenge.
Sept. 14, 2012
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LAWRENCE, Kan. - Kansas men’s golf will continue its fall slate Sunday when it begins the three-day, 54-hole Golfweek Conference Challenge at Spirit Hollow Golf Course in Burlington, Iowa.
The tournament, hosted by Iowa for the past four years, features 15 teams from 15 conferences and has quickly become recognized for the annual strength of its field. This year’s competition includes six teams that advanced to the NCAA Regionals last year.
“You have a lot of great schools and a lot of great traditions,” said Kansas head coach Jamie Bermel. “I’m sure this year will be no different (in how challenging the field has been).”
After finishing 12th at the season-opening Gene Miranda Falcon Invitational, the Jayhawks made one lineup change prior to this weekend. Junior-college transfer Ryley Haas will replace senior Alex Gutesha, while Chris Gilbert, Dylan McClure, Bryce Brown and Stan Gautier will also travel to Iowa.
Aside from the lineup change, Coach Bermel believes the team will improve with a change of venue after beginning the year in the thin, mountainous air of Colorado Springs, Colo.
“I think we’ll putt the ball much better than we did last week,” said Bermel. “I think these greens will be much easier – no mountain effect in Iowa obviously, so that’ll help. It’s the kind of greens we’ll be familiar with. There will be some undulation, but overall I think it’s a course that we’re more familiar with and an elevation we’re more familiar with. Those few things will help immensely.”
Unique to the Golfweek Conference Challenge is the three-day format in which each team will only play 18 holes Sunday, Monday and Tuesday as opposed to the more traditional college tournament structure where teams play 36 holes to begin the event followed by the final round the next day.
“I think (the format) is great for college golf,” commented Bermel. “It gives you time after your round. On a 36-hole day you leave your hotel at dark and get back at dark, so this gives you time after the round and it’s not such an endurance test. It’s closer to what they play in competitive golf. It’s not so taxing physically, mentally and it gives you time to work on things after the round or before the round.”
Following the Golfweek Conference Challenge, KU will head to the Mark Simpson Colorado Invitational, which begins Monday, Sept. 24, in Erie, Colo.
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