Men’s golf finishes strong to place sixth

Scott August

The Cyclone men’s golf team overcame early jitters and played an excellent final round to finish sixth at the Kansas Invitational.

They team fired a 54-hole score of 906.

This included a 294 on the final round, which was the lowest score by five strokes.

Head coach Jay Horton figured the inconsistency of the rounds might be because of the youth on the squad this year.

“Being young and inexperienced, I knew we would have our ups and downs,” Horton said.

“The first day was a struggle, but I am really happy how we finished the final day.

“Granted, it was a one-day total, but the final round we beat the defending Big 12 champs [Kansas] on their home course,” Horton said.

Aaron Patton led the charge for the team, firing a three-round total of 221 to finish in eighth place.

“Patton is the most experienced golfer and it has shown in his play,” Horton said.

Jeremy Lyons shot a 225 to finish in 15th place.

Also playing solid for the Cyclones was freshman Matt Gatchel, who on the last day finished with an eagle and birdie on the last two holes to fire one of the tournament’s best rounds with a 71.

Patton, Lyons and Gatchel, the team’s top three golfers, have played consistently well for the Cyclones.

Missouri took the team title by beating host Kansas by seven strokes.

The playing conditions were not great, and experience seemed to be the factor in the win.

Louisville rounded out the top three in team competition.

Kansas’ Ryan Vermeer took the individual medalist honors.

He won a close battle with Missouri’s top two golfers, Cory Ewert and David Suggs.

Next week, the Cyclone men will travel to Colorado for the Colorado State Invitational.

They will take on former Cyclone coach Jamie Bermel’s Colorado State team.

“The team is really excited to take on their old coach,” Horton said.

This tournament should be, top to bottom, the toughest one so far. Eight of the 15 teams competing made it to the NCAA regionals last year.

Horton hopes higher finishes may be in the future for this young but talented team.

“The more and more experience we get, the better I expect us to play,” Horton said.