MANHATTAN, Kan. (K-State Athletics) – With four members of the scoring lineup in the top 16 on the individual leaderboard, the Kansas State men’s golf team holds a six-shot lead after the first two rounds of the Wildcat Invitational on Sunday held at the par-72, 7,525-yard Colbert Hills Golf Course.
Senior Luke O’Neill and junior Cooper Schultz pace the Wildcats as they are tied for fourth place at 6-under par 138. Nicklaus Mason is in 15th place at 2-under par 142, while junior transfer Ian McCrary is tied for 16th at 1-under par 143.
“It was a solid performance overall,” head coach Grant Robbins said. “We got off to a little bit of a slow start but really started playing well the last nine holes. The conditions were ideal for scoring, and we were able to take advantage of it in the afternoon. The wind should kick up a bit tomorrow, so we just have to stay patient and play smart by hitting to the right spots. I know the guys are looking forward to getting after it tomorrow.”
After shooting a 4-under par 284 in the morning, the Wildcats came back with a blistering 15-under par 273 in the second round as they are six shots ahead of Southern Illinois and eight shots in front of third-place Kansas City. K-State’s second-round score of 273 was tied for the 10th lowest single-round team score in school history, and it was the second lowest ever in the Wildcat Invitational, which is now in its third year. Last season, K-State carded a 17-under par 271 in the second round.
O’Neill fired a 70 in the morning and a 68 in the afternoon, while Schultz posted two rounds of 3-under par 69.
Mason, who is in the No. 1 spot in the lineup, shaved 10 shots off his first-round score with a 6-under par 66 during the second 18 holes to fly 41 spots up the leaderboard. It was one shot off his career low of the 65 he put together at the Colleton River Collegiate this past March.
McCrary, who came to K-State from the University of Missouri-St. Louis, carded a 2-under par 70 in the afternoon to move 14 spots up the leaderboard.
Competing as an individual, Hutchinson CC transfer Alex Lindstrom is tied for ninth place at 4-under par 140. He went under 70 in the afternoon, carding a 5-under par 67 in the second 18 to improve 21 spots from his position after the first round.
A transfer from Texas Tech, JP Roller is also competing as an individual and is eying a top-20 finish as he enters the final round tied for 24th place at 1-over par 145.
Freshmen Harry Bent and Bryant Polhill are seeing their first collegiate action and are playing as individuals, as Bent is tied for 50th at 4-over par 148 and Polhill is in 64th place at 7-over par 151. Sophomore Ben Stoller enters Monday’s final round tied for 70th at 11-over par 155.
Grand Canyon individual Matthew Pennington is atop the leaderboard at 10-under par 134, one shot ahead of teammate Nicky Kling. Kansas City’s Lucas Dutartre is in third place at 7-under par 137.
The final round of the 2023 Wildcat Invitational will begin with a shotgun start at 8:30 a.m. on Monday morning. Live results can be followed at www.Golfstat.com.