Kansas State golfer Daniel Wood has a pretty good idea what to expect today.
The senior has been here before — literally.
Wood, who led the Wildcats with a 72.38 stroke average and six Top-20 finishes this season, opened the NCAA Columbia (Mo.) Regional today at the par-72, 7,141-yard The Club at Old Hawthorne.
Wood is one of five individuals competing in Columbia on a course that he has played several times during his Wildcat career.
“With the course knowledge Daniel and I have about Old Hawthorne, we have been able to duplicate many of the playing conditions, club selections and grass types here in Manhattan,” K-State head coach Tim Norris said. “He feels very relaxed knowing there will not be any surprises.
“He’s done a great job keeping his golf swing in the groove since he finished up at the Big 12 Championship a few weeks ago.”
A native of Leander, Texas, Wood finished in the top five twice this season for the Wildcats — his best placing a tie for fourth at the Cowboy Classic when he carded a pair of 67s in the final two rounds to finish at 4-under 206. He was fifth at the Jim Colbert Intercollegiate at 9-over 225.
Wood, who tied for seventh at the 2014 Big 12 Championship, paced the Wildcats this season with 11 of his 34 rounds under par, while 33.5 of his 34 rounds counted toward the team score.
A three-time First-Team Academic All-Big 12 recipient, Wood has been the only Big 12 golfer each of the last two seasons to earn a perfect 4.0 GPA. Following the 2012-13 season, Wood was named an All-America Scholar by the Golf Coaches Association of America.
Wood, who did not compete the 2009-10 and 2010-11 seasons due to a church mission and redshirted the 2011-12 campaign, has played the Club at Old Hawthorne on two occasions in his K-State career.
As a sophomore in the spring of 2009, Wood tied for 17th at 8-over 224 to help the Wildcats capture the Tiger Intercollegiate title. Wood carded an 11-over 227 this past fall in the season-opening Columbia Regional Preview.
“Old Hawthorne, visually, it is set up a lot like Colbert Hills, so there is really no question that I will be swinging my driver a lot this week,” Wood said. “It’s a place where you can be aggressive off of the tee and you can really pick your spots. The course really has a fantastic set of finishing holes on both the front and back nine, so anyone who comes out will see some exciting drama coming down the stretch.
“This is what we as K-State golfers are always working toward — we are always trying to make the postseason. I owe a lot to my teammates for helping push me and for helping me get in a position where I was able to receive an at-large bid to go play in the regional.”
First-round action was set to start at 8 a.m. today. Friday’s action will also begin at 8 a.m., while Saturday’s final round will start at 7:30 a.m.
Live scoring from The Club at Old Hawthorne will be available at golfstat.com.