K-State men finish ninth at Big 12 Championships

By The Mercury

TRINITY, Texas — The Kansas State men’s golf team finished in ninth place Sunday at the 2012 Big 12 Championships held at the par-72, 7,330-yard Whispering Pines Golf Club.

The Wildcats carded a 21-over-par 309 during the final round to finish with a 72-hole score of 75-over-par 1,227 (307-304-307-309).

“Today was not our best, but we had a few nice rounds,” K-State head coach Tim Norris said. “Kyle Smell finished his career with a solid round. Ben Juffer had a good score as well. The others struggled a little bit in spots, however.”

Curtis Yonke, who leads the Wildcats with a 73.55 stroke average, was the top performer for the Wildcats throughout the tournament, as he posted an 18-over-par 306 (76-73-79-78) to end in a tie for 31st place. On Sunday, Yonke carded a 6-over-par 78.

Ben Juffer and Kyle Weldon were two strokes behind Yonke, as both finished with a 20-over-par 308 to tie for 36th.

Juffer carded a 3-over-par 75 on Sunday, while Weldon shot a 10-over-par 82. Kyle Smell shaved seven strokes off of his score on Sunday to end at 23-over-par 311 (79-77-81-74), tying for 40th. His score of 2-over-par 74 on Sunday was a team-best.

Rounding out the Wildcat lineup was David Klaudt, who ended the tournament tied for 45th after shooting a 11-over-par 83 in the final round.

“This was a very tough golf course,” Norris said. “Gusty winds in a couple locations, and if the execution is off, it is going to lead to a bogey or more.”

Texas A&M, ranked No. 15 in the nation, took home its first-ever Big 12 Championship title with a 13-over-par 1,165 (296-286-286-287) for the tournament.

The Aggies were able to hold off the nation’s top-ranked team Texas, which was just three strokes behind at 16-over-par 1,168 (302-292-283-291). 

Baylor’s Joakim Mikkelsen claimed his first individual Big 12 Championship title after climbing six spots on the leaderboard Sunday. He registered a 3-under-par 285 (74-71-72-68) throughout the three-day tournament following a 4-under-par 68 on Sunday.

“I hope next year when we are at Prairie Dunes, we will be in a better position,” Norris said. “Our guys will get better and work hard. We have a bright future ahead. Some of these lessons are a little painful, but these guys will keep working hard. They have what it takes. They just have to be a little sharper in the future.”

K-State will only lose one senior, Smell, off of the roster for the 2012-13 season as the Wildcats bring back four golfers who competed in at least nine events.

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