Tyler “Chip” McDaniel fired a blistering 7-under-par 65, the lowest round of his collegiate career, during the final round of the Gary Koch Invitational at Gaston Country Club on a sunny Tuesday where the weather couldn’t have been any better for golf. Though the Wildcats finished in seventh place as a team with a 7-over par total of 871, they saved their best golf for the final day and tied the second lowest score of the final round at 7-under par (281).
What head coach Brian Craig is saying:
“We had an awfully tough 36-hole day yesterday. Gaston Country Club simply ate our lunch. Today was a different story. I could not be prouder of the guys for a terrific bounce-back round today. And how about Chip McDaniel with a 65 that included a 30 on the front nine? That is absolutely fantastic. We now need to diligently prepare for the SEC Championship. I believe in this team and know our best golf is still in front of us.”
About the lineup:
McDaniel climbed 32 notches on the leaderboard and tied for ninth place at 2-under par, earning his fourth top-10 finish this season. UK’s All-American started off on the right foot with a birdie at the long par-5 first hole before he saw another birdie on the fourth hole. The junior played the first five holes of the scenic front nine at 2-under par before rattling off four straight birdies to close out the side for a smoldering 6-under-par 30 on the side. He slipped up at the 10th hole with a bogey – his only blemish on the scorecard all day – but stayed poised and strung along five pars in a row before nabbing back-to-back birdies at the par-4 16th and 17th holes, ultimately finishing with a 1-under par 35 on the back nine. McDaniel’s stellar play on Tuesday gave him his fifth sub-70 round of the season.
Lukas Euler earned his fifth top-25 finish of the season after some good golf throughout landed him in a tie for 23rd place at 1-over-par, his best finish since the Schenkel Invitational. The sophomore fired a 2-over par 74 on the final day of play.
Cooper Musselman played his best golf of the week in the final round. The junior fired his fourth under-par round of his last seven after he entered the clubhouse with a 1-under par 71 on Tuesday. Musselman tied for 29th place at 2-over-par, which is only the second time he’s finished outside of the top-25 this season.
Evan Cox, playing as an individual, rounded out his fourth event of the season with a 77 that placed him in a tied for 34th at 4-over par.
Stephen Stallings bounced back nicely as he also found himself in the red numbers on the final day. The senior fired a 1-under-par 71, his best score of the event and third under-par round in his last six attempts. Stallings shot 1-over par on the front nine, but, as he’s shown many times this season, rebounded to shoot 2-under on the back nine. He tied for 49th at 8-over par.
Individuals Matt Liston and Fadhli Soetarso finished tied for 55th and 58th place, respectively after rounds of 77. Fred Allen Meyer finished tied for 60th.
The Tournament Field:
UK won the Gary Koch Invitational in 2004, placed second in 2005 and third in 2015.
No. 20 Auburn took home the first place trophy after shooting 18-under par for the week. N.C. State, ranked 43rd, finished in second place at 10-under par while Coastal Carolina rounded out the top three at 2-under.
About the course:
The 18-hole “Gaston” course at the Gaston Country Club facility in Gastonia, North Carolina features 7,042 yards of golf from the longest tees for a par of 72. The course rating is 74.4 and it has a slope rating of 135 on Bermuda grass. Designed by Ellis Maples, the Gaston golf course opened in 1958.
Up next for the Cats:
Kentucky moves on to the postseason with the SEC Championship, held at Seaside Golf Club in St. Simons Island, Georgia, on April 21-24.
Gaston Country Club
7 – Kentucky 295, 295, 281 – 871 (+7)
T9 – Chip McDaniel 78, 71, 65 – 214 (-2)
T23 – Lukas Euler 71, 72, 74 – 217 (+1)
T29 – Cooper Musselman 73, 74, 71 – 218 (+2)
*T39 – Evan Cox 73, 70, 77 – 220 (+4)
T49 – Stephen Stallings 75, 78, 71 – 224 (+8)
*T55 – Matt Liston 77, 73, 77 – 227 (+11)
*T58 – Fadhli Soetarso 75, 76, 77 – 228 (+12)
T60 – Fred Allen Meyer 76, 78, 75 – 229 (+13)
* competing as individual
For the latest on the Kentucky men’s golf team, follow @UKMensGolf on Twitter and on the web at UKathletics.com.
‑ GO CATS –
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