Kentucky Begins 2015-16 at The Invitational at the Ocean Course
LEXINGTON, Ky. – The University of Kentucky men's golf team is set to hit the course for the first time in the 2015-16 season beginning on Friday as the Wildcats open play at The Invitational at The Ocean Course in Kiawah Island, S.C. The 54-hole tournament marks the first of four fall tournaments for the Cats.
What coach Brian Craig is saying:
"What a perfect way to open our 2015-16 season at The Ocean Course on Kiawah Island. This is the first of two major championship courses we are playing this fall and a stern test of golf. The format is also unique with six guys playing and counting four scores. Our preparation has been solid and we are ready to compete. I believe in this team and look forward to getting this season underway.”
The Starting Lineup:
This week's tournament will feature a lineup with senior David Snyder, junior Stephen Stallings, sophomores Tyler ‘Chip’ McDaniel, Cooper Musselman and Chris Meuth, and freshman Lukas Euler. Freshman Jalen Ledger will compete as an individual. In a new-format, six players will be in the starting lineup and four scores will count towards the team total.
Snyder and McDaniel paced the Wildcats in scoring a season ago and both advanced to NCAA Regional play as individuals. Snyder charted a 72.00 stroke averaged and totaled 18 rounds of par or better rounds. McDaniel was tabbed an All-Southeastern Conference Freshman team performer after leading UK with an 11th place individual finish at the league championship.
Musselman competed in 11 events as a freshman and garnered a 73.97 stroke average. He also posted two top-10 finishes in his first season. Stallings enjoyed his career-best season in 2014-15 where he started in 10 tournaments and scored a 75.24 stroke average. He had three top-20 finishes as a sophomore. Meuth earned his first collegiate start in UK’s final regular-season competition a season ago at the Bluegrass Invitational where he placed 12th overall.
Euler will make his collegiate debut in the No. 3 starting slot for the Wildcats this week. A native of Dieburg, Germany, Euler is a prominent player in his home country which includes a second-place finish at the 2014 German Men’s National Championship. Ledger will also make his college debut in his freshman season. A six-year letterwinner for the Benjamin School in Beach Gardens, Fla., Ledger carded five top-10 finishes on the American Junior Golf Association circuit.
The Tournament Field:
In addition to Kentucky, the 54-hole tournament field is comprised of Akron, Charleston Southern, Cincinnati, the College of Charleston, Francis Marion, Georgia Southern, Georgia State, Lamar, NC State, Troy and UAB.
Seven teams competed in postseason play a season ago. NC State won the The Invitational at the Ocean Course in 2010, while UAB, Georgia State and Georgia Southern all earned top-three finishes in the tournament at some point over the last three years. Lamar is coached by former UK assistant Jessie Mudd.
The Ocean Course at Kiawah Island Golf Resort has played host to the 2007 Senior PGA and 2012 PGA Championships and is only the fourth course to host each of the PGA of America's major championships. Probably no other golf course in the world outside of the United Kingdom and Ireland is affected as much by the wind. Located on the eastern-most end of Kiawah Island, The Ocean Course has more seaside holes than any other course in the Northern Hemisphere – 10 right along the Atlantic with the other eight running parallel to those.
The course is a par 72, with a total distance of 7,115 yards. The tournament will begin with 54 holes on Friday with a shotgun start at 8:00 a.m. ET. Saturday the players will take the course for another 18 holes with a split tee form at 8:00 a.m. Fans can follow along with live scoring at Golfstat.com.
This marks the third consecutive season Craig will take his squad to The Ocean Course. UK appeared in the tournament a season-ago as the opening fall event of the year. Musselman and McDaniel paced the Wildcats as both charted a 14th place finish in their collegiate debuts.
The Ocean Course
Kiawah Island, S.C.
1 – David Snyder
2 – Tyler ‘Chip’ McDaniel
3 – Lukas Euler
4 – Stephen Stallings
5 – Cooper Musselman
6 – Chris Meuth
Individual – Jalen Ledger