McDaniel, Stallings Lead UK to Top-Five Finish
LEXINGTON, Ky. – Behind top-10 finishes from sophomore Tyler ‘Chip’ McDaniel and junior Stephen Stallings, the Kentucky men’s golf team ascended on the leaderboard for a tie for fifth place at the Dick’s Sporting Goods Collegiate Challenge Cup in Kingston Springs, Tenn., on Saturday. McDaniel scored his second straight top-five finish to open the season, while Stallings posted a tie for ninth place to earn the best finish of his career to aid the Wildcat cause. Today’s round marked the conclusion of the opening 54 holes of play. The tournament field will play 18 holes of match play during Sunday’s final round of competition with UK being matched up with Duke.
What Coach Brian Craig is saying:
“The boys played well this week in the stroke play portion of this event. Hats off to Chip McDaniel and Stephen Stallings for leading us this week, they both played terrific golf in a very talented field. Tomorrow we get the opportunity to play Duke in a match-play format. That will be a tremendous experience for our guys.”
McDaniel finished the opening 18 holes in a tie for first place with an opening round of 5-under par, 66. It matched his career-low round. He charted five birdies in the round with no bogeys. In the second round, he fought off four holes of positive scores with a trio of birdies for a 2-over par. He is in search of his second top-10 performance in as many tournaments following the opening day of play.
Junior Stephen Stallings fired a 1-under par in the opening 18 holes of action – his best round of 2015-16. He followed that performance with a 1-over par, 72 in the second round of play. His 72 was the best round of any Wildcat over the final 18 holes on Friday. Stallings collected four total birdies on the day.
Senior David Snyder fired rounds of 69 and 75 to begin action. His opening round of 69 was the lowest round of the season for the Somerset, Ky., native. He finished in a tie for 25th overall through the first 36 holes of play and is a mere two shots off of a second straight top-20 finish.
Freshmen Jalen Ledger (48th) and Lukas Euler (59th) rounded out the lineup for the Wildcats. Ledger’s best round was a 75 during the second round, while Euler put together a 76 in the opening 18 holes of action.
The Tournament Field:
With the top-five finish, Kentucky downed three top 25 ranked teams, one of which was rated in the top five. It’s also the second-consecutive top-five finish in consecutive tournaments for the Blue and White – a feat not achieved for Craig’s squad since the 2013-14 season.
The Wildcats shot the third lowest round of any team during today’s competition to move into the top five on the standings board. Vanderbilt and Virginia tied for first place, while Florida State garnered the final slot in the top three.
The Golf Club of Tennessee opened in 1991. Golf Digest recognized The Golf Club of Tennessee as runner-up for the Best New Private Course in America following its inaugural year. It is consistently recognized as one of the top two courses in the state of Tennessee, and was recognized by Golf Week as one of America’s 100 Best Modern Courses. Also in 2006, Golf Digest Index ranked The Golf Club of Tennessee as one of America’s 50 Greatest Golf Retreats. The Golf Club of Tennessee has hosted numerous local, state, national amateur and pro-am events, while always providing enjoyable rounds of golf for members and their guests. It has recently been named the host site for the 2018 U.S. Women's Amateur.