Men's Golf Finishes Second at Fourth-Annual UK Bluegrass Invite

April 10, 2011

LEXINGTON, Ky. -- University of Kentucky men's golf freshman Stephen Powers tied a tournament record score of 6-under-par 65 in the second round to finish in a tie for second place as the UK men's golf team concluded the 2011 UK Bluegrass Invitational in second place at the University Club of Kentucky on Sunday.

Kentucky held an eight-stroke lead heading into the final nine holes of the tournament but could not keep its momentum going, falling to second place with a team score of 24-over-par 876. The second-place finish ties the best finish of the season for the Wildcats, who also earned a No. 2 finish in the Mobile Bay Intercollegiate. Auburn took home the team title with a 16-over-par 868. Dayton's Chris Woeste won the individual title at even-par 213.

"I am unbelievably proud of our guys and how hard they played not only today but this weekend," UK head coach Brian Craig said. "We had an eight shot lead at the turn in the final round, but just didn't execute like we needed to on the back nine. However, this experience will definitely help this young team to grow and get better."

The top-three finish for the Wildcats is the third of the season and the 35th since Craig took over the program in 2001. UK's team score of 876 was the second lowest of the season and its second-round team score of 288 is tied for the third-lowest round of the year.

Powers (74-65-76-215) led the Wildcats, finishing second on the individual leaderboard after tying the tournament record score for 18 holes with a 65 in the second round. The 6-under-par round was the lowest of the tournament by any player and put Powers on top of the leaderboard after 36 holes. The native of Naperville, Ill., earned six birdies and 12 pars in the second round for the impressive mark. Powers scored a 5-over-par 76 in the final round, including an eagle on the par-five seventh hole. The freshman ended the tournament with a 2-over-par 215.

"I am especially proud of Stephen Powers and how he played this weekend," Craig said. "His 65 in the second round was as good as I have seen from a freshman and confirms what type of player he can be here at Kentucky. He had his coming out party this weekend and we look for really good things from him moving forward."

Sophomore Chase Parker (69-76-73-218) earned his second top-10 finish of the year by ending the 54-hole tournament tied for seventh. The native of Augusta, Ga., carded a 5-over-par 218 for the tournament, including an opening-round mark of 2-under-par 69. Parker shot a 5-over-par 76 in the second round but followed that up with a solid score of 2-over-par 73 in the final round.

Senior Brian Belden (71-70-79-220), who was playing in the tournament as an individual, was the final Wildcat to sit in the top 20 at tournament's end. The native of Emmaus, Pa., was very impressive for the first two rounds, scoring an even-par 71 to open the tournament and a 1-under-par 70 in the second round. Belden finished the tournament with an 8-over-par 79. The senior ended the event with a 7-over-par 220 and tied for 16th.

Junior Mads Kristensen (73-74-75-222) and freshman Cody Martin (74-73-79-226) each finished in the top 35. Kristensen posted a 9-over-par 222 to finish tied for 21st for his best finish of the year. The 54-hole score of 222 is the lowest of the season for Kristensen by seven strokes. Martin sat at 13-over-par 226 to end the event tied for 35th and has now finished in the top 35 in the last five tournaments.

Sophomore Seth Blann (777-80-74-231) concluded the UK rotation, finishing the tournament with an 18-over-par 231. The native of Bowling Green, Ky., saved his best round for last with a good score of 3-over-par 74.  

Two other Wildcats played in the event as individuals in junior Chase Carpenter and freshman Matthew Anderson. Carpenter scored an 18-over-par 231 in the tournament to finish tied for 55th, while Anderson sat at 22-over-par 235 to finish tied for 72nd.

The tournament wraps up regular-season play for the Wildcats, who will now travel to St. Simons Island, Ga., to compete in the Southeastern Conference Championships at Seaside Golf Club April 5-17.

For more information on the Kentucky men's golf team, visit UKathletics.com or follow "UKmensgolf" on Twitter.