Barr, Belden, Wildcats Finish Strong at Sapphire Valley

Nov. 2, 2010

LEXINGTON, Ky. – Behind sophomore Joseph Barr’s 1-under-par 70 and senior Brian Belden’s even-par 71, the University of Kentucky men’s golf team scored a 4-over-par 288 to finish in third place at the Hummingbird Intercollegiate in Sapphire Valley, N.C., on Tuesday.

Kentucky finished the 36-hole event with a 5-over-par 573 after scoring a 1-over-par 285 in the first round and a 4-over-par 288 in the second round. The first-round score of 285 ties the lowest score of the year for Kentucky, while the top-three finish is the second of the season for the Wildcats. UK finished tied for third at the Philadelphia Big 5 Invitational in early October. The top-three score marks the 34th time that Kentucky has finished in the top three in the Brian Craig Era.

“This is a good showing for our guys,” head coach Brian Craig said. “We started slow but really came on strong at the end of day one and played fairly consistent today. This is a good way to finish the fall season and hopefully it will give us something to build on as we start preparing for the spring season, which starts in February.”

UK, which finished tied for second in last year’s Hummingbird Intercollegiate, was four strokes behind Southeastern Conference foe Vanderbilt, which finished second at 1-over-par and 10 strokes off the pace of Jacksonville State, which took home the team title at 5-under-par. Furman and Gardner-Webb ended the tournament in a tie for fourth at 6-over-par.

Individually, Kentucky was led by Barr and Belden, who each finished in the top 20. Barr, a native of Versailles, Ky., posted the lowest UK round of the day Tuesday with a 1-under-par 70 to finish tied for sixth. The sophomore shot an even-par 71 in the first round and ended the tournament at 1-under-par 141. Barr was even par at the turn, before birdying three of the next five holes to get back into the top 10 and score the impressive finish.

Belden scored an even-par 71 in the second round to finish in a tie for 13th, moving his streak of consecutive top-20 finishes to four. A native of Emmaus, Pa., finished the tournament at 1-over-par 143 with seven total birdies, including four in the second round. The senior has now scored quality scores in Kentucky’s last four tournaments, finishing 15th at the Gary Koch Intercollegiate, tied for ninth at the Philadelphia Big 5 Invite and tied for 19th at the UNCG Bridgestone Golf Collegiate.

Junior Mads Kristensen and true freshman Stephen Powers played well for Kentucky at the event, finishing in the top 30. Kristensen, who was in the top 10 after his first-round score of 1-under-par 70, shot a 4-over-par 75 in the second round to finish tied for 23rd at 3-over-par 145. The native of Denmark, led Kentucky with a total of eight birdies for the tournament, including six in the second round.

Powers, a native of Naperville, Ill., was consistent at the event, carding a 1-over-par 72 in the first round and a 3-over-par 74 in the second round to finish tied for 27th. The freshman scored five birdies for the tournament.

Sophomore Chase Parker concludes the Kentucky rotation, scoring a 2-over-par 73 in the second round on top of his 6-over-par 77 in the first round to end the event tied for 53rd at 8-over-par. Parker, a native of Augusta, Ga., turned on late for UK, shooting 1-under-par on the last seven holes.

Fellow sophomore Seth Blann, a native of Bowling Green, Ky., scored his best finish of the year, ending the tournament tied for 42nd with a 6-over-par 148. Blann was impressive in the second round, posting a 1-over-par 72 with two birdies.

Adam Hofmann of Vanderbilt took home the individual title at 7-under-par 135, followed by Matt Nagy of Kennesaw State and Stephen Healy of Jacksonville State, who each finished at 5-under-par.

The tournament concludes the fall season for the Wildcats, who will not return to action until Feb. 21-22 at the Mobile Bay Intercollegiate in Magnolia Grove Golf Club.