Men's Golf Returns to Practice for the 2009 Spring Season

Jan. 19, 2009

After a tremendous fall season, highlighted by two top-five finishes, the University of Kentucky men's golf team returned to practice this week in preparation to make a run for their fifth appearance in the NCAA tournament since 2002 under Coach Brian Craig.

"The team has had a nice break from competition and we are ready to start getting back into championship form for the spring season," coach Craig said. "Historically our teams have played our best golf in the spring semester. We have every reason to believe that this year's squad could do special things with a deep run in the postseason."

The Wildcats are looking to continue their well-balanced, record-breaking play on the course after dominating performances by nationally ranked seniors, No. 47 Ben Fuqua (Danville, Ky.) and No. 99 Andy Winings (Brownsburg, Ind.) during the fall semester season.

Coming out of the gate ready to make its mark, Kentucky finished fourth overall in the first tournament of the year at the Wolf Run Intercollegiate when Winings fired a final-round 71 to finish the tournament one-over par and tied for second place overall.

"Winings had very solid performance and did a superb job carrying the team this week," Craig said about Winings' performance in the Wolf Run Intercollegiate.

The next time out, Kentucky traveled to Nashville, Tenn., to participate in the Mason Rudolph Intercollegiate. It would prove to be a memorable tournament for Fuqua as he set a new school record for the lowest three-round tournament score in the history of Kentucky men's golf. Fuqua shot a first-round 68 followed by a pair of 65s in the final two rounds, both career bests, en route to a tournament first-place finish. Craig called Fuqua's play the best individual performance he has ever witnessed by a Wildcat golfer.

Fuqua's 20-birdie, 15-under par performance led to him receiving his first Southeastern Conference Player of the Week honor after propelling UK to a second-place finish in the Mason Rudolph Intercollegiate.

The upcoming spring season will find the Wildcats traveling to the Southeast in four regular-season tournaments, including the second annual UK Bluegrass Invitational held at Kentucky's home course at the University Club on April 11-12. Kentucky kicks off the spring season Feb. 16 in the Jacksonville University Invitational.

Continue to check www.UKathletics.com and the new UK Official Blog, Cat Scratches, to stay up-to-date with the latest men's golf action and features.