Men's Golf Notebook: Six Golfers Make SEC Spring Honor Roll

July 2, 2009

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – Six players from the University of Kentucky men’s golf team made the 2009 Southeastern Conference Spring Honor Roll, announced Wednesday by SEC Commissioner Mike Slive.  

Making the honor roll for Kentucky are seniors Ben Fuqua (communications) and Andy Winings (communications), juniors Derek Oldham (finance) and Alex Volpenhein (communications) and sophomores Chase Carpenter (pre-finance) and James Kania (pre-finance).

The 2009 SEC Spring Academic Honor Roll is based on grades from the 2008 Spring, Summer and Fall terms. In order to be eligible a student-athlete must (1) have a grade point average of 3.00 or above for either the preceding academic year (two semesters or three quarters) or have a cumulative grade point average of 3.00 or above at the nominating institution. (2) If a student-athlete attends summer school, his/her grade point average during the summer academic term must be included in the calculation used to determine eligibility for the Academic Honor Roll. (3) Student-athletes eligible for the Honor Roll include those receiving an athletics scholarship, recipients of an athletics award (i.e., letter winner), and non-scholarship student-athletes who have been on a varsity team for two seasons. (4) Prior to being nominated, a student-athlete must have successfully completed 24 semester or 36 quarter hours of non-remedial academic credit toward a baccalaureate degree at the nominating institution. (5) The student-athlete must have been a member of a varsity team for the sport’s entire NCAA Championship segment.

In all, the University of Kentucky had 53 student-athletes make the honor roll. Women’s track led the way with 17 selections, followed by men’s track (eight), softball (seven), men’s golf (six), baseball (six), men’s tennis (four), women’s tennis (three) and women’s golf (two). 

Belden Alternate for Public Links Qualifier
Brian Belden, a junior in the 2008-09 season, shot a 5-over-par 149 in 36 holes of competition at the U.S. Public Links Qualifier at the Charlie Vettiner Golf Course in Louisville, Ky., on June 25.

The native of Emmaus, Pa., finished three strokes out of a playoff that ultimately decided who would play at the 84th U.S. Amateur Public Links Championship in Norman, Okla., July 13-15. Belden is listed as the second alternate behind Kenny Goodykoontz from Lexington, who lost on the second playoff hole to Brett Munson of Louisville. Goodykoontz will be the first alternate and Munson was the automatic qualifier for the championship rounds.

Belden finished three strokes ahead of Brandon Berry from LaGrange, Ky., who shot a 152. The next closest golfer was Hunter York of Benton, Ky., who shot a 156.

Belden played in six rounds last year for the Wildcats, posting a season stroke average of 76.33. Belden’s best round of the year, and of his career, came in the Mason Rudolph Intercollegiate held in Franklin, Tenn., where Belden shot a 69 in the final round to claim a tie for 31st place. 

Kania Continues Strong Summer Play, Wins 2009 Braemar Invitational
Kentucky golfer James Kania continued his outstanding play this summer by winning the 2009 Braemar Invitational tournament held at the Lexington Country Club on June 24.

Kania doubled bogeyed the first hole before running off an impressive streak of seven birdies in the next nine holes. Kania finished the tournament with a 6-under-par 66 to claim the tournament title.

“Stretches of golf don’t come around like that very often, but it sure is nice when they do,” Kania said. “It was great to break through and get a win after the Philly-Am. Hopefully my solid play this summer will carry through to the fall season.”

Kania, a native of Haverford, Pa., finished second in the 109th Philadelphia Amateur Championship earlier in June. Kania advanced through four rounds of match play competition before reaching the 36-hole championship round, where he played recent University of Virginia graduate Conrad Von Borsig. Kania lost in the finals, 6-and-4.

Kania played in 29 rounds as a sophomore for the Wildcats during the 2008-09 season, posting a season-stroke average of 74.65. Kania had a season-low round of 69 at the Schenkel E-Z Go Invitational, while also gathering three top-15 finishes on the year, including placing sixth at the Jacksonville University Invitational. The former Golf Association of Philadelphia Junior Player of the Year in 2004, Kania played some of his best golf late in the season finishing in the top 30 in two of his last three tournaments, including a tie for 27th at the NCAA Regional.