Men's Golf: Wildcats Head to Akron For Firestone Invitational

Oct. 11, 2009

LEXINGTON, Ky. -- After a seven day layoff, the Kentucky men’s golf team returns to action this week when they travel to play in the Firestone Invitational at the world renowned Firestone Country Club in Akron, Ohio on Monday.

“Our backs are up against the wall after a slow start to the season and Brian not being able to compete this weekend,” said Kentucky head coach Brian Craig. “We need to start a new season with this event. I am looking for the guys to step up and play their best golf.”

Kentucky will send a strong rotation to Akron with senior Ben Fuqua sitting atop the rotation. The native of Danville, Ky., posted great numbers for the Wildcats last season with a 73.47 season stroke average and finishing the year with two top-10 finishes and four top-20 finishes. The senior also won the Mason Rudolph Intercollegiate last season with an all-time UK 54-hole low score of 198. The rest of the rotation includes junior James Kania, freshman Chase Parker, senior Jordan Blann and freshman Michael Kania. Sophomore Mads Kristensen, freshman Joseph Barr and senior Derek Oldham will play as individuals.

Junior Brian Belden, who has posted the best finishes in both of Kentucky’s tournaments so far this season, will not compete in the Firestone Invitational due to family reasons.

Hosted by the University of Akron, the Firestone Invitational will be played at the historic Firestone Country Club’s North Course. The course will play at par-72 with a 7,125-yard layout. The 54-hole tournament will start with 36 holes on Monday with a shotgun start at 8:30 a.m. The final round will be played on Tuesday.

Along with Akron, the tournament field includes, Eastern Michigan, No. 15 Kansas State, Marquette, Maryland, Michigan State, Pacific, Rhode Island, St. Mary’s College, Toledo and Western Carolina.