Sept. 10, 2010
LEXINGTON, Ky. - The University of Kentucky men's golf team is set to begin its 2010 fall schedule, teeing off Brian Craig's 10th season as the UK head coach at the Wolf Run Intercollegiate in Zionsville, Ind., on Saturday.
"This is a new year and a new chance for our players to get off to a strong start," Craig said. "We have been working extremely hard on and off the course to make sure that we are fully prepared for the season, and I think we are. I am looking forward to getting on the course and seeing what our guys can do."
Craig and associate head coach David Trainor send a balanced lineup of youth and experience to Wolf Run, including senior Brian Belden, sophomores Joseph Barr, Seth Blann and Chase Parker, and freshman Stephen Powers.
Belden and Parker, who both played in the Wolf Run last season, will fill the top of the rotation in the season opener. Belden, who finished last season with three top-20 finishes, is making his fourth trip to the tournament for UK. Last year, Belden scored the Wildcats best finish at the tournament, tying for 19th. Parker, a member on last year's All-Southeastern Conference freshman team, played as an individual in the 2009 Wolf Run for UK, tying for 59th.
Barr and Blann will fill the middle of the rotation for Kentucky, giving the Wildcats leadership and tournament experience. Barr, a native of Versailles, Ky., played in three tournaments for UK last season, scoring one top-10 finish. Blann, who finished second in the Kentucky State Amateur this summer, played well in team qualifying for Wolf Run after a strong summer on the course.
Powers will round out the UK rotation, making his first collegiate appearance Saturday after earning a qualifying mark in practice. The native of Naperville, Ill., was a four-year letterman in high school at Neuqua Valley, finishing first in the Upstate Eight Conference Championship with a score of 69 in 2009.
Redshirt freshman Cody Martin will play in the tournament as UK's lone individual. Martin used a redshirt season last year for UK and is expected to provide strong scores for Kentucky throughout the season.
For the second consecutive season, Kentucky will co-host the tournament with Indiana. The Wildcats and Hoosiers will be joined at the tournament by several top teams in the country, including No. 12 Illinois, No. 20 North Florida, No. 46 Central Florida and No. 50 Michigan. Other schools in the 15-team field include, Iowa State, Kansas State, Northwestern, Penn State, in-state rival Louisville, Tulsa, Ball State, Missouri and IUPUI.
The 54-hole tournament begins with two rounds Saturday, starting with a shotgun start in both rounds. The final round will be played Sunday based by staggered tee times. The course will play at par 71 with a yardage of 7,220.