Nov. 1, 2009
LEXINGTON, Ky. -- A week removed from facing the best competition of the season at Isleworth, the Kentucky men’s golf team departs for Sapphire, N.C., with a chance to end the fall portion of its tournament schedule on a good note at the Hummingbird Intercollegiate starting Monday.
“It may not look like it, but we are slowly making progress,” head coach Brian Craig said. “I like the lineup we are playing this week and think they are all playing with confidence. Hopefully we can end the fall season on a positive note.”
Kentucky will send the rotation of junior Brian Belden, seniors Jordan Blann and Ben Fuqua, freshman Chase Parker, and sophomore Mads Kristensen. Senior Derek Oldham will play in the tournament as an individual.
Belden has played in four of the five events this fall for the Wildcats, all as the top UK seed. The native of Emmaus, Pa., was Kentucky’s top finisher in the first two tournaments this year. The junior has two top-20 finishes on the season, with his best finish coming at the Gary Koch Intercollegiate, where he finished tied for 14th. Belden has the lowest season-stroke average on the Wildcat team with a 73.56 mark.
Blann, who was the Wildcats’ best finisher last week at Isleworth, sits second in the Kentucky rotation this weekend. The native of Bowling Green, Ky., has one finish in the top 20 this season when he finished tied for 12th at the Firestone Invitational. Blann has a season-stroke average of 76.00 this season, including an 18-hole low of 70. Blann has played in every tournament for the Wildcats this season.
Fuqua is the Wildcats’ No. 3 man. The native of Danville, Ky., has the lowest round of golf of the season for the Wildcats when he posted a 68 at the Gary Koch Intercollegiate. The senior is also tied on the team with the best finish of the year, when he finished tied for fifth at the Firestone Invitational along with teammate Joseph Barr. Fuqua has played in every round for UK this season, posting a 76.00 season-stroke average.
Parker and Kristensen wrap up the Kentucky rotation. Parker has played in three events for Kentucky this season, posting the second lowest season-stroke average on the team with a 75.56 mark. Kristensen has played in one event for UK this season, finishing tied for 34th at the Gary Koch Intercollegiate.
The Wildcats will face a tough field at the Hummingbird Intercollegiate this weekend, including No. 24 Chattanooga. The rest of the 18-team field includes Akron, Appalachian State, College of Charleston, East Carolina, Elon, Gardner-Webb, Francis Marion, Furman, High Point, Mercer, Radford, Samford, Vanderbilt, Western Carolina, Wofford and Winthrop. There will also be 12 individuals playing in the tournament.
The tournament is being played at the Country Club of Sapphire Valley in Sapphire. Western Carolina is hosting the tournament. It is the third consecutive year Western Carolina has hosted the tournament. The 36-hole event is being played at par 71.