ATHENS, Ga. – On the backs of seniors Jeremy Gandon and Roland Massimino, and junior Jacob Eklund, the Kansas State men’s golf team concluded its 2018-19 campaign at the NCAA Athens Regional on Wednesday at the par-71, 7,253-yard University of Georgia Golf Course.
Gandon, who was competing in his second-straight NCAA postseason appearance, tallied a 3-over par 74 on Wednesday, and finished the regional 8-over par 221 and in a tie for 36th. The Charpey, France, native leaves his name etched in school history. His career stroke average of 72.69 is the best in school history, and his four career wins are second most in K-State history.
Massimino slid up three spots during the final round, shooting a 2-over par 73 – his best round of the tournament– to tie for 46th. Massimino set a school record for annual stroke average with a 71.33 mark. After birdieing his final two holes as a Wildcat, the Lumberville, Pennsylvania, product walked off the green for a final time in K-State gear to hugs from his family.
Eklund carded an 8-over par 221 to finish out the season in a tie for 36th with Gandon. The Carbondale, Illinois, native finished his junior campaign with the fourth-best annual stroke average in school history at 71.78.
“The guys got off to slow starts again today and really couldn’t get anything going,” head coach Grant Robbins said. “The hole locations were again very difficult, and if you aren’t precise with your irons, it’s very difficult to score. Their ball striking just was not as sharp this week as it has been most of the year. I know they are disappointed in the results, but it doesn’t take away from the great season they had.
“As a team, I’m very pleased with the season we had,” Robbins continued. “We’ve made a lot of progress here over the las few years, and there is solid foundation going into next season. I know the returning guys will be hungry, and we have some really talented players coming in. I’m very excited about the future of this program.”
Georgia’s Davis Thompson took home the individual title, shooting 8-under par 205 on his home golf course. Vanderbilt’s Will Gordon finished two strokes behind him, while Thompson’s teammate Spencer Ralston finished in third. Billy Tom Sargent of Western Kentucky defeated Stephen Osborne of Nevada in a three-hole playoff for the individual spot from a non-advancing team in the NCAA Championship field.
No. 16 Georgia won the regional, shooting 8-under par 844. The Bulldogs held a seven-stroke advantage over ninth-ranked Duke and 10 strokes ahead of fourth-ranked Vanderbilt.
Eklund, along with Ben Fernandez, who finished seventh in school history with a 72.03 stroke average, will look to build off this season’s success during the 2019-20 season.
NCAA Athens Regional
University of Georgia Golf Course
Par 71, 7,253 yards
Individual Scores: 1. Davis Thompson, Georgia, 69-69-67–205 (-8); 2. Will Gordon, Vanderbilt, 69-70-68–207 (-6) 3. Spencer Ralston, Georgia, 69-69-71–209 (-4).
K-State Individuals: T36. Jeremy Gandon, 76-71-74–221 (+8); T36. Jacob Eklund, 74-72-75–221 (+8); T46. Roland Massimino, 76-75-73–224 (+11).
Source: Kansas State Sports