Goodyear, Ariz. Kansas University sophomore Stan Gautier tied for the second-best round of the day while shooting his collegiate-best round of 4-under 67 on Friday and helped KU drop eight strokes from its opening round to sit in a tie for 11th with one round to play at the Desert Shootout.
Gautier knocked eight strokes off his own score from the first round and climbed into the top-25, along with Kansas senior Chris Gilbert, who fired a 1-over 72 during the second day of competition on Palm Valley Golf Course. Both players were tied for 21st after 36 holes at even-par 142 for the tournament.
“Stan had a really good round, and that obviously helped the team score,” KU coach Jamie Bermel said. “We moved up a little bit, and hopefully we’ll be a little better tomorrow. Everybody was pretty disappointed after the round yesterday, but we got in some good work after the round and did much better. We kind of felt like everyone needed to step up, and everybody did that. It was a solid team score today.”
KU senior Alex Gutesha shot even par Friday on the par-71, 6,925-yard course, and the Jayhawks used a 73 (+2) from Ryley Haas to tally a combined 1-under 283 after posting a 291 as a team Thursday. Kansas started the day 15th out of 16 teams, but was the fifth-best team on the course Friday and improved the most of any team while climbing into a tie with Southern Utah at 574 (+6). The Jayhawks were within 10 strokes of fourth-place Tulsa (564) and trailed tournament-leader BYU (559) by 15 strokes. Wichita State’s Hunter Sparks moved into the lead after firing back-to-back rounds of 66 to sit at 132 (-10).
Gautier became the second Jayhawk to claim a career-best in two days, following Bryce Brown’s example from Thursday. Brown followed his 69 on the opening 18 with a 73 Friday and tied his teammates at even par for the tournament, even though he’s competing as an individual.
The tournament concludes with 18 holes today.