KU wraps up men’s golf nationals, track and field regionals
photo by: Kansas Athletics
For most of the 2022-23 season, Kansas freshman Will King only occasionally placed among the top golfers on his own team. As recently as the Big 12 Conference Men’s Golf Championship, he ranked last among five Jayhawk competitors. It wasn’t until the end of the campaign, and his white-knuckle qualification out of NCAA regionals, that he found himself consistently going head to head with the best in the Big 12 and beyond.
King, the lone KU representative at the NCAA Division I Men’s Golf Championship over the weekend, bowed out Sunday after shooting a 7-over 217 through three days at Grayhawk Golf Club in Scottsdale, Arizona. The mark wasn’t good enough to earn him a berth in the second round of play Monday, but it put him in the top third of all participants and No. 1 among individual qualifiers.
“When you play in the final, there is a guarantee the course will test every part of your game, and Grayhawk was no exception,” KU men’s golf coach Jamie Bermel said in a press release. “For the most part, Will played like a seasoned veteran. Not only did he beat the five individuals, he beat some of the best college players in Division I. Will’s game travels very well. He hits it where he is looking and has really no weaknesses to his game other than his experience.”
King opened among the top scorers early in the first day of the competition, but got derailed by the 13th and 16th holes, including a penalty for slow play, and slipped to a 1-over 71. The back nine gave him more trouble as he shot a 75 on Saturday, but he bounced back to equal his Friday performance with another 71 on Sunday.
“(King) just finished his freshman year in college, with a 4.0 GPA as a Pre Med major, and has just grown and matured all year long,” Bermel said. “I really think his best years of golf are still in front of him, and I feel so fortunate he is a Jayhawk.”
Women’s track and field
Two Jayhawks, a returner and a first-timer, made it out of the final day of NCAA West Preliminary competition in Sacramento, Calif., and will represent KU at the outdoor national championships in Austin, Texas, beginning June 7.
Fifth-year senior Rylee Anderson, a native of Longmont, Colorado, will be back on the biggest stage in Austin after a 1.82-meter high jump, good for seventh in the prelims. Lona Latema, a junior from Kenya, ran a personal-best 9:51.76 in the 3,000-meter steeplechase and finished ninth, clinching a berth of her own in the process.