McPHERSON – For two rounds it was a battle between Barton Community and Sterling College. But the final round was nearly all Sterling as Barton took runner-up spot in the first meet of the 2015 fall season for the men’s golf team.
Barton led after the opening day of the two day event at Turkey Creek Golf Course in McPherson. But the Cougars couldn’t keep it going through all three windy rounds of golf and fell behind Sterling.
Sterling won the Central Kansas Classic with a 3-round total of 926. Barton was second with a 942 followed by Bethel College with a 962.
“The wind was really blowing, especially in the afternoon,” Barton coach Doug Kaiser said. “There was talk of calling off the tournament because it was so windy.”
Barton had left after the first two rounds. After the opening day of 18 holes, Barton held a 6-stroke lead on Sterling, shooting a 309 to the Warriors 315. The Cougars had five golfers shoot in the 70’s led by Jakkapat Horsangchai. The freshman from Thailand shot a 6-over 76.
Sophomores Natchapol Srinoon, Andrew Iverson and Jestin Jackson were all one back at 77.
The Cougars improved that score in the morning round Tuesday but saw its lead trimmed. Barton shot a 303 during the second round but Sterling fired a 299 on the round, cutting Barton’s lead to a pair heading into the afternoon round in the gusty winds.
Another freshman, South Korean Seokunh Kang, settled in after a rough opening day. Kang shot a 4-over 74 to lead the Cougars on the heels of his 84 the first day. He was matched by Srinoon to pace the Cougars’ morning round.
All six Cougar golfers shot in the 70’s in the morning round.
Then came the afternoon and winds finally wore down the Cougars.
Barton shot a 330 while Sterling fired a 312 for the 16-stroke win.
After having all six golfers shoot in the 70’s during the morning round Tuesday only Kang broke that barrier in the afternoon’s final round. Kang shot 79.
Srinoon finished as Barton’s top golfer during the meet with a 77-74-80—231. That placed him fourth overall. Lorenzo Bolivar of Sterling shot 72-72-80—224 for the win. Srinoon was just a single stroke for a tie for second.
Iverson finished sixth overall with a 77-78-81—236. Kang was right behind in seventh with his 84-74-79—237. Horsangchai also paced in the top 10 with a 76-78-86—240, good for 10th.
Jackson finished in a tie for 11th after his final round struggles. Jackson shot 77-77-89—243. Blake Huxman finished 20th at 79-85-85—249.
“It was a pretty good showing for the men,” Kaiser said. “It got us started. We know what we need to improve on now. It was just good to get out there and hit the ball competitively.”
Barton will be back on the course Sept. 28-29 when the Cougars travel to Salina for the Kansas Wesleyan Invitational.