Asher Fusco of the Daily Kansan reports that when Ross Randall took his team out for dinner the night before the Big 12 Championship, he didn’t expect it to cost him the majority of his starting lineup.
Four of the five Jayhawk golfers slated to compete for the Big 12 crown in Tulsa, Okla., came down with food poisoning after Sunday night’s team dinner, leaving some doubt about whether the team would be able to play.
“I really didn’t think we could finish the tournament, but our guys hung in there,” Randall, Kansas coach, said.
All five of the Jayhawks ended up finishing the tournament, and the team placed eighth overall with a total score of 897. Kansas was the No. 11 seed coming into the tournament, but the team edged out rivals Missouri and Kansas State.
Junior Gary Woodland was the only Jayhawk left unaffected by food poisoning, and he took full advantage of his good health. He finished tied for seventh place overall in individual competition. Woodland endured a disappointing final round, but still managed to shoot only 5-over par for the entire tournament.
“I was upset that I didn’t finish how I wanted, but I’m pretty happy about finishing seventh and playing some pretty solid golf,” Woodland said.
Despite feeling under the weather, the rest of the Jayhawks posted solid results. Senior Pete Krsnich shot three rounds in the mid-70s to finish tied for 32nd, while junior Tyler Docking finished in a tie for 45th place.
Senior Luke Trammell, who spent much of Monday evening receiving hydration through an IV in the hospital, managed to shoot a 232 to tie for 52nd overall.
Redshirt freshman Zach Pederson got off to a good start in his first round, but posted high scores in his second and third rounds to finish 57th overall.
Oklahoma pulled away from the pack in the third round and took home the Big 12 Championship. Matthew Rosenfeld of Texas shot even par for the tournament to grab the individual title.
The resilience shown by the Kansas golfers may pay dividends when the NCAA sends out invites to the regional tournament, held May 18 to 20. In the last several weeks, the team’s strong play has pushed it directly onto the edge of the postseason picture.
The Jayhawks will have to wait a few more days while the NCAA lays out the regional fields.
“We could be the last team in or one of the last teams out,” Randall said. “It just depends on what the committee looks at.”