Wildcats Close Out Regular Season at Country Club of Birmingham
LEXINGTON, Ky. – The Kentucky men’s golf team will close out its regular season at The Collegiate Invitational at the Country Club of Birmingham beginning on Monday. Originally slated to take place at Shoal Creek, weather forced a move to the Country Club of Birmingham. What awaits the Wildcats is an unfamiliar course and a field that includes eight teams ranking in the top 25 of the latest Golfstat rankings.
“We are incredibly grateful to the Country Club of Birmingham for stepping in and hosting this event after Shoal Creek was damaged by a tornado,” UK head coach Brian Craig said. “Our thoughts and prayers are with the Birmingham area after the tragic tornado deaths last week.
“We have never been on the West Course at the Country Club of Birmingham, but I have heard it is a fabulous course and is very demanding. This is also the best field of the regular season. It will be a great test for our team, and we can’t wait to get started.”
The three-day, 54-hole event gets underway on Monday with 18 holes being played each day.
Kentucky’s lineup will consist of sophomore Alex Goff, graduate students Reid Bedell and Jacob Cook, senior Allen Hamilton and junior Zach Norris. Sophomores Cooper Parks and Jackson LaLonde along with freshman Hugo Archer will be in the field as individuals.
Goff owns a 71.84 stroke average on the season and is coming off a tie for 12th at the Hootie at Bulls Bay Intercollegiate. He shot rounds of 69 and 68 to close out the tournament and moved his total of par-or-better rounds for the season to nine. Goff has seven career top-20 finishes in 14 career events.
Bedell is making his fifth-consecutive start for the Wildcats. He has appeared in more than 100 rounds as a collegiate golfer and has a career average of 73.73. Bedell has logged five par-or-better rounds this season and has 34 for his career. His best finish as a Wildcat was a tie for 10th at the Kiawah Invitational to open the spring schedule.
Cook is the lone Wildcat to start in all eight regular-season events this season. He owns a career-low scoring average of 73.00 on the season and has generated 18 rounds that have counted for the team’s score out of 21 possible rounds on the year. He has also fired a career-low round, a career-low tournament score and turned in a career-low finish in 2020-21.
Hamilton is appearing in his eighth event of the season and making his sixth start. He has five par-or-better rounds on the year and placed seventh overall to lead all UK players at the Schenkel Invitational. Hamilton also carded a career-low round of 67 at the Kiawah Invitational this spring.
Norris returns to the lineup and is making his fifth start of the season. He topped the team with a tie for sixth at Kiawah and has also generated a career-low round and score this spring. Norris has four par-or-better rounds on the season and has accounted for 10 team scores on the year.
Archer is coming off a career-best finish as an individual at the Hootie at Bulls Bay Intercollegiate. He posted back-to-back rounds of 72 to turn in a career-best 223 scorecard.
LaLonde is making his third appearance of the season. He had back-to-back rounds of 70 to begin play at the Kiawah Invitational in his last time out. His 222 score at that event also marked a career low.
Parks is making his seventh appearance of the season. He owns a 74.87 career scoring average in 31 combined rounds. Parks has four par-or-better rounds on the year, including a career-low 68 at the Kiawah Invitational.
The three-day, 54-hole event will be held Monday-Wednesday at the Country Club of Birmingham in Birmingham, Alabama. The teams will play the west course which plays at a par of 71 over 7,000 yards.
The field consists of Alabama, No. 21 Arkansas, No. 9 Auburn, Charlotte, No. 4 Clemson, No. 12 Georgia, Kentucky, No. 23 LSU, Mississippi State, No. 22 North Florida, Ole Miss, No. 19 Tennessee, UAB, No. 10 Vanderbilt and Virginia.
Live scoring will be provided by golfstat.com.
Originally laid out in the mid-1920s by the notable and prolific Scotsman Donald Ross, the West Course opened in 1925. Significant renovations came about both in 1959-60 and the mid-1980s. As the game and the club evolved, so has the West. Today’s course blends the talents of three World Golf Hall of Fame architects: Ross, Robert Trent Jones, Sr., and Pete Dye. Notably, Dye believes it’s the one course in existence to be crafted by this trio of golf course architects elected to the Hall.
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