VESTAVIA HILLS, ALABAMA – The Kentucky men’s golf team fell to No. 14 Arkansas at SEC Match Play Tuesday morning at Old Overton Club in Vestavia Hills, Ala. The Wildcats, who were swept by the Razorbacks in match play, now will turn their attention to the final event of their fall schedule, the Hamptons Intercollegiate Oct. 3-4 at Maidstone Club in East Hampton, New York.
“This was not a good week on the course for us,” Kentucky head coach Brian Craig said. “We just did not execute at the level necessary when playing this type of competition. I’m not nearly as disappointed in today’s match as I am the stroke play portion. Arkansas finished ninth in the country last year and has a better roster this year. Give credit to them. We absolutely have to find more consistency in our stroke play, especially with how we start competitions. We will get back to work as we have a quick turnaround to the Maidstone event.”
Graduate Dhaivat Pandya opened the morning strong with a birdie to match Arkansas’ Wil Gibson on the first hole before Gibson birdied the third and seventh holes for a 2-up lead at the turn. Pandya cut the deficit to one with a par on 10 but lost to birdies on 15 and 16 as Gibson took the match.
Fellow graduate Garrett Wood fell to Julian Perico after bogeys on the third and seventh holes put Wood down two early. The Mason, Ohio, native won the eighth hole with a birdie but Perico responded with a birdie on the par-4 ninth. A birdie on 12 trimmed the deficit to on but Perico responded with birdies on 13 and 14. Perico bogeyed 15 but again bounced back with a birdie on 16 to end it.
Freshman Kevin Watts matched Enrique Dimayuga early, staying even through seven holes, but Dimayuga birdied the eighth to hold a narrow lead at the turn. Bogeys for Watts at the 11th and 13th holes, followed by a Dimayuga birdie on 14, put the match out of reach in the 3 and 2 defeat.
Junior Campbell Kremer, coming off a career-low 4-under-par 66 in the final round of stroke play Monday, fell behind a red-hot Manuel Lozada from the start Tuesday. The Razorback sophomore birdied the first and eagled the second before Kremer answered with a par to win the third. However, Kremer could never recover after bogeys on the fourth, fifth and seventh holes.
Senior Alex Goff lost ground to Mateo Fernandez de Oliveira’s birdie on the third hole. The pair each birdied the sixth but a bogey on the seventh followed by a Fernandez de Oliveira birdie on the ninth gave the Arkansas senior a 3-up lead at the turn. Goff would get no closer the remainder of the way, falling by a 4 and 3 margin.