LEXINGTON, Ky. – The Kentucky men’s golf team kicks off its spring schedule in South Carolina at the Battle at Briar’s Creek in Johns Island Monday and Tuesday. Hosted by the College of Charleston, the 11-team event will include 36 holes Monday and 18 holes Tuesday.
The UK lineup will consist of Alex Goff, Garrett Wood, Campbell Kremer, Dhaivat Pandya and Andrew Clark with Kevin Watts, Jackson LaLonde, Cooper Parks and Tanner Parks competing as individuals.
“It is 2023 and a new opportunity for us to step up and play like we are capable,” UK head coach Brian Craig said. “I fully believe in this team and can’t wait to compete at Briar’s Creek. It is a fabulous golf course in perfect conditions.”
The tournament marks the first of five team events prior to the SEC Championship at the Seaside Course in St. Simon’s Island, Georgia, in mid-April.
Tournament History: This year marks the 10th event in tournament history but the first Battle at Briar’s Creek after last year’s event and the previously scheduled tournament in 2019 were washed out by inclement weather. This will be the first time the Wildcats participate in the tournament.
The Course: The Golf Club at Briar’s Creek, which was designed by Rees Jones and opened in 2002, features rivers, creeks, marshes and saltwater estuaries. The course, which is set beside Briar’s Creek and the Kiawah River, will play as a par-72 at 7,175 yards.
The Field: Along with the Wildcats and host College of Charleston, Campbell, Lipscomb, Wake Forest, Augusta, Boston College, UNC Wilmington, Elon, Memphis and Virginia Tech will participate.
Last Time Out: The Cats concluded their fall slate with a third-place finish at the Hamptons Intercollegiate Oct. 3-4 at Maidstone Club in East Hampton, New York. Graduate student Garrett Wood led three Wildcats in the top 20 in a tie for second place at 4-over-par.
The Numbers So Far: Through the four-tournament fall schedule, senior Alex Goff paces the Wildcats with a 72.25 scoring average and three top 20 finishes. Wood follows with a 72.50 scoring average with junior Campbell Kremer right behind at 73.67. Wood has a pair of top 10 finishes, including a second-place standing at the Hamptons Intercollegiate. Fellow graduate student Dhaivat Pandya has a pair of top 20 finishes while junior Campbell Kremer has notched one.
Goff leads the Wildcats with six rounds of par-or-better, including five under-par, while Kremer, Pandya and Wood have each carded four rounds of par-or-better. All 12 of Wood’s rounds have counted toward the team tally while Kremer’s career-low 4-under-par 66 in the final round at SEC Match Play marked the best by a Wildcats in the 2022-23 campaign.
Cats Return Seven: The Wildcats return seven players from the 2021-22 roster. Combined, the returners earned four top-10 finishes, 11 top-20 finishes and three of UK’s five starters from its Southeastern Championship and NCAA Regional squad will return.
Wood, Goff, Kremer Highlight Returners: Wood, UK’s leader in stroke average a year ago, highlights the returning core. He charted a 71.55 average and amassed five top-20 finishes. Goff posted a 71.97 average with four top-20 finishes, while Kremer had a pair of top-20 finishes and totaled a 72.89 stroke average.
Career Par-or-Better Rounds (in 2022-23):
Garrett Wood – 43 (4)
Alex Goff – 40 (6)
Dhaivat Pandya – 24 (4)
Campbell Kremer – 17 (3)
Cooper Parks – 9 (1)
Andrew Clark – 3 (3)
Jackson LaLonde – 3 (1)