LEXINGTON, Ky. – The Kentucky men’s golf team tees it up starting Friday at the Schenkel Invitational at Forest Heights Country Club in Statesboro, Georgia. The 14-team tournament, hosted by Georgia Southern, will include 18 holes Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
The UK lineup will consist of Alex Goff, Garrett Wood, Campbell Kremer, Kevin Watts and Dhaivat Pandya with Jackson LaLonde participating as an individual.
“The Schenkel is one of the longest-standing and best-run events of the year,” UK head coach Brian Craig said. “The history of great players who have played here is significant and Forest Heights Country Club is a terrific old-school test of golf. We are itching to compete again and show what this team is capable of. I still 100 percent believe in these guys and expect this to be a good week for the Wildcats.”
The tournament marks the third of five team events prior to the SEC Championship at the Seaside Course in St. Simons Island, Georgia, in mid-April.
Tournament History: The Cats will be participating in the Schenkel Invitational for the 17th time. The tournament, which was first played in 1971, has produced several outstanding individual champions including Justin Thomas, Bubba Watson, Hal Sutton and Curtis Strange. The Wildcats’ previous best finishes include a third place standing in 2006 and a tie for third in 2016. Kentucky finished fourth a year ago when Jacob Cook tied for fourth, Campbell Kremer placed 16th and Garrett Wood tied for 18th.
The Course: Forest Heights Country Club will play as a par-72 at 7,123 yards. Recognized as one of the finest courses in the Southeast, Forest Heights is relatively forgiving off the tee but presents a challenge with several undulating, difficult-to-read greens.
The Field: Along with the Wildcats and host Georgia Southern, Army, Campbell, UCF, Florida Gulf Coast, Liberty, Middle Tennessee, Mississippi State, North Florida, Notre Dame, UAB, West Virginia and Wisconsin.
Last Time Out: Kentucky finished in a tie for ninth after a difficult final round on a cold and blustery Wednesday at the Lake Las Vegas Intercollegiate at Reflection Bay Golf Club. Senior Alex Goff paced the Wildcats in a tie for 15th for the tournament at 1-under-par.
The Numbers So Far: Through the first six tournaments of the year, Goff paces the Wildcats with a 71.83 scoring average and five top 20 finishes. Wood follows with a 73.22 scoring average with Campbell Kremer right behind at 73.72. Wood has a pair of top 10 finishes, including a second-place standing at the Hamptons Intercollegiate. Pandya has a pair of top 20 finishes while Kremer and Watts have one apiece.
Goff leads the Wildcats with 11 rounds of par-or-better, including nine under par, while Wood has notched six rounds of par-or-better and Kremer and Pandya have tallied five. All but one of Wood’s 18 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):
Alex Goff – 45 (11)
Garrett Wood – 45 (6)
Dhaivat Pandya – 25 (5)
Campbell Kremer – 18 (4)
Cooper Parks – 9 (1)
Andrew Clark – 4 (4)
Jackson LaLonde – 4 (2)
Kevin Watts – 3 (3)