LEXINGTON, Ky. – The Kentucky men’s golf team concludes its regular-season slate when it travels to Charlottesville, Virginia, for the Lewis Chitengwa Memorial starting Monday at Birdwood Golf Course. The 14-team field will play 36 holes Monday before wrapping up the tournament with the final round Tuesday.
The UK lineup will consist of Alex Goff, Garrett Wood, Campbell Kremer, Kevin Watts and Dhaivat Pandya with Andrew Clark participating as an individual.
The tournament is the last regular-season event for the Cats prior to the SEC Championship at the Seaside Course in St. Simons Island, Georgia, April 19-23.
Tournament History: Kentucky participated in the tournament for the first time last April, posting a fifth-place finish. Jacob Cook and Garrett Wood tied for ninth at 3-under-par while Alex Goff tied for 14th a shot back at 2-under.
The Course: Birdwood Golf Course, designed by Lindsay Ervin, originally opened in 1984 but was redesigned by Davis Love III, his brother Mark and architect Scot Sherman for a reopening in 2020. Ranked No. 3 on Golf Digest’s list of Best New Courses in 2021, Birdwood has been opened up to offer spectacular views of the Blue Ridge Mountains and the closing stretch features three signature holes wrapped around historic Birdwood Mansion. The course will play as a par-71 at 7,116 yards.
The Field: Along with the Wildcats and host Virginia, Arkansas, Auburn, East Carolina, Florida State, Jacksonville, Kennesaw State, Loyola (Md.), Northwestern, St. Mary’s, Texas State, UNC Wilmington and Virginia Tech will participate in the event.
Last Time Out: Kentucky tied for sixth at the Hootie at Bulls Bay Intercollegiate March 26-287 in Awendaw, South Carolina. Alex Goff carded three rounds in the 60s to post the second-lowest 54-hole total of the Brian Craig era, a 16-under-par 200, and finish second. Kevin Watts, with a first-round 66 and Garrett Wood, with a final-round 68, also carded rounds in the 60s.
The Numbers So Far: With one regular-season tournaments to play, Alex Goff paces the Wildcats with a 70.96 scoring average and seven top 20 finishes. Garrett Wood follows with a 72.83 scoring average, followed by Campbell Kremer in third at 73.58. Goff and Wood are tied for the team lead with three top 10 finishes. Dhaivat Pandya has a pair of top 20 finishes while Kremer and Kevin Watts have one apiece.
Goff’s 7-under-par 65 in the second round of the Hootie at Bulls Bay marks the Cats’ best round of the year. Goff, Kremer, Pandya and Watts each have a 66 to their ledger this season.
Goff Putting Together Phenomenal 2022-23 Campaign: Not only is Alex Goff leading the Wildcats in several statistical categories, many of his numbers rank favorably among Kentucky golfers dating back to the 1993-94 season. Consider:
– Through his first 24 rounds of the season, Goff’s 70.96 scoring average and -0.67 strokes versus par are the best among Wildcats in that era, besting J.B. Holmes’ 71.29 average, -0.13 strokes against par in his 2003-04 All-America campaign.
– Goff’s 84.5% finish percentage ranks second behind Holmes’ 93.2% finish percentage in 2003-04. He has finished ahead of 512 of his 606 opponents this season, while Holmes topped 992 of his 1065 opponents in 2003-04.
– Goff’s season par-4 scoring average sits in second at 4.0247, narrowly behind Holmes’ 4.0234 in 2003-04.
– His 3.0505 par-3 average sits third behind Max Mehles’ 3.0181 in 2017-18 and teammate Garrett Wood’s 3.0317 last season.
– Goff currently sits fourth in season par-5 scoring average at 4.7000. His par-5 average of 4.6721 in his freshman season ranks the best, followed by Cooper Musselman’s 4.6818 in 2017-18 and Holmes’ 4.6984 in 2001-02.
– Goff’s 7-under 65 in the second round of the Hootie at Bulls Bay this year is tied for the fourth-lowest round for a Wildcat since 1993-94. Four different players, including Goff at the Vanderbilt Legends Collegiate in 2021-22, have carded a 64. The 7-under-par round is one of a dozen by Wildcats since 1993-94, marking the best score versus par.
– For his career, Goff’s 71.88 scoring average through 96 rounds, ranks best of any Wildcat, ahead of Chip McDaniel’s 72.02 average in 137 rounds from 2015-18.
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 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 – 50 (17)
Garrett Wood – 49 (10)
Dhaivat Pandya – 26 (6)
Campbell Kremer – 20 (6)
Cooper Parks – 9 (1)
Kevin Watts – 7 (7)
Jackson LaLonde – 5 (3)
Andrew Clark – 4 (4)
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