LEXINGTON, Ky. – The Kentucky men’s golf team kicks off the Gator Todd era and the 2023-24 season at the Folds of Honor Collegiate starting Monday at American Dunes Golf Club in Grand Haven, Michigan. The 18-team tournament, now in its second year, features three 18-hole rounds Monday through Wednesday with Golf Channel televising the event from 4-7 p.m. each day.
The UK lineup will consist of Alex Goff, Michael Hake, Jansen Preston, Solomon Petrie and Campbell Kremer.
“We’re very excited,” Todd said. “I think this is a tournament we’ve all been looking forward to for quite some time. Going up to Michigan to play on national TV and on a golf course that represents fallen soldiers makes it pretty cool to play for something bigger than ourselves this week. I’m excited about this group we’re taking up there and looking forward to seeing what we can do.”
The tournament marks the first of four fall tournaments for the Cats, who will participate in the SEC Match Play Championship Sept. 25-17 in Mountain Brook, Alabama and the Blessings Collegiate Invitational Oct. 2-4 in Fayetteville, Arkansas before concluding the fall slate at the Steelwood Collegiate Invitational Oct. 28-29 in Loxley, Alabama.
Tournament History: The Cats are participating in the tournament for the first time after the inaugural event a season ago was won by Illinois. The event showcases and supports the Folds of Honor Foundation and highlights Folds of Honor scholarship recipients from several of the country’s top golf programs.
The Course: Opened in 2021, American Dunes Golf Club previously was home to Grand Haven Golf Club. The Jack Nicklaus design, which will play as a par-72 at 7,128 yards, has cleared many of the trees of the previous layout to showcase the many rises and falls of the natural dunes on the property.
The Field: Along with the Wildcats and host Michigan State, Air Force, Arizona, Arkansas, Army, Florida A&M, Florida State, Grand Valley State, Howard, Indiana, Kansas, Memphis, Navy, N.C. State, Notre Dame, Oregon State and South Carolina will participate in the event.
Cats Open Gator Todd Era in 2023-24: Head coach Gator Todd leads the Wildcats for the first time in the 2023-24 season after a successful six seasons on staff at Vanderbilt, where he most recently served as associate head coach. Working alongside Commodore head coach Scott Limbaugh, Todd helped lead Vanderbilt to four top-10 finishes at the NCAA Championships, the first to NCAA Regional championships in school history and two Southeastern Conference crowns.
During his time in Nashville, the Commodores accumulated 22 regular-season and postseason tournament titles. Vanderbilt totaled 18 All-Americans, 24 All-Region selections, four SEC Players of the Year and 18 First- and Second-team All-SEC choices.
UK Returns Nine: The Wildcats return nine players off the 2022-23 roster, including graduate Alex Goff, senior Campbell Kremer and sophomore Kevin Watts, who each played in every tournament a season ago. In all, the returning Cats have played 329 total rounds in 112 events.
In addition, Kentucky welcomed Lexington native and Vanderbilt transfer Jansen Preston along with talented freshmen Wesley Beard, Michael Hake and Mason Hamrick.
Goff, Kremer Highlight Returners: Goff, who currently holds the Cats’ best career scoring average dating back to the 1993-94 season, was a Second-Team All-SEC selection a season ago after leading UK with a 70.73 scoring average with a team-high five top-10 finishes and nine in the top 20. Kremer, who joined Goff as an Academic All-SEC selection, posted a 73.67 scoring average last year, sitting third in the team with eight par-or-better rounds and 24.3 team counted rounds.
Goff in Final Season of Historic Career: Goff, who graduated in December 2021 with a degree in finance and is currently pursuing his master’s in business administration announced his decision to return for a fifth season last May. Not only did Goff lead the Wildcats in several statistical categories as a senior a year ago, many of his numbers rank favorably among Kentucky golfers dating back to the 1993-94 season. Consider:
- In the 2022-23 season, Goff’s 70.73 scoring average and -0.73 strokes versus par ranked 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 ranked second behind Holmes’ 93.2% finish percentage in 2003-04 narrowly ahead of Holmes’ 83.5% finish percentage in 2001-02.
- Goff’s season par-4 scoring average was best in program history at 4.0000, besting Holmes’ 4.0234 in 2003-04.
- His 4.6917 par-5 averages ranked third while his 3.0942 par-3 average ranked sixth.
- Goff’s 7-under 65 in the second round of the Hootie at Bulls Bay last 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 71.72 scoring average through 105 rounds ranks best of any Wildcat, ahead of Chip McDaniel’s 72.02 average in 137 rounds from 2015-18.
Career Par-or-Better Rounds (in 2022-23):
Alex Goff – 57 (24)
Campbell Kremer – 22 (8)
Cooper Parks – 9 (1)
Kevin Watts – 7 (7)
Andrew Clark – 6 (6)
Jackson LaLonde – 5 (3)
Jansen Preston – 5 (3)