LEXINGTON, Ky. – The Kentucky men’s golf team concludes its fall campaign when it travels to Loxley, Alabama, for the Steelwood Collegiate Invitational Saturday and Sunday at Steelwood Country Club. The 14-team event consists of 36 holes Saturday and 18 holes Sunday.
The UK lineup will consist of Alex Goff, Jansen Preston, Oakley Gee, Campbell Kremer and Andrew Clark with Cooper Parks participating as an individual.
The tournament is the last of four fall tournaments for the Wildcats, who will pick up their spring schedule Feb. 5-6 at the Battle at Briar’s Creek in Johns Island, South Carolina.
Tournament History: The Cats have played in the event four previous times, earning a second-place finish in 2016 and 2021. In the event in 2021, Goff tied for eighth at 4-under while Kremer tied for 16th at 3-under.
The Course: The 54-hole tournament hosted by the University of South Alabama is played on the 7,032-yard, par-72 layout which opened in 1997 and underwent a full renovation in 2022.
The Field: Along with the Wildcats and host South Alabama, Alabama, Chattanooga, Indiana, Kansas State, Kennesaw State, Louisiana Tech, Memphis, Rice, Rutgers, UAB, Virginia Tech and West Virginia.
Last Time Out: The Cats finished fourth in a shortened version of the Blessings Collegiate Invitational Oct. 2-3 at Blessings Golf Club in Fayetteville, Arkansas. The first 36 holes were played before the final round was canceled because of inclement weather. Alex Goff tied for second at 4-under, while Michael Hake tied for 23rd at 4-over.
The Numbers So Far: Through three team events, Alex Goff leads the Wildcats with a 69.63 scoring average, notching a top-10 finish in each event. Of the five Wildcats to play in all three fall events, redshirt freshman Solomon Petrie sits second with a 73.63 average.
Goff, who has had all eight rounds count toward the team tally, has tallied six under-par rounds, while Petrie and junior Jansen Preston rank second with a pair of rounds of par-or-better.
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 heading into the 2023-24 season.
In addition, Kentucky welcomed Lexington native and Vanderbilt transfer Jansen Preston along with talented freshmen Wesley Beard and Michael Hake.
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 average 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 71.58 scoring average through 111 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 2023-24):
Alex Goff – 63 (6)
Campbell Kremer – 23 (1)
Cooper Parks – 9 (0)
Kevin Watts – 8 (1)
Andrew Clark – 7 (1)
Jansen Preston – 7 (2)
Jackson LaLonde – 5 (0)
Solomon Petrie – 2 (2)
Oakley Gee – 1 (1)
Michael Hake – 1 (1)