April 13, 2009

Courtesy of Kentucky

LEXINGTON, Ky. – Beating the field by 10 strokes, the Kentucky men’s golf team captured its first tournament title of the season in the second annual UK Bluegrass Invitational. Senior Ben Fuqua finished fourth for his second best finish of the season on the Big Blue Course at the University Club.

The UK Bluegrass Invite marked the first three-round tournament title for the Wildcats since the Wolf Run Intercollegiate during the 2006-07 season. With a 287-285-298-880,Kentucky tied its fourth highest round of the season in Saturday’s middle round with a 285. In last year’s inaugural tournament, the Wildcats finished fourth after then-sophomore Brian Belden took home a share of the tournament title with Western Kentucky’s Brent Long..

“It has been a while since we have won and it is a good feeling. The hard work that these guys have been putting in is really starting to pay off,” head coach Brian Craig said. “The team continues to get better and we are very excited about traveling to Georgia next week for the SEC championship.”

Fuqua led the charge for the Wildcats, finishing the home-course spring tournament in fourth place for his fifth top 20 finish of his career and second this season. The senior shot 72-71-77 for a tournament 4-over par.

Senior Andy Winings and junior Jordan Blann each tied for ninth after firing a 7-over-par 223. Blann’s top 10 streak continues to two tournaments after finishing tied for fifth in UK’s last outing in the Hootie at Bulls Bay.

Winings has finished every tournament this spring season in top 20.

Haverford, Penn., native James Kania, battled the gusting winds on the immaculate home course today to shot a 4-over par for a share of the 15th spot. The sophomore has quickly come to age this season starting every tournament of the 2008-09 season with three top 15 finishes.

The Danish import, Mads Kristensen made consistent improvement throughout the tournament shooting a 76-74-74 to share15th place with his Wildcat teammate, James Kania.

Junior Alex Volpenhein, junior Derek Oldham and sophomore Chase Carpenter all set out to sharpen their tournament skills competing as individuals. Volpenhein finished tied for 33rd, Oldham tied for 37th and the Salyersville, Ky., native, Carpenter finished tied for 81st.

The Kentucky men’s golf team has a short week before returning to action April 17-19 in the Southeastern Conference championship at St. Simons Island, Ga. The Wildcats seek their second SEC championship after taking the tournament title in 2005. Live scoring can be found on golfstat.com with a round-by-round recap each day on UKathletics.com.

1 Kentucky, U. of 297 285 298 880

4 Ben Fuqua 72 71 77 220

T 9 Andy Winings 79 68 76 223

T 9 Jordan Blann 73 78 72 223

T 15 James Kania JR. 76 72 76 224

T 15 Mads Kristensen 76 74 74 224