Men’s golf clinches first victory of season in UK Bluegrass Invitational

By Les Johns

The UK Men’s Golf team won the 5th annual UK Bluegrass Invitational that concluded on Sunday at the University Club in Lexington.

The Cats took the lead Saturday after a much-improved second round of golf, and ended the tournament with a 12-over-par score of 864.  The Cats finished with a 4-stroke win over the second-place Dayton Flyers.

The opening round on Saturday did not go well for the Cats, who ended the round in third place.  They finished that first round 12 strokes over par and three shots behind Marshall University.

The Cats improved their score by 15 strokes in the second round, however, and took control of the tournament.

“We played sloppy in the morning and then turned around and played really solid in the afternoon,” UK head coach Brian Craig said.

UK’s performance was paced by sophomore Cody Martin, who finished second in the individual standings with a 1-over-par score of 211 for the tournament, 3 strokes behind Bosten Miller from Marshall.

“Overall I feel really good,” Martin said.  “I’m a  little disappointed to come in second.”

“He should have won the tournament,” Craig said of Martin. “He’s turning into an elite-level college player.”

Martin’s performance over the weekend followed up a strong performance by the sophomore at the Marshall Invitational a week earlier, where he shot a career-best 7-under-par.

“I’ve had two good weeks in a row,” said Martin of his performance. “So hopefully it just keeps going.”

UK sophomore Stephen Powers shot a 2-under-par 69 in the final round on Sunday, which was a 10-stroke improvement over his 1st-round score. He attributed his better score to his putting game.

“I switched to a belly-putter for the 1st round,”  Powers said.  “That didn’t work out too well.”

This is the first time the UK Bluegrass Invitational was held in the fall.  Craig said the goal will be to have this event on these same dates from now on.

“It was a home run for all the teams,” Coach Craig said.

The UK men’s golf team will next compete in the Inverness Intercollegiate Invitational in Toledo, Ohio, which takes place Sept. 26 and 27.

“It’ll be a better field,” said Coach Craig of the competition level at Inverness.  “It’ll be the most difficult course we’ll play probably all year.”