Kansas City Kansas Community College's golf team turned in the best round of the Ottawa Invitational tournament Tuesday but it wasn't quite enough to overtake the host team.
Trailing Ottawa University by 15 strokes after Monday's first round, the Blue Devils chopped 11 shots off the lead to finish four shots back in the 11-team tournament made up of nine four-year colleges and universities and two community colleges. The meet was played at Eagle Bend in Lawrence.
Led by Trevor Bauer and Bobby Armstrong, the Blue Devils closed with a 292 Tuesday after an opening 311 for a 603 total as Ottawa made its opening round of 296 stand up with a 603 finish and a 599 total. Park University finished third at 609 followed by Oklahoma Wesleyan, 626; Kansas Wesleyan, 634; Baker, 639; Sterling, 650; Haskell Indian Nation, 652; Coffeyville Community College, 653; Southwestern, 660; and Ottawa's B team, 663.
A sophomore from Wichita Maize South, Bauer turned in the tournament's best round Tuesday, a sizzling 4-under 68. Seven shots back of medalist Doug Radley of Ottawa after a 78 the first day, the 68 vaulted Bauer into second place at 146, just three shots back of Radley.
Armstrong, a sophomore from Wichita Bishop Carroll, also made a big comeback, firing a one-under 71 for Monday's second best round. Out in 79 Monday, Armstrong tied for fourth at 150. Evin Wheaton, a freshman from Leavenworth Immaculata, also cracked the Top 10 in medalist competition with a pair of 76's for a tie for ninth.
"Bauer and Armstrong played very well," said KCKCC Coach Gary Shrader. "They had the only sub-par rounds of the day and my one true freshman, Evin Wheaton, played very solid."
Five Blue Devils finished in the top 20 as sophomores Micah Morris (79-77-156) and Jack Flynn of Lawrence Free State (78-78-156) tied for 16th while freshman Zach Miller of Greeley tied for 24th (79-78-157) and Olathe Northwest freshman Harry Welsh finished 32nd (81-79-160).
"All seven of our players broke 80 Tuesday which was very encouraging," said Shrader. "I'm pretty excited about this group. I think it will just get better – as long as it doesn't get caught up in early success and uses good course management."
KCKCC will next compete in the Evangel Invitational in Springfield, Mo., next Monday and Tuesday.
Firing the best round of the Ottawa Invitational Tuesday, KCKCC's golf team of (from left) Zach Miller, Evin Wheaton, Trevor Bauer, Harry Welch, Bobby Armstrong and Micah Morris finished runnerup in the 11-team tournament. (KCKCC Photo by Gary Shrader)