LAWRENCE, Kan. – Park University caught and passed Oklahoma Wesleyan while pulling away from Kansas Wesleyan to finish third in the men's division of the Ottawa University Fall Invitational, Tuesday, while the women fell a spot, finishing fifth in their first event under first-year head coach Tony Blake at Eagle Bend Golf Course in Lawrence, Kansas.
Park's third-place finish in the men's event was led by another third-place finish, as Wes Buntenbach added 75, Tuesday, to Monday's 73, a two-day total of 146 that was three off the tournament lead, held by Ottawa's Doug Radley, who led the Braves to a four-shot championship over Kansas City Kansas Community College. KCKCC shot 603 over the two days, while Park finished in 609, including Tuesday's 297.
"I thought the guys had a chance," Blake said. "We gave back six shots in the last three holes, and could have very easily been in at 291. But, we improved by 15 shots, which I like to see. We're not close to what we're capable of, yet, but it's moving in the right direction."
In addition to Buntenbach's 75, freshmen Yannick Koehnen and Ryan Tattan also shot 75, but the Pirates' best number came from Zach Spencer, who improved on his first-day score by 12 shots to shoot even-par, 72.
For the Park women, Tuesday was a disappointing finish, ending the event in fifth, with a two-day score of 710. Genevieve Stelmacovich led the Pirates for a second day, shooting 83 and finishing 11th, while Leeah Shipley was 13th, backing yesterday's 81 with a Tuesday 86. As a team, Tuesday, the Pirates shot 362. Kansas Wesleyan ran away with the event, improving on Monday's score by two strokes to shoot 638 for the event.
"I think the girls got too relaxed and lost focus, today," Blake said. "That's something we'll have to work on, because they're too talented not to stay focused on the job at hand."
Park is off for nearly a month, returning to the road in October for the Southwestern Invitational, in Maryville, Missouri. The event, Oct. 5-6, is scheduled to take place at Maryville's Mozingo Lake Golf Course.