Mens golf hosts first first tournament in 10 years, securing a victory


Rachel Rudisill/ The Sunflower

Freshman Matthew Sandoz hits off the tee at hole 16 on Oct. 10 at the Grier Jones Shocker Invitational. Sandoz finished 20th in his collegiate debut.

Mens golf played in the Grier Jones Shocker Invitational, which was their first home tournament in 10 years, at Crestview Country Club. The Shockers placed first overall.

The Kansas Sports Hall of Fame inductee and former Shocker mens golf coach Grier Jones — who the tournament was named after — watched the team compete.

“He’s done so much for college golf and they city of Wichita and it was just a no brainer and I called him one morning and said coach I’d love to name this after you and you know he gave us the blessing and we are going to run with it and try and do this at Crestview North if they’ll have us,” head coach Judd Easterling said.

The Shockers played 36 holes on Oct. 10 and 18 holes on Oct. 11. The championship of the tournament was determined by the combined total scores from both days.

They competed against Air Force, Drake, Hutchinson Community College, Indian Hills Community College, Missouri State, Northern Iowa, Omaha, South Dakota and Utah Valley. Four golfers from Oklahoma State competed in the individual competition.

Junior Aston Castillo placed fourth overall for the Shockers. His final score was (71-70-71–212, -1).

“Aston: he’s just as solid as they come,” Easterling said “ He’s probably one of the better ball strikers we have on the team. He just needs to work on his putting, but he’ll be solid for us the whole year.”

Easterling said freshman Matthew Sandoz’s, a Chester, United Kingdom, native, performance stuck out to him the most.

“You know, you gotta think, in the middle of all this, he flew halfway across the world to play college golf, and he’s stepped up today and played a great round,” Easterling said.

Easterling said Sandoz made a couple of bogeys on the course which is a stroke of one stroke over par at a hole and finished at par on two. He said Sandoz scores were the biggest factor in claiming the team title.

“I think the tough conditions made him play better because he hits it kind of low and keeps it on the wind and he really drives it in,” Easterling said.

After finishing seventeenth overall at the SMU Trinity Forest Invitational in Dallas, Texas, last week, earning a victory for the team was important.

“We know the golf course very well and we tried to run a first class event,” Easterling said. “The guys ended up getting the job done, and after last week and having some struggles, it was nice to see a smile on their faces.”

The Shockers will finish their fall season on Oct.17-19 at the TPC Colorado at Heron Lakes Intercollegiate in Denver, Colorado.