Jesse Massie was 18-over-par and tied for 24th after three rounds at UK’s Big Blue course in Lexington. (Ben Kleppinger)

By Walter Lesczynski

The Men’s golf team placed seventh at the UK Bluegrass Invitational in Lexington.The University of Kentucky hosted the event, and the Colonels finished 70-over-par, turning in a three-round total of 922. They carded 311, 299 and 312.

Top honors went to the University of Central Florida Knights, who finished the match with a robust margin, 47-over-par, ending comfortably in first with 899. Missouri and Murray State tied for second with 915, 63-over-par.

Kentucky’s Wildcats squeaked past the Colonels with 64-over and the Hilltoppers came in two shots behind Eastern with 72-over for ninth place. Out of the 17 teams, Morehead State finished last with 128-over-par.

The tournament was held in chilly weather Sunday and Monday at UK’s Big Blue course in Lexington. The course is a par-71, with a total yardage of 7,013. Due to the cold and intermittent rain, only one round was completed Sunday, although Monday’s weather was only marginally improved, with minimal rain and a high temperature in the 40s.

Junior Jesse Massie, who was recently selected as the Ohio Valley Conference Co-Golfer of the Week, tied with nine other players for 24th place at 18-over-par for 231.

The best score for the tournament was a tie between Hilltopper Brent Long and Wildcat Brian Beldon. The two finished with 6-over-par for 219. Long took home the individual title to Western after a playoff was held.

Trey Bowling scored best for the Colonels, and tied for 19th with Grant Leaver of Austin Peay. His three-round total was 229 for 16-over-par. He started with a 79 on Sunday, followed by 75 for both rounds on Monday.

Justin Moore tied with Ryan Britt for 46th with 22-over-par. Britt’s opening round of 74 was the lowest score for the Colonels in the tournament.

Britt and fellow senior Phil Hendrickson finished at 22 and 26-over-par respectively. In addition to his opening 74 on Sunday, Britt hit a 74 followed by an 87 on Monday. Hendrickson carded an 87 Sunday, improving to 76 and 79 on Monday for a three-day total of 239.

The Bluegrass Invitational marks the end of the regular season for the Colonels. Next up is the Ohio Valley Conference Championship, which begins Sunday at the Country Club of Paducah.