Barrett ties for eighth, Grindstaff posts third top-15 result to finish out WKU’s fall golf seasons


WKU Athletics

WKU senior Kenlie Barrett, a transfer from Sam Houston State, tied for eighth in the Old Stone Intercollegiate, posting a 54-hole score of 8-over 224.

Piper McCoun, Sports reporter

Hilltopper Men’s Golf wrapped up its fall season at the Battle of Black Creek, hosted by Chattanooga, on Tuesday. Freshman Riley Grindstaff claimed another top-15 finish, his third of the season, and the Hilltoppers ended the event in 11th place as a unit.

“This was as close as we have been to putting together a complete event in a long time,” head coach Chan Metts said in a press release. “I saw a lot of great things from the team this week. If we get a few more putts to drop today, we could have climbed a few spots, but instead, we treaded water. The course played very tough today and we held our ground in those conditions which is always a good thing, but we really needed to gain a few spots on the board.”

Fifth-year senior Caleb O’Toole and junior Luke Fuller led the Hilltoppers on Tuesday, both scoring 2-over 74’s. Fuller moved up 10 spots and finished 47th while O’Toole climbed six spots to tie for 22nd. It was O’Toole’s best finish since the Bash in the Boro event in October 2020. 

“It felt great earning my spot back in the lineup,” O’Toole said. “I felt very grateful to be back this week and I tried to soak it all up. It always feels good to play well too.” 

Grandstaff was the top finishing Hilltopper, tying for 11th place. Over 15 rounds of competitive collegiate golf he is averaging 72.2 shots per round. 

“It was an absolute blast,” Grindstaff said. “It was right where I want to be every tournament. I definitely got nerves knowing I was so close to my first college win. I think getting these back-to-back top 15’s is big for my confidence going into the spring. I’m excited to get to work this offseason and have an even better second semester.”

WKU’s final score for the day was a 5-over 77, earning the program an 11th-place finish. 

“This is a young team that has a lot of potential and I’m excited about the spring and future,” Metts said. “But we have to keep our foot on the gas pedal and keep improving each week. We especially need to take advantage of this offseason.”

The Hilltoppers will take November, December and January off before returning to competition for the spring season in February. 

Meanwhile in Bowling Green, the Lady Toppers wrapped up their fall season in the Old Stone Intercollegiate, co-hosted with Louisville. The Lady Toppers finished 10th amongst a field with 10 top-100 teams including No. 31 Louisville, No. 40 Oklahoma and No. 50 Augusta. WKU placed ahead of rival No. 84 Middle Tennessee and No. 98 Minnesota. 

“It was so nice to have a home event that fans could come out and watch,” head coach Adam Gary said in a press release. “I was very pleased with the strength of the field, having three of the top 50 teams in the country in Bowling Green this week. The Club at Olde Stone is such a great venue, and it was a great opportunity to showcase it to other teams around the country. Although we didn’t play as well as we would have liked, it was good to have Kenlie [Barrett] finish in the top 10 individually.”

Barrett, a senior for the Lady Toppers, tied for eighth amongst some of the best collegiate golfers in the nation at the par-72 course. She earned a 54-hole score of 8-over 224, with a second round score of 1-over 73 and an 8-over 80 in the final round. 

Fifth-year senior Olivia Reed posted a 3-over 75 in the second round and a 6-over 78 in the final round of competition, tying for 38th at the Intercollegiate.

Freshman Catie Craig tied with Reed, earning a 7-over 79 and 8-over 80 on Tuesday. Junior Sarah Arnold logged a 6-over 78 in the second round and shot the lowest score for the Lady Toppers in the final round with a 5-over 77. 

Sophomore Rachel Rich tied for 58th after logging a 6-over 78 and 9-over 81. 

Sophomore Addie Westbrook and freshman Faith Martin competed as individuals for the Lady Toppers and finished tied for 70th and 76th respectively.

The Lady Toppers will enjoy a three-month hiatus before returning to competition in mid-February to kick off the spring season.

Sports reporter Piper McCoun can be reached at [email protected]. Follow her on Twitter @piper_mccoun.