The Wildcats beat seven SEC schools to claim the Gary Koch/Cleveland Golf Invitational title. The Cats finished 8 over and five shots ahead of second-place finisher, Georgia State. Mark Blakefield captured his first collegiate victory shooting 213 (70-69-74), including shooting a season-best second round to finish 3-under par.
"I am ecstatic for Mark. He certainly deserved this victory, it was a long time coming. He obviously has the talent and we all knew that," said head coach Brian Craig. "He played wonderful golf the whole week and I am not the least bit surprised how he played. He led the team to victory and came through for us this week."
Senior All-American John Holmes moved up the leader board throughout the three-day tournament after shooting a first round 77 to help the Cats beat co-host and ranked Florida.
"John played a really good last round for us today and led the charge," said head coach Brian Craig. "Anytime you beat Florida it's a nice accomplishment. They are a great team and a great program."
Holmes concluded play tied for eighth at 2-over, shooting 219 (77-72-69) for the tournament. Sophomore Andrew Stephens played a strong third round to finish third for the Cats, tied for 14th. Stephens shot 220 (76-72-72) to end play four-over-par.
"Andrew Stephens played well," said Craig. "He did not have a lot of experience but he played like a veteran today on a hard course."
Matt Wells brought home a career-best second round, but ended the third round shooting an 80 to finish the tournament at five-over 221 (74-67-80). Brandon Waldrop completed the Kentucky five, firing 238 (79-74-85) for the tournament.
"We competed against seven SEC teams and we beat all of them, that is a nice accomplishment," said Craig. "I believe that the SEC has the best men's golf conference in the nation and it is loaded with talent, it was a great win for us."
The Wildcats next travel to Orlando, Fla. for the Isleworth Invitational Oct. 25-26.