K-State alum Aaron Watkins takes lead at the Air Capital Classic

Published On: Aug 06 2014 01:42:43 AM CDT   Updated On: Jun 19 2014 06:17:03 PM CDT
Wichita, Kan. -

Riding a hot back nine, Kansas State alum Aaron Watkins has surged into the top spot at the Air Capital Classic on day one. After his first round, Watkins sits at -7.

Watkins leaped by two-time tournament champion (1999, 2007) Brad Elder and the No. 1 amateur in the world, Ollie Schniederjans, who shared the top spot after the morning session.


Schneiderjans - just like Elder - is familiar with golf in the Wichita-area. The 21-year old Georgia Tech University golfer played in the NCAA Tournament golf championship at Prairie Dunes Golf Course in Hutchinson, KS just three weeks prior. 

For Elder though, playing in Wichita is like playing with an old friend.

"It's funny, I won here twice. I won at the other course, Willow Bend in '99 and then we came over here and I won it again in '07," Elder said. "And they changed it on me. They changed the greens and they changed the fairways."

Sam Saunders, Blayne Barber, and Albin Choi are nipping Elder and Schniederjans' heels in a three-way tie for second at -5. 

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Afternoon round

Watkins didn't do anything out of the ordinary. He hit fairways and greens and made shots when they counted most.

"I hit a lot of fairways, a lot of greens," he said. "I had a chip-in over on the fifth hole but other than that, it was just a round I slowly pieced together."

The Kansas State alumni has struggled getting the ball to hit the bottom of the cup, but that wasn't much of a problem today. He came off 18 relaxed and confident.

"Seeing the ball go in is always helpful," Watkins said. "Tomorrow hopefully it's calm winds and take advantage of that."

It's almost like Watkins was looking to finish up the round so he could get home and "sit on the couch."

"It's only Thursday," he said. "I'll probably go home, have a couple drinks and sit on the couch."

Watkins spent the past few days in Manhattan working on his game and enjoyed playing in front of K-State fans, even though he was booed on 17.

"It's always good to be back here in front of K-State fans. We have a lot of supporters of the event so it's fun."