Josh Gilkison is not hurting for sleep this week. When the Kent State rising senior tees off in the final group of the Golfweek Midwest Collegiate on Friday morning, it will be his third consecutive time going off last on the tee sheet.
“I like playing in the last group,” Gilkison said. “I get to sleep in.”
Gilkison assured himself a late tee time with a second-round 2-under 70 on Purdue’s Kampen course in West Lafayette, Indiana. Gilkison started his day with a birdie, added two more before the turn then played his back nine in 1 over. Even the bogey he made on the closing par 4 wasn’t enough to derail his lead.
Scores: Golfweek Midwest Collegiate
At 6 under for 36 holes, Gilkison is one ahead of Indiana’s Harry Reynolds and Michigan’s Charlie Pilon. Gilkison had an opening 68 that featured a stretch of three consecutive birdies from Nos. 14-16.
“Yesterday I obviously played pretty well, was hitting it really well, did really well on the par 5s,” he said. “It was nice to know that I’m hitting it well going into today.”
The Kampen course played considerably longer in Thursday’s wet conditions. Rain fell for the first part of the day before the skies cleared.
With a few more breaks here – cleaned-up wedge shots and chips, a few more made putts – Gilkison felt he could shoot an even lower number. The Golfweek event is his third event in the second half of the summer following the Ohio Amateur and the Northern Amateur. He broke his foot at the beginning of June and had to give it time to heal.
“I feel like I’m hitting a lot of fairways, putting myself in good positions,” he said of what was working well at the Kampen course. “My distance control has been really good, putting it well.”
In the women’s division, two players who should be plenty familiar with this layout are at the top of the leaderboard.
Purdue player Jocelyn Bruch fired a second-round 70 – the only score under par on the women’s side – to read 1 under for the tournament. She has a two-shot lead on her teammate Ashley Kozlowski.