ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – The University of Wyoming golf team encountered difficult conditions at the University of New Mexico’s Championship Course on Friday, fighting through heavy winds en route to a 15th-place standing after 36 holes of competition at the 62nd annual William H. Tucker Intercollegiate tournament. Senior Ryan Wallen finished the day with an individual score of 149 (+5) to lead the Brown and Gold. He is tied for 28th place in the field of 92 golfers with 18 holes left to play after shooting 72-77 on day one. Wallen’s 72 was Wyoming’s low round of the day.
Junior Arron Lickteig was Wyoming’s second finisher Friday, ending the day in a tie for 70th place after finishing with a score of 155 (+11). After shooting an 81 (+9) in the morning round, Lickteig rebounded with a 74 (+2) in the afternoon round. Drew McCullough and Glenn Workman are each tied for 75th, both totaling 156 strokes (+12) on Friday. Meanwhile, Quintin Pope sits 91st after one day of action, going 81-83 on day one for a score of 164 (+20).
Wallen averaged just 4.5 strokes per hole to finish 4-under par on par-fives Friday, which is tied for the third-best average in the field on such holes. Wyoming’s senior leader also posted one of just 10 eagles at the tournament on Friday, needing just three strokes to put the ball in the cup on the 575-yard, par-five 18th hole during the afternoon round. Lickteig is tied for second in the field in pars, carding 25 on Friday.
Wyoming head coach Joe Jensen was honest about the Cowboys’ struggles during Friday’s rounds, but noted that his players have played well on the second day of competition in the first two fall tournaments. “It was the worst weather and conditions we’ve ever played in,” said Jensen, who is in his 16th season at Wyoming. “Tomorrow is an important round for us. In the last two tournaments, we’ve had one of the better rounds on the final day. Let’s keep that trend up. I know that’s a goal of ours. We need to be positive about it,” he said Friday night.
Wyoming’s stroke total is 616 (+40) through one day of competition. During the afternoon round, golfers were met with a big windstorm that led to inflated scores across the leaderboard. San Diego State leads the competition at 573 (-3), while Colorado State, host New Mexico, BYU, and UTEP round out the top five teams heading into Saturday’s final round. San Diego State was the only team to finish the first day of golf in the red, while seven teams finished at least +20 on the day. San Diego State’s P.J. Samiere, Colorado State’s Blake Cannon and BYU’s Rhett Rasmussen are tied atop the individual leaderboard after each recording scores of 140 (-4) on Friday.
All five Wyoming golfers will tee off at 7:30 a.m. on Saturday for the 18-hole final. The Cowboys are grouped with Louisiana Tech, San Diego, and New Mexico State for Saturday’s action. Follow live results at the link above and check @wyo_golf on Twitter for additional updates.