Feb. 27, 2011
PALM DESERT, Calif. -
The Wyoming Cowboys concluded their first tournament of the 2011 spring season on Sunday as they finished 15th in their own Wyoming Desert Intercollegiate tournament in Palm Desert, Calif. Texas A&M won the team title by five strokes over UNLV.
Wyoming was led by senior Gabe Maier, who tied for 13th place in the field of 104 collegiate golfers. Maier concluded the weekend with a three-round total of seven-over par 223. Maier was the defending champion of the Desert Intercollegiate, having won the event in the fall of 2009.
This year marked the third year that Wyoming hosted its Desert Intercollegiate at the Classic Club in Palm Desert, but was the first year the tournament had been held in the spring season.
The Texas A&M Aggies fired the low round of the tournament on Sunday. A&M shot a final round of 292, four-over par, to win by five over UNLV. The Rebels entered Sunday's round trailing the Aggies by only three strokes as a team. The field included a total of 20 college teams.
Scott Travers of Santa Clara captured the individual championship. Travers ended the 54 holes tied with Kevin Penner of UNLV at three-under par, 213. The tiebreaker was decided by which of the two shot the lower final round. Travers fired a final round of 69 (-3), while Penner shot a final round 74 (+2). A year ago, Travers finished second to Wyoming's Maier for the individual title. Travers and Penner were the only two individuals to finish the tournament under par at 213 (-3).
The tournament was played on the Classic Club in Palm Desert, Calif. The course measured 7,305 yards and played to a par of 72.
Tournament champion Texas A&M, entered this week ranked No. 10 in the Golfweek.com college rankings. The other ranked teams in the field included: No. 54 SMU, which finished the UW Desert Intercollegiate in third place; No. 60 New Mexico (9th in the Desert Intercollegiate), No. 62 UNLV (2nd) and No. 72 Colorado State (tied for 6th in the Desert Intercollegiate).
"For the University of Wyoming to host an event of this caliber, with an outstanding field of teams on a PGA-quality course is fantastic," said UW Director of Golf Joe Jensen. "We can't thank the people at the Classic Club in Palm Desert (Calif.) or the community enough. This was an outstanding field, with a couple teams that have won national championships in the past, so I'm am very pleased with how the tournament has grown over the past three years.
"In regard to our performance as a team this weekend, this was our first event of the spring. While I wish we would have finished higher in the team standings, I have to realize that my guys were competing against golfers who have been practicing outside all winter, and some teams have played spring events prior to our tournament.
"The golf course was set up like it would be for a PGA event, with the pin positions tucked back in some difficult spots today. I saw some good effort from my guys, and I know the kids are doing the right things and putting in the work. We now need to look forward to getting in some quality work during spring break in a couple of weeks in preparation for our next tournament in mid-March."
Wyoming's next spring tournament will be the University of Denver Desert Shootout in Goodyear, Ariz., on March 17-19.