Spring Season Begins for Wyoming Cowboy Golf Team

March 4, 2003


The spring golf season began for the University of Wyoming men's golf team this week, with the Cowboys placing 12th out of 16 teams as the UC-Riverside Classic in Beaumont, Calif., on Tuesday.

Wyoming was led by junior Jason Aichele, who posted a two-over par total of 218 to tie for 18th in the 54-hole event. It was Aichele's best finish in five fall tournaments and one spring tournament, after transferring to Wyoming from Columbia Basin Community College in Pasco, Wash.

The team title was won by host UC-Riverside. The Highlanders posted a 19-under par score of 845 for the three-round tournament. Wyoming placed 12th, shooting a 32-over par 896 total. Individually, Garrett Clegg of Utah captured the individual championship, firing an eight-under par 208 to win by two strokes over Ben Kreger of New Mexico State and Cameron Nelson of UC-Riverside.

Wyoming senior Kurt Kowaluk finished outside the Top 15 in a tournament for the first time in six appearances this season. He shot a seven-over par 223 to tie for 31st. Kowaluk is coming off a 2002 fall season that saw him win one tournament, the Nevada Wolf Pack Invitational; place fifth in two other tournaments; finish ninth in a fourth event; and post a 12th-place showing in a fifth.

Finishing one stroke back of Kowaluk was UW sophomore Matthew Brunk. Brunk shot an eight-over par total of 224 to tie for 36th.

"Jason (Aichele) had an outstanding tournament," said Wyoming men's golf coach Joe Jensen. "He put together three consistent rounds of golf. In the fall season, it took Jason awhile to adjust to Division I golf, but this tournament showed him that he can be successful at this level.

"Kurt (Kowaluk) didn't have the kind of finish he became accustomed to in the fall, but he still played some good golf, including a par round of 72 on Tuesday. Matthew (Brunk) also posted a nice finish to begin the spring season, and shot a season low round of 73 in the second round of the tournament.

"This event was our first opportunity to get outside this year. I knew that our guys would be a little bit rusty coming off the winter, but I saw some good things this week. We just need to focus on continuing to improve. This is the first of six spring tournaments for us, and we have a lot of good golf ahead of us."

The UC-Riverside Classic was played on the PGA of Southern California Golf Club in Beaumont, Calif. The course measured 6,990 yards and played to a par of 72.

Wyoming will return to tournament action on March 17-18 at the University of San Diego Invitational in San Diego, Calif.

Wyoming Results                      Class  Score              Place

Jason Aichele (Richland, Wash.) Jr. 75-70-73=218 (+2) Tie 18thKurt Kowaluk (Lively, Ontario) Sr. 76-75-72=223 (+7) Tie 31stMatthew Brunk (Fort Collins, Colo.) So. 74-73-77=224 (+8) Tie 36thEric Baily (Crofton, Neb.) RFr. 77-79-79=235 (+19) 73rdJonathan Shuss (Scottsdale, Ariz.) So. 84-76-78=238 (+22) Tie 77th

Team Standings

1. UC-Riverside 845 (-19)2. Denver 868 (+4)3. Utah 870 (+6)4. Cal Poly 876 (+12)5. CS-Northridge 880 (+16)6. Boise State 881 (+17)7. San Diego U. 882 (+18)8. New Mexico State 883 (+19)9. Weber State 886 (+22)10. Idaho 891 (+27)11. Sacramento State 892 (+28)12. Wyoming 896 (+32)13. New Mexico 901 (+37)14. St. Mary's (Calif.) 904 (+40)15. Southern Utah 919 (+55)16. Utah State 966 (+102)