March 13, 2007
FRESNO, Calif. -
With their event-best round of 302 (+14), the University of Wyoming men's golf team concluded competition on Tuesday at the Fresno State/Lexus Golf Classic. UW finished the tournament with a total of 925 (+61) and in 15th place of 15 teams.
The bright spot for the Cowboys was the play of redshirt senior Niel King. Not only was King Wyoming's top finisher, placing in a tie for 13th of 95 golfers with a total of 218 (+2), but he recorded a hole-in-one on the 13th hole of his final round today.
After scoring a birdie on the previous hole, King was the first in his group to tee off. Using an eight-iron on the 159-yard par-three hole, King hit right at the stick, the ball bounced twice and then disappeared into the cup. That ace would go a long way towards his final round total of 69 (-3), UW's best of the event. King's placing in the top-15 was also UW's highest individual finish so far this season.
The ace was Wyoming's second in as many events, as freshman Brandon McCoy recorded a hole-in-one on the 14th hole at the Houston All-American several weeks ago.
"I'm usually pretty reserved on the course, but after sinking that shot there were some high-fives exchanged," quoted King. "I've been telling coach all week that I'm really close to breaking out, and after a disappointing first round I really felt solid and played with confidence the rest of the tournament. I've got that feeling back and this is exactly what I've been looking for during my career. I didn't hit the ball better, just didn't hit a lot of bad shots."
"Niel's play shows the younger kids that it can be done," said Wyoming head coach Joe Jensen. "I mainly got a solid body of work from this team at this tournament and attitudes are good. There were some mental mistakes and big numbers, but all in all this is a good foundation for us and we got some good repetitions.
"We now head to Phoenix where we will practice for the rest of this week before our next event on Monday. The week of outdoor practice will benefit us and we will improve to the next tournament."
The San Diego State Aztecs won the team title with a total of 849 (-15) by one stroke over UC-Irvine. Nevada was a distant third at 870 (+6).
UC-Irvine's Brian Edick earned individual medalist honors with his three round scorecard of 209 (-7). Teammate Jay Choe was runner-up at 211 (-5).
In a twist unique to the event, each team played six golfers with the four best scores counting each round. Normally in college golf, tournaments use a five-man format.
The 54-hole tournament was held at Sunnyside Country Club, a par 72 course that measures 6,949 yards.