March 20, 2006
GOODYEAR, Ariz. -
In an event that boasts many schools from the NCAA Southwest District, the University of Wyoming Cowboy golfers are seven strokes out of first place after 36 holes at the Ron Moore Invitational in Goodyear, Ariz.
The Pokes are looking for head-to-head wins over several District opponents in their quest for post-season play and made strides in that direction after shooting the low team round of the tournament to this point, a morning score of 273 (-15). That mark is the lowest round to par for a Cowboy team in over ten years. Combined with an afternoon round of even-par 288, Wyoming is in eighth place of 17 teams, but well within striking distance of the team leaders.
Kansas is in first place at 554 (-22), with Nebraska in second (556), Louisville third (559) and four teams tied for fourth (560). The Cowboys are next with a total of 561 (-15).
"This event has turned into a shootout," said UW head coach Joe Jensen. "The conditions are perfect and there is a high level of golf being played. Top to bottom there are a whole bunch of good programs in this field. This event is where we need to get wins over schools like Denver, CSU, Utah and Nevada and we've put ourselves in position to do that.
"We trained over Spring Break and I saw some progress today. We've forgotten about our struggles at the last tournament in Houston and I feel good about how we've progressed. We now need to finish with a solid day tomorrow."
Fueling the UW team success were three career low rounds from the Cowboys. Redshirt senior Matthew Brunk shot a blazing morning score of 65 (-7), while junior Jeff Franks was only two strokes behind with his best collegiate mark of 67 (-5). Freshman Corey Steger was consistently low and followed a first round score of 70 (-2) with his career best mark of 69 (-3) in the afternoon round.
With a final round of 18 holes to be played on Tuesday, Brunk and Steger are tied for 13th of 97 golfers, while Franks is tied for 16th.
Atop the individual standings are Denver's James Love and New Mexico's Nick Geyer with two round scores of 132 (-12). Love shot an event-low round of 63 (-9) Monday afternoon. One stroke back of the leaders is Utah's Dustin Pimm.
The 54-hole tournament, hosted by the University of Denver, is being played at the Palm Valley Golf Club in Goodyear. Palm Valley measures 7,015 yards and plays to a par of 72.