March 23, 2009
TUCSON, Ariz. -
The University of Wyoming Cowboy golf team closed out the 2009 National Invitational Tournament on Monday in Tucson, Ariz. As a team, the Pokes steadily improved with each round of the tournament, saving their best round for Monday's final day.
The NIT, which is hosted by the University of Arizona, was held at Omni Tucson National. In all, nine of the 15 teams in the tournament are ranked in the top-46 of the country. Three teams are ranked in the top-20.
"We started this tournament out poorly with a tough first round, but I am pleased in how we finished," said UW head coach Joe Jensen. "It is early in the spring with this only being our eighth round, but we are starting to get back into the swing of things. We need more consistency, especially in the opening round, but I believe we will continue to improve as we get deeper into the spring."
As a team, the Cowboys shot a 310 (+22) in the first round, a 306 (+18) in the second round and a 303 (+15) in Monday's final round. While the Cowboys first round score was the highest in the 15-team field, their third round score was tied for the 10th best. Wyoming's three-round total of 919 (+55) placed 15th.
The Cowboys took a major blow on Monday morning as their leading player, sophomore Gabe Maier, had his second round score disqualified due to a scorecard issue. That cost the Cowboys 11 strokes in the team scoring. Despite the unfortunate scorecard issue, Maier rebounded nicely to lead the Pokes with a third round 73 (+1).
"Gabe was upset but did the right thing by choosing to DQ himself," added Jensen. "It was a tough morning but he did a great job of coming back and playing well today. I am so proud of him for handling this situation the way that he has."
Sophomore Phil Henzlik led the Cowboys in the tournament by shooting a three-round total of 225 (+9). That score tied Henzlik for 60th in the tournament.
New Mexico won the tournament with a team score of 850 (-14). Arizona finished second with a score of 857 (-7) and TCU finished third at 861 (-3).
Individually, New Mexico's Nick Geyer won the tournament with a score of 207 (-9). TCU's James Sacheck finished second (209, -7) and Arizona's Philip Bagdade finished third (210, -6).
The Cowboys will continue the 2009 spring season this coming weekend as they travel to Santa Cruz, Calif. for the 63rd Annual Western Intercollegiate. The Western Intercollegiate is hosted by San Jose State University at the Pasatiempo Golf Club. It will run from March 27-29.