April 26, 2007
TUCSON, Ariz. -
With one of three scheduled rounds in the books, the Wyoming Cowboy golf team is tied for eighth place of nine teams at the 2007 Mountain West Conference Men's Golf Championship in Tucson, Ariz.
The Cowboys shot 299 (+15) during the first 18 holes at the Tucson National Catalina Course. The course measures 7,136 yards and plays to a par of 71. UW's opening mark is similar to last year's first (+14) and second (+15) round scores by the Pokes at the league championship, where they placed eighth.
BYU fired 272 (-12) to take an early three-shot lead over UNLV, who carded 275 (-9). San Diego State is currently third after posting a mark of 282 (-2), followed by TCU in fourth with 284 (E). Colorado State is fifth at 287 (+3) and four-time defending champion New Mexico is sixth with a 289 (+5) score after the first 18 holes. Air Force is seventh (298), while Utah and Wyoming are tied for eighth (299).
In a tight individual race, UNLV sophomore, and last year's MWC Freshman of the Year, Seung-su Han shot 65 (-6) and is currently the leader by one stroke over BYU senior Clay Ogden. Ogden carded a 66 (-5), followed by San Diego State's Adam Porzak in third with a 67 (-4).
"We didn't quite put together a complete round today, but there is still a lot of golf to be played," said Cowboy head coach Joe Jensen. "With this team and against this high-quality field we try to be realistic with our approach, and work on playing our best golf. That said, we are in position to move up in this field over the next two rounds and beat a few teams.
"The seniors will continue to be just fine and I think Ryne (Paulson) can play better tomorrow. I will keep working with our freshmen, developing them as players, helping them contribute to the team and getting their scores to count towards our total."
Last season's top finisher at the conference meet, Cowboy senior Jeff Franks, has UW's best placing after 18 holes, a tie for 15th out of 45 golfers. Franks turned in a scorecard of 71 (E), with an even five birdies and five bogeys. The par-fives were Franks' strength Thursday as he was two-under-par on the longer yardage holes.
Other Wyoming scores that counted towards the team total Thursday included a 74 (+3) from redshirt senior Niel King, 76 (+5) from freshman Max Curnow in his first go-around at the MWC event, and a mark of 78 (+7) from fellow first-year Cowboy Brandon McCoy. Paulson, a UW junior who is also playing in his first league championship, shot 80 (+9).
As a whole the Cowboys struggled to close the opening round after beginning the first day with solid marks. UW was plus-nine over the last three holes and of that total, plus-eight from the four players who counted towards the final team score (+15).
Wyoming will be paired with Air Force and Utah during Friday's second round.
36 holes remain to be played at the MWC Championship, 18 each on Friday and Saturday, with tee times beginning at 9:30 a.m. (MT).
The MWC is providing live stats for the Championship. The live stats link can be found on the MWC Golf Championship webpage at www.TheMWC.com. Simply click the golf championship link to track all the action. A live stats link can also be found directly on www.GolfStat.com.