April 27, 2014
TUCSON, Ariz. -
Freshman Wyoming Cowboy golfer Ryan Wallen led the way for UW in the final round of the 2014 Mountain West Championship after shooting a 70 (-1) on the par-71, 7,144 yard Catalina Course at the Omni Tucson National Golf Resort on Sunday. The freshman completed his conference championship debut tied for 18th in the 55-man field. Not only did he shoot his career-best round, but Wallen recorded his best-career finish with a 54-hole score of 218 (+5). In the 11-team field, Wyoming finished in eighth place after a third-round score of 291 (+7). UW’s final round gave the Cowboys a three-round tally of 884 (+32). It was the third-best team score for Wyoming at the MW Championship.
“Unfortunately, we dug ourselves into a huge hole to start off the round,” Wyoming head coach Joe Jensen said. “After making a few mistakes on the first few holes, we were able to battle back. I’m proud of all of them and Ryan (Wallen) as a freshman had a great day.”
Wallen became the first Cowboy to finish in the top-20 at the MW Championship since Clinton Boutelle finished 15th in 2012 with a 216 (+3). He was also the first freshman to lead to Pokes during the conference championship since Gabe Maier in 2008 when he finished tied for 18th with 218 (+5).
Wallen’s previous best-career finish came at the Ram Masters Invitational in September when he shot a 219 (+9). This marked Wallen’s first top-20 finish and the second time leading the Pokes in their 10 tournaments this year.
Sophomore Kamrin Allen was the next highest finisher for UW. As a freshman at last year’s MW Championship, Allen finished in 43rd place with a mark of 238 (+25). Allen shot a final round 75 (+4) on Sunday, which gave him a three-round total of 220 (+7) to finish tied for 22th. Senior Eddie Stewart concluded his Cowboy career with a final round 71 (E) and tied for 33rd place with a final score of 223 (+10). Senior Brent Baylon ended his UW career with a final round 75 (+4) finishing tied for 36th place with a total tally of 224 (+11). Playing in his final event for Wyoming, senior Eric Parish recorded a three-round total of 234 (+21) after shooting a final round 78 (+7).
“Today was a roller coaster day because we got off to a rough start,” Jensen said. “I would have loved to finish seventh but San Jose State caught us. In this conference if you don’t have five healthy players contributing well it’s tough to win.”
Taking home the medalist honors for the 2014 MW Championship was New Mexico’s Gavin Green by way of playoff. Green and Riccardo Michelini of San Diego State tied with 54-hole totals of 209 (-4), but Green made par on the first playoff hole to win the individual title as Michelini bogeyed. In third place was Carl Jonson of UNLV with a score of 210 (-3). Green finished third at the 2013 MW Championship while Michelini finished two strokes behind him for fourth place.
Winning the team championship for the second straight year was No. 23 New Mexico who had a total mark of 846 (-6). No. 37 San Diego State was three strokes behind to finish second with a team total of 849 (-3), as No. 29 UNLV took third with a total mark of 851 (-1).
This event was the second trip to Omni Tucson National for UW after competing in the Arizona National Invitational in March. As a team, the Cowboys improved its score by 32 strokes at the conference championship after recording a team score of 916 (+52) at the NIT. Wallen improved his play between tournaments by five strokes, as Allen improved by 10, Stewart by six and Parish improved by three.
Wyoming Individual Results
T18. Ryan Wallen: 73 (+2) – 75 (+4) – 70 (-1) = 218 (+5)
T22. Kamrin Allen: 69 (-2) – 75 (+4) - 75 (+4) = 220 (+7)
T33. Eddie Stewart: 75 (+4) – 77 (+6) – 71 (E) = 223 (+10)
T36. Brent Baylon: 74 (+3) – 75 (+4) – 75 (+4) = 224 (+11)
52. Eric Parish: 74 (+3) – 82 (+11) – 78 (+7) = 234 (+21)