April 26, 2003
LARAMIE, Wyo. -
Wyoming senior Kurt Kowaluk returned to the form he displayed in the 2002 fall season this past weekend when he placed 15th at the 2003 Brigham Young Ping Golf Cougar Classic in Provo, Utah. Kowaluk fired rounds of 68, 75 and 77 over the two-day event on Friday and Saturday, and finished with a four-over par total of 220. It was Kowaluk's second consecutive Top 15 finish of the spring season, and his seventh Top 15 showing in 10 tournaments during the 2002-03 season, dating back to last fall.
As a team, the Wyoming Cowboys tied Hawaii for seventh place in the 12-team field, with a final 54-hole total of 896.
Colorado State edged out Denver and BYU for the team title. CSU shot a seven-under par total of 857, while DU and BYU each finished with six-under par scores of 858.
In the individual race, Martin Laird of CSU won by two strokes over Shawn Wills of Denver. Laird fired a seven-under par score of 209. Wills finished with a five-under 211.
"We had some good rounds this week, but we didn't have enough strong rounds from top to bottom in our lineup" said Wyoming men's golf coach Joe Jensen. "We can't have a fourth score in the high 70s each round. We have to have everyone score in the mid to low 70s to keep in contention in tournament play. This was a good field with a number of conference teams and a number of teams in our district.
"Kurt (Kowaluk) had a solid tournament. He started out great on Friday with a four-under par round of 68 in the morning, but his afternoon round on Friday and final round on Saturday, I know, were disappointing to him. Still he came up with another Top 15 finish.
"Eric Baily shot a really nice one-under par round 71 in Friday's afternoon round, but as a team we had to count some high scores in the second and third rounds that cost us a chance to move up in the team standings.
"Now we have to get ourselves focused for the Mountain West Championships next week. If we can just stay away from having to count a high round each day at the conference, we can have a good finish to our season."
The BYU Cougar Classic was played at the Riverside Gold Club in Provo, Utah. The course measured 7,001 yards and played to a par of 72.
Next up for the Cowboys will be the 2003 Mountain West Conference Championship on May 1-3 in Sunriver, Ore.