April 29, 2004
BEND, Ore. -
University of Wyoming senior Jason Aichele carded a two-over par 74 on Thursday to place him in a tie for 12th place after the first of three rounds at the 2004 Mountain West Conference Men's Golf Championship in Bend, Ore. As a team, the Wyoming Cowboys sit in seventh place in the eight-team field after shooting an opening round 19-over par 307.
The San Diego State Aztecs fired an even par round of 288 as a team on Thursday to take a one-stroke lead over Colorado State, heading into Friday's second round. Colorado State was led by tournament leader Martin Laird, who shot a course record eight-under par 64. Laird's 64 also broke his own MWC Championship record for lowest individual round which he set in the 2003 MWC Championship. Laird holds a five-stroke lead over Mark Warman of San Diego State, who shot a three-under par 69. There are four other individuals at two-under par 70.
"Jason (Aichele) has put himself in a great position today" said UW men's golf coach Joe Jensen. "He is only one stroke out of the Top 10, and is five strokes out of third.
"I was hoping we would play a little bit more consistently after shooting our best round of the season last week at BYU, but maintaining consistency has been our biggest challenge this season. The guys know they can play a lot better, and I expect them to step up in the second round and have a better overall round as a team. We know that we have to play at our best with the high quality of play in our conference.
"This is a difficult golf course, and that was proven by the team scores today. The NCAA West Regional will be hosted here in a couple of weeks, so that is a good indication of the quality of this course."
Entering this week's Mountain West Conference Championship, five of the MWC's eight teams were ranked among the Top 40 teams in the country by the Golf Coaches Association of America/Precept Coaches' Poll. UNLV was ranked No. 13, BYU was No. 14, New Mexico No. 18, Colorado State No. 27 and San Diego State No. 35.
The 2004 Mountain West Conference Men's Golf Championship is being played on the Crosswater Course at the Sunriver Resort in Bend, Ore. The Crosswater course measures 7,568 yards and plays to a par of 72. The second of three rounds is scheduled to tee off on Friday at 9:30 a.m., Pacific time (10:30 a.m., Mountain time). This year's championship will conclude on Saturday with the final 18-hole round.