May 4, 2012
TUCSON, Ariz. -
The Wyoming Cowboy golf team played the first round of the 2012 Mountain West Golf Championship on Friday, in Tucson, Ariz. In a field of eight that features three top-20 programs and five top-75 schools, the Cowboys sit in seventh after shooting a first round 294 (+10). Junior Clinton Boutelle fired the best first round of 72 (+1) which tied him for 15th place of the 40-man field.
"This is a very tough golf conference and I feel pretty good about how we played today," Wyoming Director of Golf Joe Jensen said. "We had some loose swings toward the end of the round that hurt our score a little bit, but for the most part we put up some solid scores today."
The Cowboys first round 294 (+10) put them in seventh place two strokes behind sixth place Boise State who shot a 292 (+8). Boutelle's 72 (+1) was the Cowboys best first round score, but three of his teammates were two strokes behind him. Redshirt freshman Eddie Stewart, sophomore Eric Parish and senior Mike May all three fired rounds of 74 (+3) to tie them for 28th place. Senior Casey Ruff shot a 79 (+8) to finish the first round in a tie for 37th place.
"We have two guys in Eric and Eddie who are playing in their first conference championship and I am happy with how they battled," Jensen said. "We are a couple strokes out of sixth place and I would like us to go play hard tomorrow and move past Boise."
The championship is being held at OMNI Tucson National Golf Club-Catalina Course which measures 7,144 yards and plays a par 71. The Pokes have played the course once before this season at the University of Arizona National Invitational Tournament. Today's first round score was nine strokes better than their first round at the NIT (303, +19). It is also the second-best round the Cowboys have shot at this course this season with their best coming in the second round of the NIT firing a 293 (+5).
Atop the individual leaderboard is Colorado State's Zahkai Brown who fired a five-under 66. Tied for second place individually are San Diego State's Alex Kang and TCU's Johan de Beer who shot a four-under 67. In sole possession of fourth place is CSU's Kirby Pettitt after shooting a first round 69 (-2). Seven other players are tied for fifth place with rounds of 70 (-1).
Leading the team scoring is No. 14/15 SDSU who shot a first round 280 (-4). In second place as a team is No. 16/16 New Mexico (281, -3) followed by No. 44/42 TCU in third (282, -2), No. No. 67/67 Colorado State in fourth (284, E) and No. 7/14 UNLV in fifth (285, +1).
The event will continue tomorrow, May 5, with tee times beginning at 8 a.m. MT. The Cowboys will be in the first groups to tee off with Air Force starting from 8 a.m. to 8:32 a.m.