Mountain West Conference Men's Golf Championship Underway in Tucson, Ariz.

May 6, 2010

TUCSON, Ariz. -

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The 2010 Mountain West Conference Men's Golf Championship is underway in Tucson, Ariz. and Wyoming's Gabe Maier is two strokes off the lead, while the Cowboys are in sixth place after Thursday's opening round.

Maier, a junior from Cody, Wyo., was the bright spot for the Cowboys and is currently two strokes behind the tournament's leaders after firing a one-over par 72. Four players shot a 70 (-1) and seven shot 71 (E) during the opening round. Maier entered the event with the fourth best stroke average in the MWC.

As a team, the Cowboys are in sixth place in the nine-team event after shooting an opening round 303 (+19).

Redshirt freshman Clinton Boutelle had the second best opening round for the Cowboys. After being one of the top freshman in the MWC prior to the championship, Boutelle shot a 75 (+4) on Thursday and is tied for 23rd place.

"We didn't feel great about how we scored as a team, but being in sixth place is solid in this great conference," UW Director of Golf Joe Jensen said. "There is a lot of golf remaining and we need to keep competing while we try to close the gap on the top of the field.

"Gabe is playing to win, that is his goal. He had a nice start today and is in a position to compete for this tournament title. He needs to keep it up and go play well tomorrow."

The MWC features five teams that are currently ranked in the top-58 of the nation. Colorado State, which is ranked No. 35 in the national GolfStat rankings, leads the event after shooting a 283 (-1). The Rams are followed by No. 30 San Diego State, No. 58 BYU (287, +3), No. 13 UNLV (290, +6), No. 24 TCU (293, +9), Wyoming 303 (+19), Air Force (304, +20), Utah (305, +21) and No. 46 New Mexico (311, +27).

Through the first 18 holes, four players are tied for the tournament lead after shooting an opening round 70 (-1). They include Colorado State's Zahkai Brown and Ryan Peterson, BYU's Esteban Calisto and UNLV's Derek Ernst.

For the fourth consecutive year, the MWC Championship is being played at OMNI Tucson National Golf Course. The course measures 7,144 yards in length and plays to a par of 71.

The championship will continue on Friday with a second round of 18 holes. The Cowboys will be paired with TCU and UNLV and will begin teeing off at 8:50 a.m. (Mountain Time). Live results may be followed at www.theMWC.com and www.golfstat.com.