May 5, 1999
LARAMIE, Wyo. -
David Hearn, a sophomore fromthe University of Wyoming, ended an outstanding week at the 1999 WesternAthletic Conference Men's Golf Championship on Wednesday. Hearn, a nativeof Brantford, Ontario, finished in a tie for seventh in the field of 80golfers with a 54-hole total of 223, seven over par. Wyoming finished 11thout of 16 teams in the team competition.
Brigham Young captured the team title by 11 strokes over UNLV. BYUfinished with a final score of 875. UNLV shot a three-round total of 886.Manuel Merizalde, a freshman from BYU, held on to win the individual titlewith a three-under par total of 213. Merizalde, originally from Cali,Columbia, was the only golfer to break par for the 54-hole tournament. Hedefeated Michael Kirk of UNLV by four shots. Kirk finished second with aone-over par total of 217.
"Overall, our young group of guys did a good job on a very difficultgolf course," said UW men's golf coach Roger Prenzlow. "David (Hearn) hadan outstanding week against some of the top college golfers in the country.Finishing seventh as a sophomore in this field is a great accomplishment.
"I know the guys feel like they're better than 11th, but we were theyoungest team out here this week, and I was proud of the way we keptbattling all week. If we could have cut out three more strokes, we wouldhave finished two places higher ahead of Utah and San Jose State."
Wyoming's young lineup featured three sophomores and two freshmen.Hearn was joined by fellow sophomores Jake Hunter and Kevin Kayden andfreshmen Kurt Kowaluk and Mike Urbatchka.
Urbatchka, a freshman from Sheridan, Wyo., also enjoyed anoutstanding tournament. Urbatchka shot a final round 74 to up five spotsinto a tie for 27th on the final day. He tied with, among others, WilCollins from New Mexico, who was voted by the WAC Coaches as the Freshman ofthe Year.
The Cowboys are still fighting for a possible berth in the NCAA WestRegional to be played at the Tucson National Resort in Tucson, Ariz., on May20-22. The teams for the West Regional will be announced by the District 7selection committee on Tuesday, May 11. Hearn could also be selected to theWest Regional as an individual.
This year's WAC Championship was played Monday-Wednesday, May 3-5 atthe Poppy Hills Golf Course in Pebble Beach, Calif. Poppy Hills measured6,835 yards and played to a par of 72.
All 16 WAC member institutions field men's golf teams. The fieldincluded No. 2 ranked UNLV, which won the 1998 NCAA Championship. NewMexico entered the WAC Championship ranked No. 16 in the country, andBrigham Young was ranked No. 19. The WAC also had 11 individuals ranked inthe MasterCard Top 50 Men's Golf Rankings entering the Championship.
Although UNLV is the defending NCAA Champion, TCU was the defendingWAC Champion, having defeated UNLV at the '98 WAC Championships by fivestrokes.
TCU's J.J. Henry was the 1998 WAC individual medalist. Henry was asenior in '98. But there was a defending champion in the field in '97 WACChampion Andy Miller of BYU. Miller tied for fourth in this year'sChampionship. His younger brother, Scott, tied with Wyoming's Hearn forseventh. The two Millers are the sons of former PGA great Johnny Miller.
Below are the final team standings, Top 10 individuals, scores ofWyoming's competitors and All-WAC honorees.
Team Standings Score
1. Brigham Young 8752. UNLV 8863. New Mexico 8974. San Diego State 8995. TCU 9066. SMU 9107. Colorado State 9118. Fresno State 9189. San Jose State 92710.Utah 92811.Wyoming 92912.Air Force 93413.Hawai'i 93614.UTEP 94215.Rice 94816.Tulsa 952
Top 10 Individuals Score
1. Manuel Merizalde, BYU 69-70-74=213 (-3)2. Michael Kirk, UNLV 69-75-73=217 (+1)3. Magnus Carlsson, San Diego State 72-76-70=218 (+2)4. Andy Miller, BYU 76-72-72=220 (+4) Joel Hendry, New Mexico 73-70-77=220 (+4)6. James Stewart, San Diego State 77-72-72=221 (+5) 7. David Hearn, Wyoming 73-74-76=223 (+7) Scott Miller, BYU 72-75-76=223 (+7)9. Jeremy Anderson, UNLV 73-75-76=224 (+8) Charley Hoffman, UNLV 74-72-78=224 (+8) Darrin Overson, Colorado State 77-74-73=224 (+8)
Wyoming Individuals Score Place
David Hearn (Brantford, Ontario) 73-74-76=223 T7th Mike Urbatchka (Sheridan, Wyo.) 77-78-74=229 T27thJake Hunter (Page, Ariz.) 80-80-77=237 T54thKevin Kayden (Fremont, Ohio) 82-85-76=243 T71stKurt Kowaluk (Lively, Ontario) 79-86-84=249 T76th
1999 Western Athletic Conference Men's Golf Awards
All Conference Awards
Billy Harvey, BYUAndy Miller, BYUManuel Merizalde, BYURyan King, Fresno StateJeremy Anderson, UNLVMichael Kirk, UNLVD.J. Brigman, New MexicoWil Collins, New MexicoHank Kuehne, SMURalph Gemoets, UTEP
Player of the Year Jeremy Anderson, UNLV
Coach of the Year Bruce Brockbank, BYU
Freshman of the Year Wil Collins, New Mexico