Oct. 22, 2007
EL CAJON, Calif. -
As wildfires raged and people fled their homes in Southern California on Monday, 17 college golf teams, including the Wyoming Cowboys, tried to concentrate on the task at hand and complete 36 holes of competition at the Sycuan Collegiate Invitational in El Cajon, Calif.
The event saw four true freshmen and one redshirt freshman hit the links for Wyoming, a difficult environment in which to display the youth of the UW program. The Cowboys finished two rounds tied for 14th place of 17 teams at the scheduled 54-hole event hosted by San Diego State.
Wyoming scored a morning round of 312 (+24) and then came back with a slightly improved afternoon round of 310 (+22). Their 36-hole total of 622 (+46) is tied with Army, one shot behind Hawaii and Yale, within ten strokes of seven teams and within 12 strokes of fifth place.
The #24 ranked Aztecs, playing on one of their home courses, lead the tournament by nine strokes at 591 (+15). #31 Wichita State is second, totaling 600 (+24).
One final round of 18 holes is still anticipated to take place Tuesday morning.
Fires, whipped by strong winds, burned the hillside ten miles from the event, being played at Willow Glen Course at Sycuan Resort, which measures 6,687 yards, par 72. In fact, the course the event was held at last year in San Diego, Barona Creek, is currently being burned by a wildfire.
"It's hard to describe the scene here today, but it was a whole different world," said Cowboy head coach Joe Jensen. "The wind was unbelievable, it was smoky, there were planes overhead all day and we could see fires from the golf course. These five freshmen had a lot to deal with. They played respectable, it's been a good learning experience and each one will be better for having been through it."
Wyoming's Gabe Maier led his teammates with rounds of 76 (+4) and 77 (+5). He totaled 153 (+9) and is tied for 27th place out of 100 golfers with one round to play.
Other UW scores included 156 (+12) from Mike May, 157 from Aaron Johnson, 158 by Zach Zaremba and 164 from Phil Henzlik.
Nick Paez of UC Riverside and Jerry Porras from SDSU are tied for first place in the individual standings with even-par totals of 144.