Feb. 23, 2012
LARAMIE, Wyo. -
The fourth-annual University of Wyoming Desert Intercollegiate presented by Cleveland Golf will be played Saturday and Sunday, Feb. 25-26. The 54-hole event will be played at the Classic Club golf course, a Troon Golf property, in Palm Desert, Calif. The tournament will be Cowboy golf's first tournament of the spring season. The event will host 24 teams and feature four of GolfWeeks' top-25 squads entering the spring season. Play will begin on Saturday at 7:30 a.m. PT.
"It is wonderful that this has become such an elite tournament and we are proud to be hosting it," Wyoming director of golf Joe Jensen said. "The course is on such a great property, Troon Golf and Classic Club have been great to us. For us to host a national event to start the season is really good. We are going to have to play well right out of the gate because of the difficulty of this event."
The 2012 Desert Intercollegiate and the Cowboys are set to host four top-25 teams including one top-five squad. The ranked teams in attendance at this season's tournament are set to be No. 3 Auburn, No. 13 Texas A&M, No. 15 UNLV and No. 18 Kent State. Other participants in this year's event include: San Francisco, SMU, UTEP, Texas Tech, Denver, Southern Utah, Colorado, Cal Poly, Nebraska, Santa Clara, Hawaii, Iowa State, UC Riverside, Texas-Arlington, St. Mary's College, Houston, Baylor, Idaho and Arizona. Hosting the number of highly-ranked teams the tournament has been rated as the fourth-toughest spring collegiate tournament of 2012 by Golf Digest.
At the third-annual Desert Intercollegiate in 2011, Santa Clara's Scott Travers won the individual medalist award after shooting a three-round total of 213 (-3). Taking home the team title was Texas A&M with a final team score 879 (+15).
The Cowboys enter the spring season led by junior Clinton Boutelle who led the Cowboys in rounds under-par (4) and scoring average (73.6) during the fall season. Boutelle also recorded four top-20 finishes during the fall, including a fifth-place finish at the Air Force Invitational. Wyoming will also be looking for key rounds from seniors Casey Ruff and Mike May. Both Ruff and May played in all five tournaments for the Pokes in the fall and combined for three top-25 finishes. Redshirt freshman Eddie Stewart had an excellent fall season placing in the top 25 in three events, including shooting a 67 (-5), which was the lowest round of the season for the Cowboys.
Prior to this season's event, the Desert Intercollegiate tournament and the Coachella Valley First Tee will host the first-annual "Under the Lights" junior clinic on Thursday, Feb. 23 from 5-6:30 p.m. PT. A coach and player from each of the 24 participating schools will attend the clinic to assist with instruction. The clinic is free to any junior golfer and is a unique event hosted by a collegiate golf tournament.
"The clinic is going to be very special to us because we are a First Tee chapter here in Laramie as well," Jensen said. "I have great respect for the First Tee Executive Director Glenn Miller who has been just excellent in helping to put this all together. We are really looking forward to participating in this clinic this year and we hope it will continue to grow in years to come."
The Wyoming Desert Intercollegiate will begin on Saturday, Feb. 25 with two 18-hole rounds beginning with a shotgun start at 7:30 a.m. PT. The tournament will conclude on Sunday, Feb. 26 with one 18-hole round also beginning with a shotgun start at 7:30 a.m. PT.