April 25, 2007
LARAMIE, Wyo. -
The University of Wyoming men's golf team will begin play tomorrow at the 2007 Mountain West Conference Men's Golf Championship. The event will take place Thursday through Saturday, April 26-28, at the Tucson National Catalina Course in Tucson, Ariz.
This will mark the first year the event will be held at Tucson National. The course measures 7,136 yards and plays to a par of 71. The Omni Tucson National Golf Resort & Spa, located in the foothills of the Santa Catalina Mountains, has been the home to countless PGA Tour and NCAA events including the prestigious Chrysler Classic of Tucson. One of two courses, the Catalina Course is known for its magnificent views, traditional style layout with gentle contours and tree lined fairways.
"Our team feels good coming into this tournament," said Cowboy head men's coach Joe Jensen. "The second round at BYU last week shows that we can play to our potential and can compete with these teams. Our upperclassmen are going to need to play well, while I follow our freshmen and try to help them throughout this event.
"This will be a highly competitive tournament. Six of the nine teams in the MWC will probably be playing in the NCAA's this year and that has to be one of the highest percentages for a league in the nation. The MWC always has teams in the hunt for the national title."
New Mexico is the four-time defending MWC team champion. The Lobos beat San Diego State by five strokes for the title in 2006 and UNM's Jay Choi won the individual crown. Wyoming will be paired with Air Force and Colorado State in the first round on Thursday. All nine MWC schools sponsor men's golf programs.
Last season, UW finished eighth in the nine-team field with an event total of 914 (+50). Jeff Franks was the Cowboys' top finisher at 225 (+9) and in a tie for 27th place.
Annually one of the top men's golf conferences in the nation, the MWC boasts two teams ranked in the top-20 according to GolfStat.com, UNLV (#6) and BYU (#18). Four additional teams, TCU (#28), San Diego State (#50), New Mexico (#55) and Colorado State (#56), also rank in the top-60.
The championship will consist of 54 holes, 18 each day, with tee times at 9:30 a.m. (MT). The winner of the MWC Tournament receives the conference's automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.
At the championship each team will play five golfers and count the top four scores. Wyoming will travel two seniors, Franks and Niel King, junior Ryne Paulson, as well as freshmen Max Curnow and Brandon McCoy. King leads the Cowboys with a stroke average of 74.83 this season, followed closely by Franks (75.12), then Paulson (77.71), McCoy (78.83) and Curnow (81.52).
BYU junior Daniel Summerhays and San Diego State junior Aaron Goldberg lead the MWC in stroke average entering the Championship at 70.22 and 70.50, respectively.
The MWC will provide live stats for the Championship. The live stats link can be found on the MWC Golf Championship webpage at www.TheMWC.com. Simply click the golf championship link to track all the action. A live stats link can also be found directly on Golfstat.com.