Cowboy Golf Opens 2010 Mountain West Conference Championship on Thursday

May 4, 2010

LARAMIE, Wyo. -

On Thursday, the University of Wyoming Cowboy golf team will open the 2010 Mountain West Conference Championship at OMNI Tucson National Golf Club in Tucson, Ariz. The Cowboys will be one of nine teams vying for a conference championship during the three-day event, which will conclude on Saturday.

"We are coming off of a tough ending to our last event, so we are really looking forward to getting back on the course for the biggest event of the season," UW Director of Golf Joe Jensen said. "We are obviously an improved team and we are looking at the MWC Championship with the mindset that if we play like we are capable, we can be very competitive. We must have all five guys play well in order to score like we are capable.

"The Mountain West is a great conference and this will be a very challenging event. It looks like six MWC teams will advance to the postseason. The top-six teams in the league are currently ranked in the top-58 of the nation according to GolfStat's rankings. We are going into this event hoping to knock off some teams in the top-50."

The Cowboys will be led by junior Gabe Maier, who enters the conference championship with hopes of advancing to the postseason. Maier is currently carrying the fourth best stroke average in the MWC of 71.73. He has finished in the top-10 of four events this season and the top-five three times. His season was highlighted by winning the 92-man UW Desert Intercollegiate this past fall. According to GolfStat, Maier currently ranks No. 12 nationally in total short game and No. 82 in the GolfStat Cup rankings.

In addition to Maier, the Cowboy lineup will feature junior Zach Zaremba, redshirt freshman Clinton Boutelle, junior Phil Henzlik and junior Casey Ruff.

Zaremba holds the 26th best stroke average in the MWC with a 73.50. Boutelle has finished in the top-20 of three events this season and has been one of the top freshmen in the MWC this season. Henzlik tied for seventh at last year's conference championship, which marked the second best finish by a Cowboy in MWC history.

As Jensen mentioned, six MWC teams are ranked among the top-58 teams in the nation. UNLV is ranked No. 13 and are followed by No. 24 TCU, No. 30 San Diego State, No. 35 Colorado State, No. 46 New Mexico and No. 58 BYU.

TCU is the MWC's defending champion after beating San Diego State in a team playoff last spring. New Mexico senior Steve Saunders claimed individual medalist honors last year. The Cowboys finished seventh at last year's conference championship.

This will mark the fourth consecutive year that the conference championship will be played on the Catalina Course at Tucson National Golf Club. The course plays to a par of 71 and measures 7,144 yards in length. The field will play a round of 18 holes each day, with tee times beginning at 8 a.m. (Mountain Time). The Cowboys will be paired with Air Force and Utah during the first round of the championship.

Live stats of the tournament can be followed at www.golfstat.com.