July 7, 2006
LARAMIE, Wyo. -
The University of Wyoming Golf programs are being represented on the highest amateur level this summer by senior Jeff Franks and sophomore Mikala Henzlik. Each UW golfer qualified through sectional events to compete in their respective U.S. Amateur Public Links Championships.
"These tournaments are two of the premier amateur events of the summer and it is wonderful that we have both a male and female representative," said UW Director of Men's and Women's Golf Joe Jensen. "Anytime one of our players is in a national event it is a big deal. We're proud of them and both Mikala and Jeff are showing that they have game on a national level.
"As a program, we want our players trying to qualify for these kind of premier tournaments. The events are as good as any college tournaments and will help our players heading into next season."
Cowboy senior Jeff Franks (Steamboat Springs, Colo.), will compete next week in the 81st Annual U.S. Amateur Public Links Championship, July 10-15, at Gold Mountain Golf Club in Bremerton, Wash. Franks earned a trip to the state of Washington by carding a two-round score of 138 at the sectional qualifying tournament last month at Mira Vista Golf Course in Aurora, Colo.
Franks had the lowest stroke average for Wyoming this past season at 73.67, and was the Pokes' top finisher at the 2006 Mountain West Conference Championship. He also equaled the all-time best UW individual score with a 65 (-7) in the second round of the 2006 BYU Cougar Classic.
Cowgirl sophomore Mikala Henzlik (Rapid City, S.D.), played June 20-21, in the 30th Annual U.S. Women's Amateur Public Links Championship, held at Walking Stick Golf Course, in Pueblo, Colo. After a difficult initial round of 85, Henzlik bounced back with a second round score of 78 and finished the event with a total of 163 (+19). She qualified for the national championship through the sectional event, held May 30 in Sheridan, Wyo., at The Powder Horn Golf Course, with a mark of 78.
As a freshman at UW, Henzlik topped off a solid season by shooting a final round of 70 (-2) at the Mountain West Conference Championship and vaulting from 19th to fourth place out of 35 golfers. Not only was the two under-par round the tournament low, but it was also Henzlik's career best. The MWC finish was the highest for a Cowgirl golfer since Jordan Lintz won the inaugural MWC title in 2000. Henzlik's event total was 224 (+8), only two strokes back of first place.
The first two days of each U.S. Amateur Public Links Championship consist of stroke play, with the field then reduced and the low 64 scorers moving on to four days of elimination match play. The championships culminate with 36 holes of match play. The USAPL winner earns an exemption to the Masters Tournament in Augusta, Ga., while the USWAPL medalist earns an exemption from local qualifying for the next five U.S. Women's Open championships, among other things.
The amateur public links events are open to amateur golfers who, since Jan. 1 of the calendar year, have been public course players and have not held privileges at any course that does not extend playing privileges to the general public.
Previous champions of the USAPL include current PGA players Trevor Immelman (1998), Tim Clark (1997) and Billy Mayfair (1986). Current BYU senior Clay Ogden is the defending 2005 champion.
Past winners of the USWAPL event include Eun Jung Lee (2005) and Michelle Wie (2003). Tiffany Joh, of San Diego, Calif., won the recently completed 2006 tournament.