Cowboy Golfs Sit 10th out of 20 After First Day in Hawaii

From the desk of Tim Harkins

Lahaina, Maui, Hawai’i --  Wyoming men’s golf team shot a four-under part 280 in the opening round of the Ka`anapali Classic Collegiate Invitation, putting the Cowboys in 10th plate out of the 20 entries.

Seven of the nine teams ahead of the Cowboys are ranked among the Top 40 in thenaitona, according to GolfState rankings, and five are in the top 27.     

The Cowboys are only two strokes back of No. 27 ranked North Florida and within five strokes of No. 11 ranked Oklahoma.  The No. 9 ranked Clemson Tigers lead the tournament with an opening round, 22-under par 262.  The California Bears are in second place at 18-under 266.  The Bears are ranked No. 26 in the nation.  The No. 16 ranked Georgia Bulldogs are in third place at 16-under 268.  South Carolina, ranked No. 34, and No. 39 ranked West Virginia are tied for fourth place at 13-under 271.

The Cowboys had an extremely balanced team effort in the opening round led by senior John Murdock, who fired a 3-under par round 68 to tie for 20th.  Freshman Kirby Coe-Kirkham shot a 2-under par 69 to tie for 34th place, and sophomore Carl Underwood was the third Cowboy to shoot an under-par round of 70 (-1).  Freshman Jimmy Dales shot a 2-over par 73, and junior Dan Starzinski finished with a 4-over par 75.  Another Wyoming freshman, Tyler Severin, is playing as an individual.  Severin, like Starzinski, opened with a 4-over par 75.

Patrick Murphy of UCLA and Zack Gordon of Clemson are tied for the individual lead, firing opening round 8-under par 63s.  Cowboy Murdock is only five shots back of the leaders.

Team Standings
1. Clemson 262 (-22)
2. California 266 (-18)
3. Georgia 268 (-16)
4. Boise State 271 (-13)
West Virginia 271 (-13)
South Carolina 271 (-13)
7. UCLA 272 (-12)
8. Oklahoma 275 (-9)
9. North Florida 278 (-6)
10. Wyoming 280 (-4)
11. Connecticut 281 (-3)
12. Gonzaga 282 (-2)
13. Sacramento State 283 (-1)
14. Washington 285 (+1)
15. Houston 286 (+2)
George Washington 286 (+2)
17. Hawaii 289 (+5)
18. Kansas 290 (+6)
Air Force 290 (+6)
20. Southern Illinois 291 (+7)
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Cowboys Individual Standings
T20 John Murdock 68 (-3)
T34 Kirby Coe-Kirkham 69 (-2)
T47 Carl Underwood 70 (-1)
T84 Jimmy Dales 73 (+2)
T100 Dan Starzinksi 75 (+4)
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Cowboys Playing as Individuals
T100 Tyler Severin 75 (+4)

“All in all it was a really good start for us today,” said head coach Joe Jensen.  “It is a special event, with a difficult field and a difficult golf course.  I think maybe the best thing our guys did today was manage their emotions.  For the most part, we played very steady, very balanced. 

“The wind blew a little bit today, but obviously the scores were really good.  It is a little different style of play, when you have to try and knife through the wind on a lot of your shots. 

“This is an exceptional experience for our players.  The event feels like an NCAA Regional.  We played with Oklahoma and South Carolina today, and Oklahoma is ranked 11th in the country.

“We want to try and play consistently again tomorrow and continue to manage our emotions.” 

The second of three, 18-hole rounds will be played on Saturday, starting at 12:30 p.m., M.T.  The final round will tee off on Sunday, also at 12:30 p.m., M.T.

The Ka’anapali Classic Collegiate Invitational is being hosted by the University of Hawai’i at the Ka’anapali Golf Club in Lahaina, Maui.  The tournament is being played on the Royal Ka’anapali Golf Course that measures 6,700 yards and plays to a par of 71.