Cowboy Golfers Open Season Defending Gene Miranda Invite Title
2018-19 Season Tees Off for the Wyoming Cowboy Golf Team This Weekend
Wyoming Cowboys are the Defending Champions at the Gene Miranda Falcon Invitational
The Wyoming Cowboy golf team will tee off its 2018-19 season this Friday-Sunday at the 50th Gene Miranda Falcon Invitational hosted by the U.S. Air Force Academy. The tournament was previously known as the Rocky Mountain Invitational and Pikes Peak Invitational, but since 2003 has been named after former Air Force golf coach Gene Miranda who coached the Falcons for 25 years and is a member of the Air Force Athletics Hall of Fame.
The tournament will be a 54-hole event, with one 18-hole round being played on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
Wyoming finished first in a field of 19 teams a year ago, shooting a 29-under par total of 835. The Cowboys finished five strokes ahead of second place Colorado State (-24, 840) and eight strokes in front of third-place Colorado (-21, 843).
Cowboy John Murdock shot a 14-under part 202 a year ago, and will return to defend his individual title.
The 16 teams entered in this years event are Air Force, Abilene Christian, Colorado, Drake, Missouri State, New Mexico State, Northern Colorado, Northern Iowa, Southern Illinois-Edwardsville, Southern Utah, Texas State, UC Davis, Utah State, Utah Valley State, Weber State, Wyoming.
The 2018-19 Cowboys team has only one senior, one junior, one sophomore, one redshirt freshman and four true freshmen.
“Last year was a great year," said head coach Joe Jensen. "We had three (tournament) wins and we were ranked No. 1 in the conference for a portion of the year. We felt like even up until the last nine holes at the conference championship, depending on our finish, that we had a chance to be in the conversation to go to (NCAA) regionals. You step away from that and it really was a nice year. We had four Academic All-Americans and good kids.
“Now this year, we have four new freshmen, and five freshmen total with Jared Edeen, who is a redshirt freshman, so I’ll need to be patient this year. We’ve had a good start to our year. Because of the Mick and Susie McMurry High Altitude Performance Center, we’re able to spend more time together as a team. We had a nice weekend of training last weekend at Old Baldy in Saratoga."
Jensen said he is looking forward to the start of the season.
“I’m optimistic (about this first tournament), but I’m also realistic," he said. "We won last year (as a team), and John Murdock won the individual title. I’m not saying it’s correct for us to be driving down to Air Force with the idea that we are going to defend our championship, but I’m not saying we won’t.
"I feel like we have two really good players in John (Murdock) and Dan Starzinski. Both had good summers, but it’s kind of a unique blend on this team with those two experienced players with a lot of young players. And then Carl Underwood is kind of in the middle. He gained quite a bit of experience last year, but he doesn’t have the experience that John and Dan have.”