PARKER, Colo. – The University of Wyoming men’s golf team wrapped up its fall season Tuesday, steadily moving up the standings at the University of Denver’s Paintbrush Invitational during the final round of competition to eventually settle for sixth place in the field of 15 teams.
Senior Ryan Wallen led the Cowboys with his second consecutive top-10 finish and fifth top-25 finish of the season, tying for ninth place in the field of 88 golfers with a 54-hole score of 213 (-3). As a team, the Cowboys tallied a team score of 878 (+14), which was at least 10 strokes better than six teams.
“It was a really good field and a really difficult golf course,” head coach Joe Jensen said Tuesday. “A couple holes came up and bit us, but the guys did a great job of putting it behind them. I’m very proud of the way the guys played. They kept it together. It’s a good way to finish the fall.”
Since the second round of competition was suspended due to darkness on Monday evening, the Cowboys finished the final two holes of the second round Tuesday morning before competing in the final 18-hole round at the Colorado Golf Club.
Wallen wasted no time getting into a groove on Tuesday, parring the final two holes of the second round before carding a 33 (-3) on the back nine in the final round. He finished with a final-round score of 71 (-1), matching Drew McCullough for Wyoming’s best individual round of the day.
The Cowboys excelled on par-three holes, tying Oklahoma State for the tournament lead with a 3.17 stroke average on such holes. Wallen tied for second in the field with a 3.83 stroke average on par-fours and showed his tremendous consistency by leading the field with 40 total pars.
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Sophomore John Murdock ended the inaugural Paintbrush Invitational with a final-round 74 (+2) on Tuesday, recording a 54-hole total of 221 (+5) to tie for 31st place overall in just his second collegiate start. McCullough rode a final-round 71 (-1) to finish at 223 (+7), rebounding from a difficult first round to improve his score in each of the next two rounds in Parker.
After finishing the second round with an even-par 72, Arron Lickteig carded an 80 (+8) to tie for 59th place at 229 (+13). Glenn Workman posted an 82 (+10) in Tuesday’s final round, finishing in a tie for 64th at 230 (+14).
Oklahoma State recorded a 54-hole team total of 850 (-14) to win the tournament, while Colorado, Texas Tech, defending NCAA champions Oregon, and New Mexico rounded out the top five. Mountain West foes Colorado State and Air Force finished 11th and 15th, respectively, while Petter Mikalsen of host Denver took home the individual title with a score of 203 (-13).
Wyoming will enter its winter offseason period before returning to competition season in February. The Cowboys will host the Wyoming Desert Intercollegiate in Palm Desert, Calif., on Feb. 17-19 to begin the spring season. The Brown and Gold will travel to three more tournaments before hosting the Wyoming Cowboy Classic in Chandler, Ariz., on April 10-11. The Mountain West Championships will take place in Tucson, Ariz., from April 21-23. Follow @wyo_golf on Twitter for additional news and updates.
Team: 6th, 289+293+296 = 878 (+14)
T9. Ryan Wallen: 69+73+71 = 213 (-3)
T31. John Murdock: 72+75+74 = 221 (+5)
T34. Drew McCullough: 79+73+71 = 223 (+7)
T59. Arron Lickteig: 77+72+80 = 229 (+13)
T63. Glenn Workman: 71+77+82 = 230 (+14)
T77. Quintin Pope*: 80+75+82 = 237 (+21)