It its final tournament of the regular season, the CSU men’s golf team captured its first victory.
The team brought home top honors over the weekend from the BYU Cougar Classic for the second year in a row. The event was held at the 6,950-yard Riverside Country Club in Provo, Utah.
This also marks the Rams’ 11th consecutive top-10 finish. Much of the thanks can go to junior Martin Laird for his outstanding performance in the first two rounds and his ability to finish strong under enormous pressure.
“(Laird) played really well Friday,” CSU coach Jamie Bermel said. “He managed to finish strong with a birdie putt on the last hole to give us the victory.”
Laird shot rounds of 67, 69 and 73 to finish at seven-under par and take the championship from the host Brigham Young. BYU was ahead of the Rams by one stroke going into the final hole and a victory for the Cougars looked likely. That was before Laird got a birdie to hoist the team to victory and gave CSU a one-stroke edge over both BYU and the University of Denver.
Junior Nolan Martin’s performance also largely contributed to the Rams’ success. Martin finished in a three-way tie for third place behind rounds of 69, 71, and 72, giving him his second-highest finish this year.
“This is (Martin’s) first year in Division I golf,” Bermel said. “He’s finished out of the top 20 only three times and is only a hair-width away from taking a championship for himself.”
An unlikely hero emerged for the Rams on the Utahan links in the form of fifth-year senior Geoff Nuwash. He finished third for the Rams and alone at eighth overall after shooting a three-round total of 216, including a final round of 69.
“(Nuwash) came out of nowhere,” Bermel said. “He played really well in qualifying so I decided to give him a shot and obviously it worked.”
Another good performance for CSU came at the hands of junior Brett Tobyne, who finished in a three-way tie for 15th – his best of the year – after shooting a total of 220 in the three rounds.
The men will take part in the Mountain West Conference Championships in Sunriver, Ore., starting Thursday.
Women finish third
The women’s team is coming back from Sunriver after taking third place in the Championships. The Rams were led by sophomore Trisha Quick, who shot a 226 in the three rounds to claim seventh place.
Senior Mayumi Motoyama finished 12th after taking a total of 230 shots to finish off the 54 holes. Every player finished in the top 20 in what might be the Rams’ last tournament of the season if they don’t receive an invitation to play in the NCAA Championships.
New Mexico won the championship despite losing assistant coach Angie Hopkins, who joined CSU as head coach at the beginning of the year.