May 032004
 
Authors: Joelle Milholm

With giant drives and sinking putts, senior golfers Nolan Martin

and Martin Laird played in the Mountain West Conference

Championship last Thursday through Saturday just like they have

played in every other tournament this season. The two managed once

again to finish in the top five with Martin tying for second and

Laird taking fourth.

“They (Martin and Laird) have been good all year and good in

every tournament,” said CSU head coach Jamie Bermel. “They have

just been really effective.”

CSU finished the tournament in fifth place with a three-round

score of 876. New Mexico and Brigham Young tied for first place

with a score of 867, but the Lobos went on to take the team title

after winning the playoff hole.

Laird started with a career day in the opening round of the

tournament when he shot an 8-under par 64. His score tied a career

best, tied the single-round CSU record, put him in first place and

the Rams in second. With eight birdies and never shooting less than

par, Laird closed out Day 1 five swings ahead of the nearest

competition.

“We were 2-over par the first day and I was feeling pretty

good,” Bermel said. “We just struggled to get a high third and

fourth place score.”

The Rams dropped to fourth in the second round after sophomore

Kevin McAlpine was disqualified.

“We had the wrong name on the scorecard and Kevin was

disqualified,” Bermel said. “That cost us eight strokes and we lost

by nine, so that was huge.”

Sophomore Nate Pettit said he was disgusted with the

disqualification.

“It cost us the tournament,” Pettit said. “We had to go to the

next best score (only the top four scores count) and that hurt

us.”

Laird hit a 73 in the second round, which was enough to stay in

first place going into the final round. Martin hit 5-under 67,

which tied him in second place.

The Rams fell to fifth in the final day, but Martin’s score of

70 secured a tie for second place. Laird hit a 74 and dropped to

fourth place. Sophomore Pettit was the next best Ram, tying for

20th.

CSU will now compete in the NCAA West Regionals May 20-22 at the

same course that the MWC Championship was played at in Sunriver,

Ore.

“We have got two great golfers and that is 50 percent of our

score, so if we can just get some help from the three, four and

five, we should do well,” Bermel said.

Laird and Martin are expected to go far in the national

tournament and could finish as two of the top golfers in the

nation.

“They have the ability to win any tournament they play in,”

Bermel said. “But it has always been the goal to make it to the

finals as a team and to play well.”

Liard gets MWC golfer of the month honors

Before teeing off in the MWC Championship, Laird was named MWC

Co-Player of the Month along with Ryan Moore of UNLV. Laird has now

received the honor four times during his tenure at CSU.

During the month of April, Laird finished in the top-five in all

five tournaments he played. Laird has the lowest per-round average

of any Ram at 69.93 and is ranked third in the MWC.

Laird has accumulated a school-record 23 top-10 finishes

throughout his career at CSU. He also has nine top-10 finishes and

11 top-20 finishes, which are both school records.

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