May 092010
 
Authors: Adam Bohlmeyer

Jamie Bermel thought his team could win this weekend, but never imagined it would happen like this.

The CSU Rams men’s golf team won the Mountain West Conference Championship in Tucson, Arizona this weekend and broke a record in the process. The Rams led from beginning to end, finishing the competition shooting a combined 834 (-18) –– a MWC tournament record –– and 15 strokes ahead of second place San Diego State.

CSU head coach Jamie Bermel said he never doubted his team’s ability to win the tournament, but didn’t expect them to pull off a blow out.

“Well I thought it would be a fight all the way down to the last hole,” the 11-year Rams coach said. “We just kept plugging along and kept making birdies. Before I knew it, we were up by six and then 10. It wasn’t much of a match those last six holes.”

A stellar performance from Ryan Peterson powered CSU during the weekend. The sophomore posted a three round score of 205 (-8) and won the tournament’s individual first place title by two strokes.

Peterson said he was surprised by his success, especially after playing with a cut on his pointer finger. The Minnesota native explained that he really struggled in the pre-tournament practice round.

“I didn’t really feel good going into the tournament, “Peterson said. “I went there, stuck it out and did my practice round. I stayed focused and told myself I could do it.”

Seniors Bryce Hanstad and Riley Arp also turned in solid performances for the Rams, finishing fourth and fifth while shooting 207 (-6) and 206 (-5), respectively.

Hanstad said he was proud of Peterson’s performance.

“Ryan (Peterson) has had some good finishes this spring for us, and his confidence just shot through the roof to where he’s become a regular in the lineup,” Hanstad said. “We’ve been waiting for him to break through, and this was a big win for his confidence. Hopefully we can keep it going into regionals.”

CSU’s victory marks their second MWC title in the last three years. The Rams took home the championship in 2008 before finishing a disappointing 23 in the regional tournament.

Bermel and Peterson agreed that Rams’ hot streak gives the team a tremendous amount of momentum. With a victory this weekend, CSU has won two straight tournaments heading into the NCAA Regional tournament scheduled for May 21-23.

Assistant Sports Editor Adam Bohlmeyer can be reached at sports@collegian.com.

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