Tucson, Ariz. (April 26, 2019) — An outstanding back nine by the Wyoming Cowboys elevated them back in contention at the 2019 Mountain West Conference Men’s Golf Championship on Friday in Tucson, Ariz. Wyoming fired an opening round of 284 (-4) and is one of eight teams within five strokes of each other heading into Saturday’s second of three rounds to determine the 2019 conference championship. Cowboys John Murdock, Dan Starzinski and Kirby Coe-Kirkham are all among the Top 20 individuals after 18 holes.
Murdock shot an opening round 69 (-3) to tie for seventh, but he is only two strokes back of the tournament leaders, Sean Carlon of New Mexico and Alex Lee of Fresno State, who are tied at 67 (-5). Starzinski and Coe-Kirkham are both tied for 20th, with rounds of 71 (-1). Freshmen Jimmy Dales and Tyler Severin rounded out the scoring for the Cowboys. Dales is tied for 34th at 73 (+1). Severin opened with a 77 (+5) and is in 52nd place.
The Pokes started off slow on Friday morning with only one individual, freshman Coe-Kirkham, under par through the first nine holes at 35 (-1). But after managing only four birdies as a team on the front nine, the Cowboys caught fire on the back nine making 13 birdies and one eagle, by junior Starzinski, on the par 5 10th hole. All five Cowboy individuals had at least two birdies on the back nine led by Starzinski, with three birdies and an eagle, and senior Murdock with four birdies.
“We started off three or four over par as a team about halfway through that first nine, but I will say that even when we got off to a tough start the energy was good, and I’m proud of the way the guys fought back,” said Joe Jensen, UW Director of Golf and Head Coach. “A couple good things happened and then we gradually starting making our way back. It was good for the guys to see that they could recover and bring it back.
“We’ve got to bring that fight tomorrow. We’ve got to go play offense. Obviously by the scores, you can tell the golf course is scoreable. But in a tournament like this, it doesn’t necessarily set up for three freshmen, like we’re playing, to have that kind of offensive mindset. But we’ve got to get them thinking that way. We can go make some birdies, play hard and play aggressive.
“It was a good solid start, really good effort. We have a bunch of fighters. The attitude and energy was outstanding by our guys today.”
The team competition has New Mexico and Colorado State leading the field at 279 (-9). Boise State is only one stroke back at 280 (-8). San Diego State is at 281 (-7). UNLV and Fresno State are tied at 282 (-6). Nevada is at 283 (-5), and the Wyoming Cowboys are at 284 (-4) — only five strokes out of the lead. Utah State (288, Even), San Jose State (290, +2) and Air Force (294, +6) complete the field.
The 2019 Mountain West Championship is being played on the OMNI Tucson National Catalina Course in Tucson, Ariz. The course plays to a par of 72 and measures 7,194 yards. Wyoming will tee off Saturday starting at 8:40 a.m., M.T. (7:40 a.m., P.T.). The Cowboys will be paired with Utah State in the second round on Saturday.
1. New Mexico 279 (-9)
Colorado State 279 (-9)
3. Boise State 280 (-8)
4. San Diego State 281 (-7)
5. UNLV 282 (-6)
Fresno State 282 (-6)
7. Nevada 283 (-5)
8. Wyoming 284 (-4)
9. Utah State 288 (Even)
10. San Jose State 290 (+2)
11. Air Force 294 (+6)
Wyoming Cowboys’ Individual Standings
T7 John Murdock 69 (-3)
T20 Dan Starzinski 71 (-1)
T20 Kirby Coe-Kirkham 71 (-1)
T34 Jimmy Dales 73 (+1)
52 Tyler Severin 77 (+5)