By CHELSEA LEINENBACH
Rainy, sloppy conditions played into the Cougars fifth place title in the Oregon Duck Invitation at Emerald Valley Golf Course Tuesday.
“All the teams that beat us, besides Nevada, were all from the Northwest and were used to the sloppy, rainy type weather conditions,” said head coach Bruce Brockbank. “But we really do like going up there … it is a good tough golf course.”
The Cougars finished the tournament nine strokes off the leader, Oregon State, who shot a 54 hole total of 862. Second place went to Nevada and third went the University of Washington.
“We shot real average this tournament,” Brockbank said. “Nothing overly exciting happened. We need some more time to practice and improve our skills.”
The Cougars started the tournament by shooting a 36 hole total of 579, putting them in third place. They finished eight strokes off the leader, Oregon State, who shot 571.
Golfer Andy Miller said the team was doing pretty good up until the last day. It rained the last day of the tournament and they didn’t play well.
“I don’t think they were at a huge advantage from the weather, we have played in cold weather … we are just a little rusty because we haven’t been able to practice,” Miller said. “We usually can benefit from one low number, but we had a whole bunch of mediocre rounds.”
“They just shot better than we did,” Brockbank said. “We went up there to win the tournament, but we were nine shots off the leader. That isn’t a terrible distance from the leader, but we weren’t very pleased with our score.”
Freshman Billy Harvey led the team the whole way, shooting a final score of 217 and taking 11th place in the tourney. Miller and Matt Thurmond both finished at 220. Jose Garrido finished in 33rd place with a 222, and Jesse Hibler shot a 225 for 50th place.
The teams were pretty well matched, but the Cougars just weren’t up to the challenge this time.
“They were all teams that we had done really well against in the fall, but for some reason we aren’t having quite as much luck this spring,” Brockbank said. “So we definitely have a lot of work ahead of us.”
“We basically need to just practice a little harder and go out and win the next one,” Miller said.
The Cougars travel to California to play in the Southwestern Intercollegiate Tournament March 23 and 24.