Feb. 28, 2001
The Washington State men's golf team likes to save their best for last. Three times during the fall season, the Cougars made dramatic runs up the leader board in the third and final round of tournaments. They will need a similar charge through the second stanza of the 2000-2001 season to put themselves in the NCAA West Regional. The Cougars first comeback came in September at the Northwest Classic in Corvallis, Ore. After carding a 292 in the first round and 289 in the second, WSU caught fire. Sophomore Dustin White torched the Trysting Tree Golf Course to the tune of a school record-tying 65 in the third round. Teammate Jeremy Taylor added a 70, while Jon Reehoorn and Roger Flynn chipped in a pair of 71s. Washington State ended the final day in Corvallis with a 277, one stroke off the school record, and marched from 14th after the first two rounds to a final standing of ninth. "Obviously, Dustin had a great day," head coach Walt Williams said. "But I really liked the resolve of our entire team. Everybody came to play in the third round." The third round magic didn't stop in Corvallis. Two weeks later, the Cougars traveled cross-state to Port Orchard to take on a field packed with national powerhouses at the Husky Invitational. WSU found itself in a hole early, finishing day one of the competition in 10th place, dead last. This time, it was a pair of freshmen who rallied the Cougars late in the tournament. Isaac Woods, who was making his varsity debut, fired a 73 and a 71 over the final two rounds and finished 23rd. Freshman cohort Ryan Camp was solid throughout the event, firing a 75-75-76---226 and tying for 25th. More importantly, WSU finished fifth overall, edging out Pac-10 rivals Stanford and Oregon State "That tournament really shows what those two are capable of," junior captain Jon Reehoorn said. "If we are going to make a run this spring, it's going to have to be a team effort. We need everybody to go out and shoot their best every round. Especially the two freshman (Camp and Woods)." The fall season concluded in November at the 49'er Collegiate Classic in Long Beach, Calif. The Cougars wrapped things up with, what else, another third round surge. After dropping to 12th after two rounds, it was Reehoorn's turn to rally the troops for a gut-check on the final day of the fall season. "We knew we weren't playing very well, so we knew what we had to do," Reehoorn said. "Coach didn't say much to us on the way home, so we knew we had to step it up." And that's exactly what Reehoorn did. Putting only 21 times in 18 holes, the Burlington, Wash., native matched his career-best with a 67 and helped WSU charge back up the leader board to finish the tournament in eighth. The Cougars begin the spring season on Mar. 2 at the Inland Collegiate Challenge in Clarkston. They are sitting at 16th place in Division Eight, four spots shy of the qualifying mark for the NCAA West Regional. So do the Cougars have one more comeback in store? "I think they will respond," Williams said. "Jon and Jeremy are the leaders of this team and I think they can take us to places this team has never been before." The quietly confident team leader is eager to accept Williams' challenge. "Its definitely a possibility," Reehoorn said. "If we play like we can for all three rounds, there will be no need to make these comebacks."