February 18, 1999
PULLMAN, WASH. - After a 1997-98 season of ups and downs, the Washington State men's golf team has finally found the chemistry its been searching for. Led by junior Eric Toomey (Snohomish, Wash.), the Cougar team finished in the top six in three of the five tournaments last fall. Toomey compiled a 73.6 stroke average last fall, while seniors Matt Hartley (Longview, Wash.) and Jeremy Champoux (Yakima, Wash.) followed with averages of 74.1 and 74.3 strokes, respectively.
"We have found the right chemistry and our men's team is finally coming together," said first-year head coach Walt Williams. "Our veteran players in Toomey, Hartley and Champoux mixed with newcomer Jeff Gufstason, will provide for a well-balanced four this spring."
Gufstason, a junior transfer from Lower Columbia Community College, is anticipated to play a large role in during the 1999 season. During the summer of 1998, Gufstason won the Royal Oaks Invitational with a 54-hole score of 73-72-68 --- 213. He also became a quarterfinalist in the Oregon Amateur and placed eighth in the Northwest Club Tournament of Champions.
Other newcomers also expected to make contributions this spring include freshmen Roger Flynn (Boise, Idaho, 74.5), Jon Reehoorn (Burlington, Wash., 74.9), Brian Flugstad (Bothell, Wash., 75.8), Tim Ressa (Pullman, Wash., 77) an Sean Nuzzo (Federal Way, Wash., 81.7).
The fall season saw success and numerous changes to the record book in both team and individual categories. In the first tournament, the Cougs demolished the WSU 54-hole low total by 33-strokes, compiling a record 837. The team also beat the 18-hole low record of 281 by one stroke. Records were also re-written in the individual category when Hartley posted a new 54-hole low of 205 strokes, beating the old record by five strokes, and Champoux claimed the 18-hole low record by one stroke.
Although a tough spring schedule is ahead, the success of the fall season has the Cougar men looking to contend for the top spots in many of the spring tournaments.
"If the veteran players continue their success and the freshmen continue to improve, we will have a chance to contend for championship spots throughout the spring," Williams said. "We will have to stay positive, strong an consistent to compete at the highest level."
The men's 1999 spring season begins when the Cougars travel to Santa Barbara, Calif. on March 4 and 5 to compete in the Pacific Coast Intercollegiate, hosted by University of California -- Santa Barbara.