Sept. 13, 2010
PULLMAN - The Washington State University men's golf team posted the lowest 36-hole total in school history Monday at the Palouse Ridge Golf Club, and the Cougars will head into the final round of the Palouse Cougar Collegiate in first place.
Sparked by the two lowest single-round team scores in school history in relation to par, the Cougars are 10 strokes clear of second-place Portland. Led by senior Nick Ellis, who is tied for first place, all five Cougars playing on the varsity squad are heading into the final round among the top 25 in the field.
With four players coming in under par, WSU posted a 17-under, first-round 271 at the par-72, 7,308-yard course, a school single-round record in relation to par. The Cougars entered round two with a one-stroke advantage over the Pilots, but a second-round, 16-under 272 gave WSU a two-round total of 543 (-33), extending its lead to 10. All five golfers posted sub-par second rounds.
"The golf course was there for the taking today because it was in immaculate condition and the weather was absolutely perfect," WSU Head Coach Walt Williams said. "My players have been working really hard, and good players shoot good scores in good conditions."
Ellis carded a career-low 65 (-7) in the opening round, tied for the second-lowest score in school history. He followed with a 4-under 68, and is tied with Idaho's Jarred Bossio for first place with a 133 (-11).
Junior Trent Sanders and redshirt freshman Cody Robinson are also in the top 10, and are two of five golfers tied for fourth place with a 54-hole total of 137 (-7). Sophomore Hank Frame is one stroke back of the top 10 with a 139 (-5), and freshman Kent Hagen, playing in his first collegiate event, enters the final round tied for 16th with a 141 (-3).
The Cougars are also playing a second team at the tournament, and the squad is tied for seventh place with Boise State and Cal Poly. The trio posted team scores of 572 (-4). WSU's second squad was in 11th after the opening round, but a second-round 283 (-5) shot the Cougars up four places.
Sophomore Paul Mitzel leads the group with a 139 (-5), and enters the final round tied for 12th. Mitzel fired a second-round 66 (-6), the lowest score of his career. Redshirt junior Christopher Kneen is also in the top 25, coming in with a 2-under 142, good for a tie for 22nd.
The Cougars will look to hold on for a second-straight victory in the second-annual event. Tuesday's final round will get underway with tee times beginning at 7:30 a.m.
For complete results from the first day of competition, CLICK HERE.
For tomorrow's final-round pairings, CLICK HERE.