Sept. 15, 2009
PULLMAN, Wash. - The Washington State men's golf team came out on top at the Palouse Collegiate Tuesday, the inaugural men's collegiate event held at the par-72, 7,308-yard Palouse Ridge Golf Club.
The Cougars entered the final round in second, one stroke behind Sacramento State, but pulled away during the closing stretch to finish four strokes ahead of the second-place Spartans of San Jose State.
"We played well enough to win," said Walt Williams, WSU Men's Head Golf Coach. "We did not make many mistakes and we were able to come out on top."
Atop the individual leaderboard was WSU senior Kevin Tucker, who finished in a tie for first with Blake Brown of Boise State. The win marks the second of Tucker's career, the first coming at the Desert Intercollegiate last season.
"I've coached Kevin for four years and he seems to keep getting better and better. He has one of the best short games I have ever seen," Williams said.
The Kenniwick, Wash., native posted a 2-under 70 during the final round, giving him a 54-hole total of 208 (-6). The score is the lowest three-round total of his career and the 10th-lowest in WSU history. Tucker also earned the eighth top-10 finish and 17th top-25 finish of his career, each of which ranks sixth all-time at WSU.
Freshman Hank Frame finished second for the Cougars in his collegiate debut. He posted a tournament-total of 221 (+5), finishing in a tie for 15th.
"Hank did very well. He grinded it out and posted a countable score so I am very impressed with his debut," said Williams.
Senior Austin Hurt was the third Cougar to finish in the top 25 (21st), tallying a three-round total of 223 (+7). Close behind was junior Nick Ellis and sophomore Trent Sanders, who finished at 226 and 227, respectively.
Four competitors represented WSU as individuals during the two-day tournament as well. John Moon and Paul Mitzel each scored 75 on the final day and ended the tournament at 227. Nick Grigsby finished a shot behind at 228, while sophomore Robert Murray made his first appearance as a Cougar, carding a 233.
WSU will head to Colorado Springs, Colo., to compete in the Gene Miranda Falcon Invitational beginning Sept. 19, at the Eisenhower Golf Club. The team took third place at the event last season and Kevin Tucker finished fifth individually.
"This win gives me a lot of confidence heading into Air Force," said Tucker. "I did well there last year and the course sets up for me so I hope to play well again next week."