Tulsa Men's Golfers Finish in Second Place at WAC Championships
April 30, 2003
Tulsa, Oklahoma - Tulsa junior David Inglis claimed an unprecedented third straight Western Athletic Conference individual title, but needed a three-hole playoff to win the medallist honors over Fresno State's Nick Watney. Tulsa fired a one-over par 865 and finished second to Fresno State on the final day of action at the 2003 WAC Golf Championship Wednesday afternoon at The Houstonian Country Club in Richmond, Texas.
Fresno State began the championship tournament's final round with a five stroke lead, but a hard-charging Tulsa team chipped away before the Bulldogs could claim the 2003 title with a 54-hole total of two-under par 862. Tulsa ended the tournament three shots off the pace, while UTEP finished third overall with a four-over par 868. SMU also charged into fourth (880) with Nevada in fifth place (885) and tournament host Rice finished sixth (887).
"We played well today, but not well enough to win," Tulsa Head Coach Bill Brogden said. "David was very good today. He played the same hole even three times and Nick Watney had a bogey on the third hole, so Mr. Inglis wins again."
"We had our chance to win but struggled coming home. We could have played a few holes better coming down the stretch, but otherwise it was a good day. We shot one-over par for three days in a row. If we can do that in the next three tournaments, we'll be okay," Brogden added.
The battle for the individual championship between Inglis and Watney, the league's highest-ranked players, lived up to pre-tournament expectations. Inglis began the day with a two-shot lead, 137 to 139, but Watney picked up a stroke on the front nine then birdied the first two holes on the back nine to tie up the match through 47 of the 54 holes. The duo then matched strokes for the remaining seven holes to tie for the lead with identical eight-under par 208s.
The tie-breaker for the individual championship was to play The Houstonian's 464-yard, par four, 18th hole until the deadlock is broken. Again, the two twice matched a pair of par scores, but on the third playoff of the same hole Watney hit his drive into a right-side bunker and then took another two shots before reaching the green. Inglis reached the green in two and safely two-putted to win the hole 4-5. Inglis became the WAC's first three-time individual champion and the junior accomplished the feat his first three years in the league.
For the third tournament this season Inglis defeated Watney on the course, but failed to earn the WAC's Player of the Year award as voted on by the league's coaches. Today's playoff win for Inglis was the closest that the two players had finished this year, as Inglis shot three-under par to Watney's even-par at the Ping Arizona Intercollegiate, and carded an eight-under at the Morris Williams Intercollegiate, two strokes better than Watney.
Junior Chris Noel carded a one-under par 71 to tie Inglis for the best round of the by a TU player. Noel concluded the championship tied for 12th place. Senior Billy Lowry turned in a one-over par 73 and finished 32nd, while senior Marc Zien tallied a two-over par 74 and tied for 12th place. Sophomore Aaron Bell rounded out the Hurricane lineup with a four-over par 76 to finish tied for 22nd place.
Third place went to Fresno State's Chad Spencer (211, -5) who tied Watney for the best round of the day with a three-under par 69. UTEP's Dan Swanson shot a 70 to finish fourth in the 50-player field with a composite four-under 212.
Team Results 1. Fresno State -2 (862) 2. Tulsa +1 (865) 3. UTEP +4 (868) 4. SMU +16 (880) 5. Nevada +21 (885) 6. Rice +23 (887) 7. San Jose State +27 (891) Hawaii +27 (891) 9. Boise State +34 (898) 10. Louisiana Tech +58 (922)
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