A 5-under-par round of 279 in Friday’s second round moved the University of Wyoming men’s golf team up three spots into a tie for ninth place with host Grand Canyon University on the first day of competition at the Grand Canyon Invitational being played in Phoenix.

Wyoming has a combined 36-hole total of 569 (1 over par) heading into today’s final 18-hole round. There are 18 collegiate teams playing in this week’s tournament that is at the Grand Canyon University Golf Course.

Play was suspended on Friday due to darkness with two individuals in one group yet to finish their final hole of the second round, resulting in partial scores being reported. Those golfers will conclude their second round on Saturday morning immediately prior to the start of the tournament’s third and final round.

Cowboys junior Dan Starzinski and sophomore Carl Underwood led Wyoming’s Friday afternoon. Starzinski fired a 67 (4 under), and Underwood contributed a 69 (2 under) to fuel the round for the Pokes. Starzinski is tied for sixth out of 112 collegiate golfers with a two-round score of 137 (-5).

He is followed by senior John Murdock, who is tied for 33rd at 143 (1 over). Underwood is in 50th place at 145 (3 over).

The other two Pokes playing are true freshmen Kirby Coe-Kirkham and Tyler Severin, who are both tied for 59th at 146 (4 over). Freshman Jimmy Dales and redshirt freshman Jared Edeen are competing as individuals. Dales shot a second round 68 and is tied for 87th at 150 (8 over). Edeen is tied for 94th at 151 (9 over).

“It was a solid, solid day for us,” said UW director of golf Joe Jensen said. “We need to continue to gain confidence and that only comes from playing competitive rounds and making decisions out on the golf course. I was very pleased to see the competitiveness shown by our team this afternoon.

Missouri-Kansas City leads the tournament at 553 (15 under). Leading the individual competition is Jamie Stewart of Missouri, who is at 8 under, but he has one hole left to complete in the second round. Yannik Emmert of Wichita State is one shot back at 7 under.

UW women’s Nordic remain in 3rd at nationals

It has been a tough week of racing at the United States Collegiate Ski and Snowboard Association national championships in Jackson, but the University of Wyoming Nordic ski teams have held it together going into the final event.

After Friday’s 15 kilometer race, the Cowgirls remain in third place with 96 points through three events. Clarkson University (Postdam, New York) is battling St. Olaf University (Northfield, Minnesota) for the national title, with just six points separating the two programs. Clarkson has a team-low 37 points, while St. Olaf has 43 heading into Saturday’s final team race.

The Cowgirls again placed third during Friday’s 15km race.

“The women had a good day with Kat Gruner continuing her string of All-American finishes,” UW co-head Coach Christi Boggs said.

Gruner, from Casper, skied into 10th place, finishing the week tied for eighth for the overall All-American title.

Other UW finishers included Laramie’s Ella DeWolf in 12th; Sydney Wiswell, of Jackson, skied to 14th; followed closely by Casper’s Maddy Tinker in 16th. The trio ended up 13th, 12th and 14th, respectively, for overall individual honors.

The Cowboys slipped one place to sixth overall in the men’s team chase, with 123 points, just two points behind St. Olaf. Vermont’s Castleton University wrapped up the men’s national title with a team-low 50 points, while Clarkson has scored 85 for second place.

Casper senior Trevor Willoughby finished his individual races with another All-American finish, skiing to 10th place, tying him for eighth in the overall All-American standings for the week.

Jackson’s Matt Williams caught five skiers ahead of him on the final hill, pulling himself into his best finish of the week at 15th place. Silas Goetz, of Lander, fell early in the race and struggled to make up time, but skied into 21st place, Boggs said.

Goetz and Williams were 14th and 15th, respectively, in the individual standings.

“With three freshmen in the lineup competing this week, our future sure looks bright,” Boggs said.

UW will conclude the national competition today with the team sprint.

“We look forward to seeing the women hold onto the podium in the overall team race,” Boggs said. “The UW men fought extremely hard, but the field here was stronger than we have ever seen, with just a few points separating several teams. The depth is incredible.”


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