Cougar Men Make it Three Straight at Inland Collegiate
March 2, 2001
Washington State University Golf
CLARKSTON, Wash. --- The Washington State men's golf team won their third consecutive Inland Collegiate Challenge title Friday at the Clarkston Country Club.
'We played really well,' WSU head coach Walt Williams said. 'I'm excited about a 289 because it's so early in the year, and that course was not easy. The greens were firm and fast. But the weather ended up being great and the course was in good shape.'
The Cougars used a balanced attack to fend off second place Idaho. Four Washington State players finished in the top five, including junior Jon Reehoorn, who fired a one-under par 71 and placed second. Sophomore Dustin White came in third with a 72, while Jeremy Taylor and freshman Isaac Woods tied for fourth after carding 73s.
'I made some small mistakes that added up in the end,' White said. 'But this was a big confidence booster for all of us. It's a good feeling to start off the season like this.'
The day was capped off by a dramatic, sudden-death playoff between Reehoorn and Idaho's Ryan Benzel. Benzel denied Reehoorn's quest for his second individual title in three years by connecting on an incredible, 50-foot chip on the second playoff hole.
'He's a great player, and he made a great shot,' Reehoorn said of Benzel. 'It's disappointing that I didn't get the win, but that was a great way to get us started toward the (NCAA West) Regionals.'
Despite Benzel's win, Idaho finished five strokes back of Washington State. Eastern Washington, led by Mark Poirier's 73, placed third, while Lewis-Clark State and Gonzaga ended the day fourth and fifth, respectively.
Friday's solid performance is in sharp contrast to the early season play of Washington State a year ago, where the Cougars eliminated themselves from postseason consideration in the first two tournaments. Williams credits junior captains Reehoorn and Taylor for steering his young squad, featuring two freshmen, a sophomore, and three juniors, down the right path.
'I think we have great leadership with Jon and Jeremy,' Williams said. 'We had a nice talk last night, and they got the guys fired up and ready to play this morning.'
On the women's side, Idaho made it a clean sweep, grabbing top team and individual medals. Junior Julie Wells fired a 76 to capture individual medalist honors, and teammate Noelle Hamilton finished one stroke back in second place to carry the Vandals to the overall victory.
Despite the second place finish, there were some bright spots for the Cougars.
Junior Tasha Browner, who took second at the event last year, shot a 79 and placed third. Teammates Jackie Stevens and Shanelle Roberts also finished in the top 10, tying for sixth after carding a pair of 82s. Stevens and Roberts entered the tournament as individuals and their scores did not count toward WSU's team totals.
Jeanie Bagnell's 82 led Eastern Washington to third place, just one stroke behind WSU, while Gonzaga finished fourth at 352.
The Washington State women will look to redeem themselves at the San Jose Spartan Invitational on Mar. 5-7, while the men's next action will be in Sacramento, Calif., at the Sacramento State Invitational on Mar. 12-13.
1. Idaho, 318
2. Washington State, 335
3. Eastern Washington, 336
4. Gonzaga, 352
1. Julie Wells, UI (76) 2. Noelle Hamilton, UI (77) 3. Tasha Browner, WSU (79) 4. Caroline Bradley, LC, Jacquelin Huff, UI (80) 6. Jeanie Bagnell, EWU, Maria Valente, UI, Jackie Stevens, WSU, Shanelle Roberts, WSU (82) 10. Kelly Gardner, EWU, Jennifer Dolph, EWU, Emily De'Ath, WSU, Lindzee Frei, UI (83) 14. Nicole Keller, UI, Kate Siddell, GU (84) 16. Jennifer Dodd, WSU (86) 17. Donna Bell, WSU, Natalie Bratkowski, WSU (87) 19. Shawn Farmer, EWU, Kelsey Posedel, GU (88)
1. Washington State, 289
2. Idaho, 294
3. Eastern Washington, 304
4. Lewis-Clark State, 316
5. Gonzaga, 321
1. Ryan Benzel, UI (71) 2. Jon Reehoorn, WSU (71) 3. Dustin White, WSU (72) 4. Jeremy Taylor, WSU, Isaac Woods, WSU, Mark Poirier, EWU, Josh Nagelman, Idaho (73) 8. Darren Black, LC, Doug McClure, UI, Peter Sisich, EWU (74) 11. Roger Flynn, WSU (75) 12. Taylor Cerjan, UI, Stephen Petasky, UI (76) 14. Dave Hill, GU, Jarrod Batchelder, UI, Ryan Camp, WSU (77) 17. Aaron Stewart, EWU, Matt McGeeney, WSU (78) 19. Corey Brown, LC, Brad Faller, LC, Keith Ross, EWU (79)