Spring Season Gets Into Full Swing For Cougars
Feb. 28, 2002
On The Tee:
At Coastal Carolina
Grande Dunes Resort
Myrtle Beach, S.C.
Par 72, 7,618 Yards
What's Happening: After a victory at the Inland Collegiate Challenge, Feb. 18, the Washington State men's golf team tees off into the spring schedule next week. The Cougars travel across the country to Myrtle Beach, S.C., for the Coastal Carolina University Invitational, March 4-5, at the par 72, 7,618 yard Grand Dunes Resort Course. The 54-hole tournament will consist of 36 holes, March 4 with the final 18 taking place, March 5.
The Field: The Cougars will be part of a 17-team field that includes 13 teams that are rated in the top 100 by Golfstat, including 10 teams in the top 75. Along with WSU the field includes Belmont Abby College, host Coastal Carolina, East Carolina, Furman, Georgia Southern, Georgia State, Idaho, Mississippi, Old Dominion, Southern Methodist, Southern Mississippi, Texas A&M, Vanderbilt, Virginia Commonwealth, Virginia Tech, and Wofford.
Last Tournament Wrap: The Cougars picked up where they left off from the fall season by opening the spring campaign with a victory at the Inland Collegiate Challenge Golf Tournament, Feb. 18 at Canyon Lakes Golf Course in Kennewick, Wash.
Coupled with the women's second place effort, the Cougars captured the Challenge Cup, signifying the top combined finish by the men and women's teams of the participating universities. Along with WSU, Idaho Eastern Washington, Lewis-Clark and host Gonzaga took part in the tournament.
Battling cold and windy conditions, sophomore Isaac Woods captured his first tournament victory as a collegiate with an even-par 72. Jon Reehoorn shot a 74 to finish in a tied for second with Idaho's Josh Nagelmann. Dustin White (75) and Roger Flynn (77) rounded out the Cougars' team score of 298.
Fabulous Fall:The Cougars did not finish lower than sixth in any of the six tournaments the team competed in over the fall schedule. WSU secured a victory at the Vandal Fall Invitational, Sept. 25, and finished second at the Northwest Classic, Sept. 11 and the Husky Invitational, Oct. 2. In addition, the team finished third at the Wolf Pack Classic, Oct. 9.
In The Top 10: Dustin White (Pueblo West, Colo.) has not finished out of the top 25 in any of the seven tournaments he has competed in this season. White has posted five top 10 efforts increasing his career total to nine, which places the junior third on the school's record list in that category.
Reehoorn Moving Up: Senior Jon Reehoorn is at the doorstep of two records on the school's all-time career list. With 11 career top 10 finishes, and 22 career top 25 efforts Reehoorn is just behind Chris Jorgensen (1992-94) in both categories. Jorgensen recorded a dozen top 10 finishes and 25 top 25 efforts during his time in the Palouse.
Aces In Nevada: In the morning's opening round of the University of Nevada Wolf Pack Classic, Oct. 9, WSU recorded a score of 270, shattering the previous single round team scoring record of 276 set in 1998 and 2001. In that record opening round in Nevada, all five Cougars - Jon Reehoorn (66), Dustin White (67), Ryan Camp (68), Isaac Woods (69), and Jeremy Taylor (69) - posted scores in the 60's.
At the tournament, Reehoorn set the school standard for a score in relation to par with his nine-under par tally at Nevada. Reehoorn's 54-hole score of 207 is only behind the school record score of 205 set by Matt Hartley at the Rocky Mountain Intercollegiate in 1998.
Season Outlook: In the history of the Washington State men's golf program, no team has ever advanced to the NCAA West Regional.
That first trip to regionals was Walt Williams' initial goal as his team entered the fall portion of the 2001-02 season.
But after the Cougars' performance during the fall, the fourth year head coach has amended his goals as the Cougars head into the 2002 spring season.
'My goal for the men's team at the start of the year was to make regionals,' said the Williams. 'I think I need to reassess that and have the team strive to make nationals. If we continue to play well, regionals are going to be a lock. We need to make it all the way to Columbus, Ohio and the national championships. That is our goal.'
It is a goal that Williams can feel confident in setting due to the play of the Cougars over the 2001 fall season.
With everyone returning from a team that posted a seventh place finish at the Pacific-10 Conference Championship the spring before - the team's best finish at the tournament since 1991 - the Cougars carried the momentum into the 2001 fall season.
The quintet of Ryan Camp, Jon Reehoorn, Jeremy Taylor, Dustin White and Isaac Woods notched one tournament victory and three other top three finishes. In addition, the Cougars did not finish lower than sixth in any of the tournaments they competed in as the group did not post a scoring average higher than 73.3 over the fall.
The play of the Cougars did not go unnoticed. WSU ended the fall season ranked 31st by Golfstat and 33rd by Golfweek. In addition, the Cougars were third in the NCAA District Eight rankings.
'I felt that we would be very good this year because we had everyone returning,' said Williams. 'The men had an incredible fall, even beyond my expectations.'But Williams believes the best is yet to come.
'I think they can probably play better,' Williams said of his team. 'They played really well off and on but only once or twice did all of them really play well.
'We had some good finishes but I am not sure that we tapped it out,' Williams continued. 'All of them can compete at or above the level they played at during the fall because they are all very good players. They are basically interchangeable one through five.'
Leading the Cougars is White, who enters the spring season ranked 47th by Golfstat. White's ranking is well earned as the Pueblo West, Colo., native rode the wave of a ninth place finish at the Pac-10 Championship to cap a stellar fall campaign. White led the team with a 70.9 scoring average as the junior recorded four top 10 finishes and never completed a tournament out of the top 24.
Although just a junior, White ranks third on both the school's career top 10 and top 25 lists with eight and 15 finishes in those respective categories.
'White really improved last year,' said Williams. 'He looks better every tournament out. In my opinion, Dustin is one of the top players in the nation.'
Just as White was a model of consistency during the fall, so was his senior teammate Reehoorn, who posted a scoring average of 71.7. In addition, Reehoorn's 73.9 career scoring average is best on the team.
Reehoorn, who is ranked 93rd by Golfstat, enters the spring second with 10 career top 10 finishes and 21 top 25 efforts. The Burlington, Wash., native only trails Chris Jorgensen (1992-94) on the school record list in both categories. Jorgensen recorded 12 career top 10 and 25 career top 25 finishes at WSU.
Another senior, Taylor, posted three top 15 efforts and a 73.2 scoring average over the fall. With 11 career top 25 finishes, Taylor, a native of West Richland, Wash., ranks fourth on the school's list in that category.
'Jon and Jeremy have had great careers here,' said Williams. 'Both continue to improve and post lower scoring averages every year. I had no doubt that they would be good, solid players.'
Camp posted four top 25 finishes, including a pair of top 10 efforts, as he recorded a 72.6 scoring average over the fall season. The Spokane, Wash. native fired a career best 66 in the opening round of the Aztec Invitational, the lowest first round score in the 85-man field.
Woods posted three top 18 efforts as the Enumclaw, Wash. native posted a 73.3 scoring average over the fall. Woods' best effort was a tie for 10th at the Wolf Pack Classic.
'Ryan and Isaac both had excellent falls,' said Williams. 'They were very solid.'
Providing experienced depth to the Cougars are seniors Steven Bowles (Madisonville, Texas) and Roger Flynn (Boise, Idaho), a 2000 Verizon Academic All-America selection. Freshmen Cameron Chesnut, Sean Fallows, Paul Knue, and Dylan Robbins round out the roster.
The spring schedule takes the Cougars across the country with tournaments in South Carolina, Texas, and Kansas. However, it is Albuquerque, N.M. - site of the NCAA West Regional, May 16-18 - and Columbus, Ohio, the site of the NCAA Championship, May 29-June 1 that the Cougars have their sights set on as travel destinations this spring.
Final Fall Golfstat National Rankings
1. Washington State .754
Par 4 Scoring:
2. Washington State 4.06
Greens In Regulation:
4. Washington State .683
Subpar Strokes Per Round:
6. Washington State 3.47
Par 5 Scoring:
9. Washington State 4.77