UW, Bixler Finish Runner-Up At Weather-Shortened Husky Invitational

Oct. 2, 2007


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BREMERTON, Wash. - Oregon State won the team title and OSU senior James Allenby took home medalist honors at the weather-shortened Husky Invitational at Gold Mountain Golf Complex, Tuesday. Host Washington and UW senior Zach Bixler finished runner-up in both the team and individual standings in their fall debut.

Tournament scores were based on the first 36-holes played on Monday as rain and wind on Tuesday forced the cancellation of the final 18 holes. Play started at the regularly scheduled starting tee time of 7:30 a.m. but was called a couple hours later. The second round on Monday was suspended due to darkness but the two threesomes that weren't able finish their rounds - that included Allenby and Bixler - played their final hole Tuesday morning.

'We've had this tournament for the last seven or eight years and we've never had a drop of rain,' UW head coach Matt Thurmond said. 'It's just unfortunate that one of the big storms came this weekend. We still had a good event and yesterday was nice. We just got so much rain on Sunday that the course was too saturated to hold the water that came today.'

The Beavers ended the tournament at 9-over 585, led by medalist Allenby. The Beaver senior shots rounds of 5-under 67 and 1-under 71 to finish 6-under 138. OSU's Diego Velasquez also finished in the top-five, tying for fifth at 1-over 145. Bixler ended four shots behind Allenby at 2-under 142. Bixler carded a 2-under 70 and an even-par 72. Allenby and Bixler were the only two players to finish under-par.

'Today I just had to hit one shot and make two putts so that was fairly stress-free,' Allenby said of finishing what ended up to be his final and winning round today. 'I didn't really have to do any bearing down work to get the win because yesterday was just like a typical 36 holes to get you into contention to play the final round. It was fairly routine; I just played really well and made a lot of putts.'

After Oregon State and Washington, rounding out the other top-five team finishers were Pepperdine (19-over 595), Oregon (20-over 596), California (21-over 597) and San Diego State (21-over 597).

In the individual standings, Idaho's Ben Weyland and Pepperdine's Carl Smith IV tied for third at even-par 144.

For the Huskies, junior John Wise tied for 14th at 4-over 148. The 2006 Husky Invitational medalist shot identical rounds of 2-over 74. Sophomore Darren Wallace was the other UW player to finish in the Top-25, tying for 24th at 7-over 151. Wallace shot 4-over 76 and 3-over 75. Sophomore Nick Taylor finished at 9-over 153 (tied for 37th) and junior Kellen Eakin was 13-over 157 (tied for 53rd).

'We didn't play great but we fought hard,' Thurmond. 'I am really proud of the way we finished. What excited me most is that today they really believed that they were going to win the tournament. Every team says that all the time and I hear that every time that we are not in first going into the final round, but they really meant it more than I have seen my teams mean it for awhile and that really excited me this morning.'

UW's two freshmen played as individuals with Tze Huang Choo tying for 39th (10-over 154) and Kevin Spooner tying for 53rd (13-over 157).The Gold Mountain Golf Complex will also serve as the site of the 2008 NCAA West Regional which the Huskies will host.

The Huskies will return to the links next week at the Alister Mackenzie Invitational in Fairfax, Calif., Oct. 8-9. UW will also co-host the Big-Ten/Pac-10 Challenge at Chambers Bay Golf Club in University Place, Wash.

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