Huskies Atop Leaderboard In Hawai'i
Feb. 4, 2009
KOHALA COAST, HAWAI'I -- The No. 11 University of Washington men's golf team resumed its dominating play on Wendesday in its first tournament of the spring, resulting in a four-stroke team lead at the UH Hilo Invitational.
The Dawgs finished the first round of their spring season with a 7-under 281 to lead a 17-team field at the Mauna Lani North Course on the Kohala Coast. Second place is Southern California at 285.
'It could always be better,' said UW head coach Matt Thurmond. 'But the guys played well and we've been able to play a lot in Seattle the past few months, so we're not as rusty as we have been (in years past).'
Leading the Huskies is junior Richard Lee, who shot a 4-under 68, which was the second-best score in the tournament on Wednesday. Lee, who is in his first year at UW, is on his way for his fifth consecutive top-10 finish. Junior Nick Taylor is in third place with a 3-under 69.
'Obviously Richard and Nick's scores carried us today, but I'm really happy to see that our other three guys fought through tough conditions to put up great scores,' Thurmond said. 'And what I'm most excited about is that our worst score today was 2-over.'
Following Taylor in the Huskies' results are junior Chris Killmer (71), sophomore Tze Huang Choo (73) and freshman Jens Bracht (74). Killmer exemplified the Dawgs' domination in the back nine, shooting a 32 on the back nine after posting a 39 on the front. Killmer made three birdies in his final five holes to become the Huskies' third player under par for the day.
After clear skies in the first nine holes, harsh winds ushered in the clouds in the normally tame Hawai'i weather, which produced problems for many of the tournament's players. Many teams posted second-round scores that were significantly worse, due to the swirling wind. Four out of five Huskies, however, posted better numbers, while Lee remained steady as usual, posting 34 on both sides.
'We have a couple of guys that are really good in the wind,' Thurmond said. 'Nick and Killmer are both better than most players in harsh conditions, and Richard is really learning how to handle it.'
And what constitutes a good-wind player?
'Nick has a low flight on the ball with very little spin, so he's able to control his ball when most people can't,' Thurmond said.
The Hilo tournament is shotgun-style, with all tee times set for 7:30 on Thursday and Friday. Live scoring will not be available. Six of the 17 tournament teams are ranked in Golfweek's top 25.
1. Washington 281
2. Southern California 285
3. Oregon 287
4. Texas Tech 291
4. TCU 291
6. Stanford 294
6. Oklahoma 294
8. Colorado 295
9. Arizona State 296
10. UC Davis 299
11. Hawaii-Hilo 300
12. Georgia Tech 301
13. Fresno State 308
14. Kansas 309
15. Florida State 311
16. San Francisco 312
17. Hawai'i 314