Men’s Golf Looks To Repeat In Colorado
CORVALLIS, Ore. – The Oregon State men’s golf team looks to make it back-to-back titles at the Mark Simpson Invitational, which will be held Monday and Tuesday in Erie, Colo.
The Beavers won last year’s 14-team, 54-hole event with a 21-under 284-277-282--843 at the Colorado National Golf Club for the third team title in the past two seasons. The 21-under three-round team score equaled the fifth-best in school history.
FIELD (15): Oregon State, Air Force, Campbell, Colorado, Denver, Gonzaga, Houston Baptist, Missouri-Kansas City, Nebraska, Nevada, Northern Colorado, Texas State, Utah, Washington State and Wyoming.
COURSE: The tournament will be held at the par-72, 7,741-yard Colorado National Golf Club (CNGC) in Erie, which is located about 12 miles east of Boulder. CNGC has hosted previous U.S. Amateur qualifiers, Colorado PGA Section championships, the 2011 NCAA Colorado Men’s Regional and the 2012 NCAA Women’s West Regional.
BEAVERS’ LINEUP: Oregon State will go with a lineup of senior David Fink, juniors Alex Franklin and Scott Kim, sophomore Brian Jung and freshman Kevin Murphy.
FORMAT: Two-day, 54-hole tournament with 36 holes of continuous play on Monday and 18 holes on Tuesday. The top-four individuals from each five-member team with the lowest scores for each 18-hole round constitute the scoring members for that given round.
TEE TIMES: There will be a shotgun start at 8:15 a.m. MT (7:15 a.m. PT) on Monday and a staggered shotgun format at 8 a.m. on Tuesday (top four teams will play in five tee times off No. 1; rest in a shotgun). The Beavers will be paired with Air Force, Colorado and Wyoming the first day of competition.
LAST TIME OUT: Oregon State opened its 2013-14 season with a respectable third-place finish at the 15-team Kikkor Husky Invitational on Tuesday with newcomer Alex Franklin leading the Beavers with a top-10 finish.
The Beavers shot a 4-over 290-288-290--868 at the par-72, 7,124-yard Gold Mountain Olympic Course to conclude the two-day, 54-hole tournament in third behind Washington (17-under 847) and Arizona State (1-over 865). The Beavers finished ahead of four Pac-12 schools -- Oregon (t7), USC (t7), Washington State (11) and Utah (15).
Franklin, a junior transfer from Marion College, was steady throughout his first tournament with the Beavers, posting a 2-under 71-72-71--214 to finish in a tie for seventh. After carding three birdies in each of his two rounds on Monday, he added three more chirps in the final round, along with two bogeys, to finish with his second sub-par round of the tournament.
Highly-touted freshman Kevin Murphy was also making his Oregon State debut, and the Rogue River native didn’t disappoint, as he fired a 1-under 69-74-72--215 to finish in a tie for 11th place. He had a team-best 12 birdies over the three rounds and didn’t get anything worse than a bogey.
David Fink started his highly-anticipated senior campaign in a tie for 20th place after finishing with a 2-over 75-69-74--218. The All-Pac-12 golfer had eight birdies the past two days but took a double bogey in the first and third rounds that kept him from a better finish.
After opening the tourney with a 4-over 76, junior Scott Kim battled back the next two rounds with a pair of 1-over 73’s to finish in a tie for 41st place with a 6-over 222. Freshman Kevin Chen also made his Oregon State debut and finished with a 15-over 75-79-77--231 for a tie for 65th.
LAST YEAR AT MARK SIMPSON INVITATIONAL: Jet lag from a season-opening trip to Japan had no effect on the Oregon State men’s golf team as the Beavers won the Mark Simpson Invitational and redshirt freshman Brian Jung finished second individually in his collegiate debut.
It was Oregon State’s second tournament of the 2012 fall season after opening the year with a second-place finish among American schools at the Topy Cup in Tanagura, Japan earlier this month.
Jung didn’t make the trip to Japan and didn’t compete in a tournament during his freshman season, but the pressure of college golf didn’t bother him a lick as he fired three subpar rounds, including a pair of 5-under 67’s, to finish in second place with an 11-under 67-71-67--205, just three strokes behind senior Kirby Pettitt of Colorado State.
Jung’s 11-under showing equals the fourth-best in Oregon State history and included 14 birdies, with a ridiculous seven on Tuesday, and only three bogeys over the 54 holes. The 5-under 67 rounds he shot equal the fifth-lowest in school history.
Nick Chianello and David Fink each finished in a tie for 10th place with a 4-under 212. It was the highest finish for Chianello as a Beaver, bettering his 11th place showing at the Pac-12 Championship, after transferring from the University of Portland where his best finish was a tie for fifth. It was the second time Fink has notched a top-10 finish after posting a tie for 10th at the Bandon Dunes Championship during his freshman year.
Nick Sherwood bounced back from a tough opening round to finish in a tie for 27th with an even-par 76-68-72--216, while Matt Rawitzer wrapped up the tourney with a 6-over 78-69-75--222 for a tie for 52nd place.
QUOTING HEAD COACH JON REEHOORN:
What are your thoughts about starting the season with a third-place finish? “Come May I think a good portion of the Husky Invitational field will be invited to the NCAA Regional Championships. I’m excited about third place and I think there are a lot of positives to take from it. Of course, the play of Alex (Franklin) and Kevin (Murphy) was great, but I think the biggest plus was the competitiveness and ability to handle some adversity Dave (Fink) and Scott (Kim) showed early in the round. Both got off to shaky starts but they battled back and posted really good rounds and, in the end, that could be the difference in a seed at the NCAA Regionals at the end of the year.” What about the play of newcomers Alex Franklin and Kevin Murphy? “If we are going to continue our run in the postseason and keep getting better as a program, I had hoped this was the kind of impact Alex and Kevin would make. At the same time you never know how they will adjust, but after our qualifying to determine the lineup, (assistant coach) Jonnie (Motomochi) and I both felt Alex and Kevin would play a huge role in our success.” What about playing a tournament next week that you won last season? “It is always nice to go back to a venue your team has enjoyed success. Even if we only have two of the five returning, the two returners Dave (Fink) and Brian (Jung) will be able to relive the good memories with the other guys and I think that can only help their psyche and belief that they can do it again.”