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Sports / Recreation

Men's Golf aiming high

January 26, 2009

After a winter hiatus the Colorado State men's golf team is gearing up for the spring portion of the 2008-2009 season. The Rams torched the competition this fall by winning four of five tournaments, earning a Golfweek ranking of 14th in the nation. At this pace the Rams are set to defend their 2008 MWC title.

Riley ArpTop stroke average

Currently, the five golfers in Head Coach Jamie Bermel’s starting lineup are all in the top seven in stroke average in the Mountain West, two of which have won individual titles. Bryce Hanstad took first at the Gene Miranda Falcon Invitational in Colorado Springs in early September and Zahkai Brown placed atop the pack in Long Beach, Calif., at the Del Walker Intercollegiate in mid-October.

Along with his victory, Brown has several other accolades. At the Del Walker he carded a 63, which tied the school record for lowest individual round. He has a top 10 performance in every collegiate tournament in which he’s competed (four). As a freshman, Brown currently holds the second lowest stroke average in the Mountain West, which coupled with his victory in Long Beach, earned him MWC Golfer of the Month of October.

Fall season

CSU started on a high note with a team title at the Gene Miranda Invitational in Colorado Springs, Colo. The Rams shot a team total 847 (-27) to stave off UNLV by 11 strokes. Hanstad took home individual honors, posting a three-round total 205 with Riley Arp three strokes behind to capture the runner-up slot. Other top 10 performances were Dustin Morris, who placed seventh with a 213, and Zahkai Brown (competing individually), who carded a 215 to tie for ninth.

Two weeks later the Rams notched a fifth-place finish at the Wolverine Invitational in Ann Arbor, Mich. CSU shot rounds of 286, 282 and 283 for a three-round total of 851 (-1). Morris shot a 4-under-par final round to finish with a total of 211 in 11th place. Arp finished with an even-par total of 213 to finish in a tie for 16th. Zen Brown lowered his season stroke average by shooting a 215 total. Hanstad finished with an even-par round to place 40th. Justin Spray finished the tournament tied for 55th with a three-round total of 221.

Winds in Wyoming

Colorado State won its second team title at the Wyoming Desert Intercollegiate in Palm Desert, Calif., in early October. The Rams jumped out to a lead on the first day despite terrible winds. They ended with a team score of 877 to finish in the lead of the 19-team pack. Morris once again led the Rams, finishing with a 217 to tie for fourth. Zen and Zahkai Brown both finished with a 220 to tie for eighth. Hanstad closed in 30th with a 227 while Arp finished in 35th with a 228. Competing individually, Spray shot a 232 to tie for 50th.

The Rams then went to Long Beach, Calif., Oct. 16-17 for the Del Walker Intercollegiate, where they came away with their third team title of the young season. They did so by setting the Del Walker three-round team scoring record at 811 (-41), 23 strokes ahead of runner-up UC-Irvine. Zahkai Brown took home individual honors with a 196 (-17). Morris was also among the four CSU golfers in the top 10. He shot a 204 to place second. Hanstad finished fourth with a 206. Zen Brown had his highest finish of the year, shooting a 208 to take sixth. Arp tied for 19th with an even-par total of 213.

Successful season

Ending the fall portion of the season in fitting fashion, the Rams took their third consecutive team title at the Sycuan Collegiate Invitational Oct. 20-21. CSU finished with an 837, storming back from a six-stroke deficit for the title. Hanstad finished in second individually with a 204. Zahkai Brown earned another slot in the top 10 with a 210. Arp carded a 212 to tie for 19th while Morris and Zen Brown each shot a three-round total of 216 to tie for 35th.

Bermel reflected on the team’s successful fall and looked ahead toward a promising spring.

“I thought we played really well, very consistent,” he said. “I thought it was very exciting to see two different people win individual titles. Overall I thought we really played well. “

Spring begins

Now that it’s spring, it’s time to get back to work. It was nice to have the success this fall we did but now we need to get ready to play each day. Our ultimate goal is to really be playing well toward the end of the year, defending the Mountain West title, and playing well in regionals and hopefully nationals.”

Colorado State will start the spring portion of the season Feb. 7 in Phoenix, Ariz., in a Dual with Northern Colorado. The team’s first tournament of the spring is scheduled for Feb. 18-20, at the John A. Burns Collegiate Invitational in Honolulu, Hawaii. The Rams will look to continue their fall hot streak into the conference championship and the NCAA tournaments.

More on Men's Golf.

Contact: Jeff Black
Phone: (970) 491-5067