CSU's Blake Cannon Wins Second Straight Tournament, Rams Runner-Up at Tucker Intercollegiate

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – Senior Blake Cannon won his second consecutive tournament, leading the Colorado State men’s golf team to a runner-up finish at the William H. Tucker Intercollegiate, Sept. 23-24. The two-day tournament, hosted by the University of New Mexico, was played at the UNM Championship Course (Par 72 – 7,555 yards).

At the nation’s oldest fall tournament concluding its 62nd event, Cannon picked up where he left off on Tuesday when he won the Ram Masters Invitational Presented by Pedersen Toyota. Cannon had all three rounds under par, including a final round 2-under 70 that tied for the fourth-best round of the day, to finish at 6-under 210 (71-69-70). He finished two shots clear of runner-up PJ Samiere of San Diego State and four shots ahead of a trio of golfers in third. He ranked third in birdies with 13 in the three rounds and tied for the least in par-3 scoring at 2.83 strokes per hole at one of the six courses to host a 2016 NCAA Men’s Golf Regional.

He joins the highly prestigious list of champions at this event, including future World Golf Hall of Famer Tiger Woods, Hall of Famer Johnny Miller, Bobby Clampett, Duffy Waldorf, Tim Herron and Bruce Lietzke. Other notable past participants in the tourney who played on the PGA Tour include Phil Mickelson, Ben Crenshaw, Corey Pavin, Colin Montgomery, Fuzzy Zoeller, Payne Stewart, Adam Scott, Scott Verplank, Charles Howell III, Jim Furyk, Ricky Barnes and Paul Casey.

“Today was just a great experience as a whole,” Cannon said. “I didn’t strike the ball as well this tournament as I did earlier this week (at the Ram Masters Mon. and Tue.), but I was still able to win. That is a huge confidence boost for me. To win on such a tough golf course made it even better. I am also really proud of how well the team played. It has been a great start to the year.”

“For Blake to win an event like the Tucker is awesome,” head coach Christian Newton said. “There is a long list of PGA tour players that have won here. I’m so happy for him.”

Sophomore Jake Staiano recorded his second straight top-20 finish, tying for 10th at 1-over 217, including a final-round even-par 72. Junior Max Oelfke had his first top-20 of the year, tying for 14th at 4-over 220, shooting a 1-under 71 in the last 18. Junior Colton Yates tied for 42nd at 10-over 226, with freshman A.J. Ott completing the CSU effort at 23-over 239, placing 86th.

CSU started the day in second and maintained their position, shooting 4-over 292 in the last round to post a 9-over 873, 10 shots back of champion San Diego State at 1-under 863. BYU was third at 14-over 878, with Washington (15-over 879) and New Mexico and Colorado (18-over 882) completing the teams in the top five. In the event, CSU finished ahead of three Mountain West teams (UNLV, New Mexico and Wyoming) and four Pac-12 squads (Washington, Colorado, Arizona and Washington State)

“I couldn’t be more proud of this team,” head coach Christian Newton continued. “They were fantastic this week. It’s great to see the growth. Jake's ball striking was great this week. Just a few putts kept him from a special week. It was great to see Max back in the lineup. His mental toughness since playing here as a freshman has grown exponentially. Colton had a great first two rounds and continues to be a solid contributor.  We took home some great wins this week from quality programs.”

The Rams will now have two weeks to prepare for the Paintbrush Intercollegiate, Mon.-Tue., Oct. 10-11 at Colorado Golf Club in Parker, Colo.