CSU Victorious at PING Cougar Classic


PROVO, Utah - The Colorado State men's golf team captured victory Saturday at the 2015 PING Cougar Classic, winning the team title by eight strokes at Riverside Country Club.


Saturday's victory is the second of the season for the Rams, who also won the tournament title at CSU's own Ram Masters Invitational in September. It marks the first season with multiple team victories for the CSU men's golf program since 2009-10 and the seventh season with at least two victories for the Rams since 1990-91. The win is also the sixth title at the Cougar Classic for the Rams who previously captured top honors at the event in 2002, 2003, 2004, 2010 and 2011.


"The guys did awesome this week and competed incredibly," said Rams' head coach Christian Newton. "I am so proud of this team and the win. Today was a total team effort. No one had their best but they still kept fighting on every shot."


All five golfers in the Rams' lineup captured top-25 finishes in the 60-player field, led by a pair of top-10 showings from sophomore Blake Cannon and senior Patrick Winther.


Cannon, a transfer from Arizona State who joined the Rams between semesters, posted the Rams' top score of the weekend, a 3-under 213, to finish in a tie for eighth place. The Mesa, Ariz., native shot a 1-under 71 during Saturday's final round for his first top-10 finish as a Ram.


"It was a great day for our team," said Cannon. "I didn't have my `A' game, but I hung in there and posted a decent score. It was a great team effort for us this week and I was very happy to be a part of my first team win at CSU."


Winther shot 2-under for the tournament, including the team's lowest individual round of the event, a 7-under 65 in Round 1, to finish tied for 10th. Winther bounced back from a 77 in Round 2 to shoot an even-par 72 in Saturday's finale and close one stroke off Cannon's pace with a three-round total of 214.


Junior Dominic Kieffer and freshman Max Oelfke closed out the scoring for the Rams on Saturday. Kieffer matched Winther's final round of even-par 72 to jump 10 spots up the individual leaderboard from a tie for 31st into a tie for 21st, one stroke outside of the individual top 20 with a three-round score of 218 (+2). Oelfke opened with scores of 72 and 70 in Round 1 and 2, respectively, and closed with a 2-over 74 on Saturday to finish at even-par (216) in a tie for 17th, his second top-20 finish as a Ram.


Sophomore Jimmy Makloski carded a three-round score of 219 to grab a tie for 25th, while senior Cameron Harrell, competing as an individual, tied for 54th with a three-round score of 231 (+15).


Host BYU's Jordan Rodgers captured medalist honors in a playoff over Utah State's Seokwon Jeon. Rodgers and Jeon each carded three-round scores of 211 (-5).


Colorado State (-11) finished eight strokes ahead of second-place Pacific (861) and nine strokes in front of BYU (862). Fresno State (866) and Southern Utah (867) rounded out the top-five team standings, followed by sixth-place Wyoming (868) and seventh-place Utah State (870). Utah Valley and Nevada tied for eighth place with three-round team scores of 872, five strokes ahead of 10th place Boise State (877). Air Force finished in last place with a score of 896.


"Blake notched his first of many top 10's as a Ram and Pat's 65 yesterday was a catalyst to our week," added Newton. "Dom found a way to shoot another good score while struggling some. Jimmy and Max chipped in solid scores that we had be dying for all spring. This win comes at a perfect time as we set our sights on the MW Championship next week."


Next up, the Rams travel to Tucson, Ariz., May 1-3, to compete in the 2015 Mountain West Championship at OMNI Tucson National Golf Club.