Sept. 18, 2005
Wayzata, MN - The fifth-ranked Washington men's golf team tied Minnesota for top honors at the Gopher Invitational in the Huskies' season-opening tournament. Minnesota won the tiebreaker between the two teams - counting the number-five player's scores - to claim the championship trophy.
Trailing by as much as 15 strokes during the final round, the Huskies got hot on the back nine to close the gap and start the season with a first-place finish. Washington's four scoring players combined to shoot 6-under on the back nine during the final round to help the team post a 1-under 287. That was the lowest single-round score during the 54-hole tournament played at Spring Hill Golf Club.
Washington and Minnesota tied for first at 19-over 883 while Purdue and Georgia State both shot 890 to share third place.
"I was really pleased the way we played down the stretch," said Husky coach Matt Thurmond. "It is what you expect of a veteran team. It is a great feeling to start the season off by finishing first. We didn't get the trophy, but that's okay. In the standings, it still counts as first place."
Erik Olson topped Washington Sunday with a 2-under 70 while Alex Prugh shot 1-under 71. Prugh was the Huskies' top finisher, tying for second at even-par 216. Olson was 10th at 3-over 219. Defending NCAA Champion James Lepp shot 221 to tie for 14th. Zach Bixler had a final-round 74 but did not place after being disqualified during the second round for failing to sign his scorecard. Joe Panzeri was 46th at 237. He shot 84 on Sunday.
Minnesota's Niall Turner took medalist honors at 1-under 215. He had rounds of 73, 70 and 72.
Washington's next tournament is the PING/Golfweek Preview Sept. 26-28.
Lepp will be honored during Saturday's home football game for winning last year's NCAA title along with former Husky pole vaulter Kate Soma, who also captured the NCAA championship.
Spring Hill Golf Club<
Par 72, 7,020 yards
1. Washington 302-294-287-883
1. Minnesota 301-284-298-883
3. Purdue 302-294-294-890
3. Georgia State 300-299-291-890
5. Notre Dame 309-297-287-893
6. Indiana 301-304-297-902
7. Georgia Southern 299-312-294-905
8. Stanford 303-301-303-907
9. Memphis 305-299-306-910
10. SMU 306-305-303-914
11. UNC Wilmington 322-300-324-946
--. UAB 230-313-DNF-DNF
Individual Leaders 1. Niall Turner, Minnesota 73-70-72-215 2. Alex Prugh, Washington 73-72-71-216 2. Mark Haastrup, Georgia State 73-74-69-216 2. Josh Persons, Minnesota* 73-70-73-216 5. Steve Tiley, Georgia State 73-73-71-217 6. Antti Ahokas, Minnesota 77-66-75-218 6. Kevin Fortin-Simard, Memphis 73-73-72-218 6. Scott Gustafson, Notre Dame 73-73-72-218 10. Erik Olson, Washington 73-76-70-219 10. Rob Grube, Stanford 78-73-68-219 10. Mark Baldwin, Notre Dame 76-72-71-219
Washington Results 4. Alex Prugh 73-72-71-216 19. Erik Olson 73-76-70-219 19. James Lepp 76-73-72-221 30. Joe Panzeri 80-73-84-237 66. Zach Bixler 85- D-74-159 Note: Bixler DQ in second round for failing to sign his scorecard.