Feb. 9, 2009
TUCSON, Ariz.- Mother Nature was unkind to the 54 golfers competing in The Cactus Thaw on Sunday. Rain, wind, sub 40 degree temperatures and even snow made for treacherous conditions at the Silver City Golf Course. With all nine teams in the event hailing from the southwest, six from the state of Arizona, the snowy conditions were an unfamiliar obstacle.
Arizona's JV team lead the event with six holes to play before host Western New Mexico took the lead. Arizona stumbled to a second round score of 304; they finished six strokes behind the Mustangs. Western New Mexico, who hosted the event, used a 297 second round, the lowest of any second round score, to surpass the Cats and take home the victory. They were lead by Zach Blair and Scott Crichton who finished tied for third in the event.
Ryan Word of New Mexico State used back to back rounds of 70 to win the individual medal in the tournament. His second round score was the lowest of the day in the terrible weather. He shot two under for the tournament, two shots better than second place finisher Tom McGrane of Chandler-Gilbert CC.
Arizona's Tom Conran and Phil Bagdade tied for fifth place along with three other golfers. Their score of 145 (+3) was the best of any Wildcat. Kenji Hernandez and John Kostis also recorded top 20 finishes. Hernandez finished in a tie for 16th, Kostis in a tie for 18th. Peter Ireland shot a 156 (+14) and finished tied for 26th.
The JV squad will see its next action in the Anteater Invitational, Mar. 30 and 31 in Laguna, Calif. The Varsity team will head to Hawaii for the John Burns Intercollegiate Feb. 18-20th .
The Cactus Thaw was contested at the Silver City Golf Course, a par 71, 6,417 yard course.
Top-Five Teams 1. Western New Mexico 290-297=587 (+19) 2. Arizona JV 289-304=593 (+25) 3. New Mexico State 296-301=597 (+29) 4. South Mountain CC 293-309=602 (+34) Two tied for fifth
Top-Five Individuals 1. Ryan Word, New Mexico St. 70-70=140 (-2) 2. Tom McGrane, Chandler-Gilbert CC 70-72=142 (E) 3. Zach Blair, WNMU 72-71=143 (+1) 3. Scott Crichton, WNMU 71-72=143 (+1) Five tied for fifth