Coming up short, men’s golf takes second in Ohio


John Freitag

Ryan Books refines his swing on the driving range during WSU Men’s Golf practice at Palouse Ridge Golf Club, Thursday, Sept. 19, 2013.

Shaun Knight Evergreen Men's Golf reporter

The WSU men’s golf team finished second after a late surge from Division II South Carolina-Aiken on Tuesday at the Firestone Invitational in Akron, Ohio.

WSU was favorited to take first place.

USC-Aiken, a perennial golf powerhouse in the Division II ranks, trailed the WSU men’s golf team by nine strokes heading into Tuesday’s round after carding team scores of 295 (+7) and 294 (+6) in their two rounds of golf on Monday. USC-Aiken’s Hayden Letien helped his 5th-ranked (GCAA Division-II poll) Pacers make a miraculous comeback to beat the Cougars by two strokes. His team shot an 282 (-6) in the final round of play.

Washington State finished the two-day tournament at nine-over (+9) after carding team scores of 289 (+1), 291 (+3), and 293 (+5). WSU’s late collapse shut down what would have been their third tournament title in four events this season.

Redshirt junior Sang Lee led the way for the Cougars after marking a three-round score of 216 (E). Lee finished, tied for eighth overall on the individual leaderboard. Sophomore Bhurinat Songpaiboon and junior Charlie Mroz were next in the line for the Cougars, finishing with scores of 219 (+3) and 221 (+5), respectively, through their three rounds of play.

The second-place finish marks the third best result for the WSU team this season. Eastern Michigan finished third in the event, two strokes behind WSU. Kansas State and St. Mary’s (CA) rounded out the top five at the tournament, followed by tournament-host Akron, Miami (OH), Davidson, Illinois State, College of Charleston, Nebraska, Old Dominion, Ohio, Georgetown, Samford, Francis Marion, and Western Kentucky.

WSU senior Blake Snyder finished the event with a tie for 32nd after carding a 222 (+6) three round score, followed by junior Michael Anderson at 227 (+11).

The Cougars have a few weeks off before hitting the course again in North Carolina at the Bridgestone Golf Collegiate Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 26-27, hosted by UNC-Greensboro.