Men’s golf tees off spring season in Hawaii

Cougars will compete in three-day, 54-hole tournament in Kauai


Courtesy of WSU Athletic Communications

Junior AJ Armstrong holds his follow through as he watches his shot soar down the fairway.

SAM HEIKELL, Evergreen reporter

Escaping Pullman as the snow fell, WSU men’s golf will head to Lihue, Hawaii, for its first tournament of the spring season.

Seniors Derek Bayley and Brian Mogg, junior AJ Armstrong and sophomores Daniel Kolar and Nicklaus Chiam will represent the Cougars at the 42nd annual John Burns Intercollegiate, held at the Wailua Golf Course, Thursday through Saturday.

The 72-hole municipal course is ranked in Golf Digest’s top-10 courses in the state of Hawaii, has hosted three USGA National Public Links Championships and has been the home of the John Burns Intercollegiate for the past five years.

University of Virginia will compete in the tournament as the defending champion, along with 19 other teams, 12 of which are ranked in Golfstat’s Top 100. The Cougars are ranked No. 118.

No. 4 Texas A&M University has last year’s individual champion Chandler Phillips on their team. After a fall season with three top-10 showings, the Aggies national player of the year finalist will look to defend his title this weekend.

WSU aims to build off a solid fall season, during which the team captured a first-place victory in its home tournament. Armstrong said the team is driven to find a way to pick up a win away from home.

The Cougars greens in regulation numbers were near the top of the Pac-12, but during the break they’ve been focused on finding the bottom of the cup when they get to the putting surface, Armstrong said.

As Palouse Ridge was closed during the winter, most players took time to travel over break and get some out-of-state rounds in for more ideal playing conditions.

An 8 a.m. shotgun start Thursday will open the three-day, 54-hole tournament, with the Cougars playing 18 holes each day.