Men’s golf plays 36 at Husky Invitational

From staff reports

While the sun glistened and glimmered down upon Tumble Hills Golf Course in Cle Elum, Washington yesterday at the Husky Invitational, the Cougars wilted in the face of a challenging course and stiff competition.

In an all-day affair that saw the 14 team field complete two rounds (36 holes) of play, WSU shot 32-over (600) and finds itself tied in eighth place heading into today’s third and final round. Tournament leader and Pac-12 member Oregon State has a firm grip on the top spot after shooting 10-over (578) through two rounds, good enough for a five stroke lead on 2nd place Oregon (+15, 583).

In a tournament that the Cougars looked poised to make a statement to the rest of the conference, WSU trails all participating Pac-12 schools – Oregon State, Oregon, USC and Utah – two-thirds of the way through competition.

The Cougars are only two strokes behind Utah (+30, 598) and six behind sixth place Minnesota (+26, 594) as the teams tee off today.

Freshman Aaron Whalen continued his promising development in just his second collegiate tournament, turning in the Cougars’ lowest 18-hole score of the tournament (-2, 69) in Round 1.

Though in similar fashion to last week’s Saint Mary’s Invitational, it was inconsistency that keept WSU from taking the next step. Whalen shot 6-over (77) in Round 2 to finish 4-over (146) through two rounds of play.

Fellow freshman AJ Armstrong made his collegiate debut yesterday, turning in a respectable 147 (+5) to helm the second individual spot for WSU.

On a day where his team could have used another rock solid performance from him, sophomore Derek Bayley, last week’s top individual scorer for the Cougars, took a major step backward  yesterday, firing a 36-hole score of 10-over (152).

Seniors Bhurinat Songpaiboon and Evan Omelia carded identical marks of 13-over (155) to round out the scoring for WSU. Washington junior Corey Pereira and USC sophomore Sean Crocker sit atop the individual leaderboard at 5-under (137) heading into the final round.

Reporting by Brady Johnson