(MSUB Athletics release)
GOODYEAR, Ariz. – Garrett Woodin carded a 3-under-par 69 to lead Montana State University Billings on Monday at Palm Valley Golf Club, as the Yellowjackets completed the first two rounds of the Western New Mexico University Mustang Invitational.
MSUB shot a team score of 285 in Round 1 and followed with a 305 in Round 2, and currently sits in 18th place at the par-72, 7,015-yard course layout. “Overall I was pleased with the day, as I think we shot a little better than I expected in the morning,” said MSUB head coach Kevin Woodin. “We were a little higher in the afternoon, but our 36-hole total was respectable for how much practice we have gotten. I am very encouraged about tomorrow’s round.
“In the morning round I liked our ratio of birdies to double bogey or higher, which really helped our round,” Woodin continued. “We need to do that again tomorrow, as that ratio wasn’t as strong in the second round.”
Woodin enters Tuesday’s final round in a tie for 19th place, as he finished the day with a 1-over-par 73 for a two-round total of 142. The sophomore carded seven birdies on the day, three of which came on the front nine in his 2-under-par 34 his first time through the course. Woodin had nothing worse than a bogey on the day, carding five total en-route to his even-par score.
“Garrett hit 20 of 28 fairways today, and the strength of his game was his up-and-down percentage,” Woodin commented on his son, who made par in 9 of 13 attempts when he missed the green in regulation. “He birdied 6 of 8 par-5 holes today which was a great effort.”
Freshman Caleb Trost sits in a tie for 39th place after the first day of competition, as he posted a two-round total of 145. Trost’s 2-under-par 70 in the opening round was his best round of the year to date, as he bettered the 71 he carded at the Concordia Invite in the fall season. Trost led the team with eight birdies on Monday, five of which came during his stellar opening round. While Woodin thrived on the front-nine, Trost found ways to save strokes as he posted a back-nine score of 2-under-par 34 in Round 1.
“Caleb was very consistent, and putted very well with 28 in Round 1and 30 in Round 2,” Woodin said. “Both of those putt totals are good stats, and his only nemesis was Hole 7. Other than that he played great throughout the day, and made a 40-footer on Hole 10 for a birdie.”
Caleb Stetzner is in a tie for 68th place after Monday’s rounds, as he finished the day with a 148. Like Woodin and Trost, Stetzner’s better round was his first during a balmy day that saw temperatures rise to the mid-90s. The sophomore offset four bogeys with four birdies in Round 1, and finished his first time through the course with an even-par 72. He followed with another birdie on the par-5, 525-yard fifth hole his second time through, but also notched his lone double bogey of the day as he finished the evening with a 4-over-par 76.
“Caleb hit the ball very well, but just didn’t putt up to his standards,” said Woodin. “He was 3-over in his first round early, but battled back to get his par score. He had a great birdie on seven, which was playing as one of the most difficult on the course.”
Riley Kaercher was eight strokes behind Stetzner on Day 1 of the event, as he shot a two-round total of 156 and is in a tie for 99th place. Kaercher had a pair of birdies and notched a season-best score of 74 in his opening round, before finishing the day with an 82 in the second round.
Junior Scott Larson displayed solid play in stretches, as he posted nothing worse than a bogey while shooting a 76 in the opening round. Larson found three of his four birdies during his second time through the course, but finished the day with an 85 and a two-round total of 161.
Austin Anderson of the University of Texas Permian Basin holds a narrow edge atop the leaderboard, as he shot a two-round total of 134 (70-64) for a one-stroke lead. The University of Colorado Colorado Springs leads the team race after the opening day, with a two-round score of 558 (272-286). Also competing from the Great Northwest Athletic Conference are Simon Fraser University (third place, 564), Western Washington University (sixth place, 568), and Saint Martin’s University (16th place, 590).
THE BUZZ: Woodin was tabbed the St. Vincent Healthcare Player of the Day.
NEXT UP: The third and final round begins Tuesday morning at 7:30 a.m., as Woodin vies to remain in the top-20. Live scoring will be available throughout Round 3 through the Golf Stat link here.
Western New Mexico University Mustang Invitational
Day 1 Results | April 2, 2018
Palm Valley Golf Club | Goodyear, AZ
Team – 1. UC Colorado Springs, 558 (272-286); 18. MSU Billings, 591 (285-306). Individuals – 1. Austin Anderson, UT Permian Basin, 134 (70-64); T19. Garrett Woodin, MSUB, 142 (69-73); T39. Caleb Trost, MSUB, 145 (70-75); T68. Caleb Stetzner, MSUB, 148 (72-76); T99. Riley Kaercher, MSUB, 156 (74-82); T104. Scott Larson, MSUB, 161 (76-85).