GOODYEAR, Ariz. – Turning in the top performance of his freshman campaign so far, Montana State University Billings’ Caleb Trost led the men’s golf team in the final round of the Western New Mexico University Mustang Invitational on Tuesday at Palm Valley Golf Club.
Trost carded a 1-under-par 71 on Tuesday, and finished the event in a tie for 34th place with a three-round total of 216 (70-75-71). After his personal season-best score of 2-under-par 70 in Round 1 on Monday, Trost carded just one bogey on Tuesday as he put together a 71 to close the tournament. The Billings native counteracted his bogey with a pair of birdies, and played the front-nine at 1-under-par 35. “Caleb had a great tournament, and today he struck the ball beautifully,” commented MSUB head coach Kevin Woodin. “He hit 12 of 18 greens and 11 of 14 fairways, had 29 putts, and his best shot of the day was on Hole 6 where he hit an 8-iron from about 147 yards to two feet.”
Trost’s effort helped MSUB to a team score of 300 on Tuesday, and the ‘Jackets finished in 18th place overall with a three-round score of 891 (285-305-300). “The weather was very nice today, and the pins were much more difficult so putting was more of a challenge,” said Woodin. “We started slowly, on some of the more difficult holes on the course. I liked that over the last batch of holes we played better as a team and were able to reach 300. Overall I was pleased with the guys, and we definitely need to continue to improve on our putting. We just haven’t had the reps outside for that. I am concerned about the tough weather in Billings, but we will try to make the best of it.”
Garrett Woodin finished in a tie for 61st place for MSUB, after finishing the tournament with a 78 on Tuesday. Woodin’s final round on the par-72, 7,015-yard course yielded the lone eagle of the week for the team, as he notched a three on the par-5, 525-yard fifth hole.
Fellow sophomore Caleb Stetzner wrapped up the tournament in a tie for 76th place, after he finished with a 77 on Tuesday. Stetzner had two more birdies, and posted a total score of 225 (72-76-77).
Making the most improvement between Monday and Tuesday was junior Scott Larson, who carded a 2-over-par 74 in his last time through the course. Larson played the back-nine at even-par 36, and had a pair of birdies overall on the day to notch his lowest score of the tournament. Overall Larson finished in a tie for 99th place with a three-round total of 235 (76-85-74). “I was really proud of Scott, who came back strong today,” Woodin said. “He hit 17 of 18 greens, and his only double bogey was on a four-putt. He hit 8 of 14 fairways, and both of his birdies came on excellent shots.”
Also competing for the ‘Jackets was freshman Riley Kaercher, who finished the event with a three-round score of 237 (74-82-81). Kaercher’s lone birdie on Tuesday came on the par-5, 515-yard 11th hole.
Dixie State University won the tournament with a three-round team score of 839 (277-287-275). The Trailblazers’ Nicklaus Britt won a playoff hole over Jack Duguid of UC Colorado Springs, as the duo finished the event tied for first each with a three-round score of 204.
The ‘Jackets saw some of their Great Northwest Athletic Conference competition at the event, with Western Washington University tying for third (845), Simon Fraser University taking seventh (852), and Saint Martin’s University finishing in 15th (878) among the 20-team field.
THE BUZZ: Trost was named the St. Vincent Healthcare Player of the Day…the freshman’s previous best this season was a 222 (74-72-76) at the fall version of the WNMU Invite, also played at Palm Valley GC from Oct. 2-3, 2017.
NEXT UP: The ‘Jackets are scheduled for their home event, the Yellowjacket Spring Invitational, in two weeks at Lake Hills Golf Club. Action is scheduled for April 16-17, and it will be MSUB’s final tune-up before the 2018 GNAC Championships on April 23-24 in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho.
Western New Mexico University Mustang Invitational
Final Results | April 3, 2018
Palm Valley Golf Club | Goodyear, AZ
Team – 1. Dixie State, 839 (277-287-275); 18. MSU Billings, 891 (285-306-300).
Individuals – 1. Nicklaus Britt, Dixie State, 204 (71-70-63); T34. Caleb Trost, MSUB, 216 (70-75-71); T61. Garrett Woodin, MSUB, 220 (69-73-78); T76. Caleb Stetzner, MSUB, 225 (72-76-77); T99. Scott Larson, MSUB, 235 (76-85-74); T103. Riley Kaercher, MSUB, 237 (74-82-81).