(MSU Billings release)
GOODYEAR, Ariz. – Garrett Woodin tied his personal collegiate best three-round score at the Western New Mexico University Invitational, to lead the Montana State University Billings men’s golf team in the final round at Palm Valley Golf Club on Tuesday.
Woodin finished the tournament with a 3-under-par 69 on the par-72, 7,015-yard course layout. His final time through the course featured six birdies and just three bogeys, and he cruised through his first seven holes of the day at 3-under par.
The Yellowjackets shot their best round of the event on Tuesday with a 292, and wound up in 21st place with an 889 (302-295-292). “I was proud of the start that we had today, as conditions were set up to make some birdies early and we took advantage of it,” commented assistant coach Marcus Drange. “Overall I am happy with our ability to improve our team core every round. This was a week of heat that we have not been used to, and we did a great job of staying hydrated and sticking with each round all the way to the end. We had glimmers of our potential today, which is very positive to see as we head to conference in a few weeks.”
After notching his first birdie of the day on the par-5, 515-yard 11th hole, Woodin followed with one of his top shots of the day on the par-4, 430-yard 12th hole. He went with a wedge for his approach shot, and stuck it a foot away from the hole for a tap-in birdie. His next big shot came with the putter in his hand on the par-4, 425-yard 16th hole, as he drained a 30-footer for another birdie.
Woodin shook off bogeys on Holes 17 and 18, and came back with back-to-back birdies as he made the turn to the front-nine. After finding the bunker on the par-4, 330-yard first hole, Woodin got out cleanly as he nestled a wedge to a foot to save another stroke. Overall he played the front at 2-under-par 34 to finish the tournament strongly.
Woodin tied for 30th place, matching his career low with a 215 (74-72-69). His final-round score was just one stroke off his career best of 68 as well. “Garrett played great all day today,” Drange said. “He was able to hit some solid shots to put himself in position to score well.”
Like Woodin, sophomore Caleb Trost showed improvement in his final round as he carded an even-par 72 on Tuesday. Trost offset four bogeys with four birdies, as he limited his mistakes in the final round. Trost had birdies on Hole 14, Hole 18, Hole 1, and Hole 5, and he played the four par-5 holes at 1-under par on the day. Trost shot a 222 (72-77-72), and tied for 83rd place.
Junior Payton Stott was just one stroke behind Trost, as he tied for 89th place with a three-round score of 223 (78-70-75). Stott got off to a strong start on Tuesday, despite posting a bogey on his first hole of the day. After that, he played at 3-under-par over his next 11 holes, and he finished the round with four total birdies.
Riley Kaercher finished the tournament with his second straight round of 76, and, like Stott, he got off to a stellar start on Tuesday. Kaercher made par on his first seven holes, before notching his lone birdie of the day on the par-3, 205-yard 17th hole. That helped him record an even-par 36 on the back-nine, and match his Round 2 score from Monday. Overall he tied for 107th place with a three-round total of 231 (79-76-76).
Also competing for the ‘Jackets was Logan Martin, who tied for 110th place with a three-round score of 232 (77-78-77). Martin had one birdie on Tuesday, on the par-5, 545-yard 18th hole, and posted a 77 to match his low for the tournament.
Colorado School of Mines won the event, with a three-round total of 840 (276-279-285). Ethan Castro of Western Washington University held onto his Day 1 lead and won the event, with a three-round score of 201 (65-67-69).
THE BUZZ: Woodin was named the St. Vincent Healthcare Player of the Day…Woodin has reached his career best of 215 on two previous occasions, including most recently on September 11, 2018 at the Yellowjacket Fall Invitational.
NEXT UP: The Yellowjackets are next in action at the 2019 Great Northwest Athletic Conference Championships, which run April 22-23 at the Coeur d’Alene Resort in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho.
Western New Mexico University Mustang Invitational
Final Results | April 9, 2019
Palm Valley Golf Club | Goodyear, Arizona
Team – 1. Colorado School of Mines, 840 (276-279-285); 21. MSU Billings, 889 (302-295-292). Individual – 1. Ethan Castro, WWU, 201 (65-67-69); T30. Garrett Woodin, 215 (74-72-69); T83. Caleb Trost, MSUB, 222 (73-77-72); T89. Payton Stott, MSUB, 223 (78-70-75); T107. Riley Kaercher, MSUB, 231 (79-76-76); T110. Logan Martin, 232 (77-78-77).