March 4, 2014

Men's Golf wins Sacramento State Invitational

By KATIE MUCCI
UNCBears.com

ELK GROVE, Calif. – The Northern Colorado men's golf team started off the spring season with a bang, winning the Sacramento State Invitational with two golfers placing in the top three spots.

Entering the final day just four strokes behind the leader, Loyola Marymount, the Bears combined to shoot -1 on the day, carding an 866 (283, 296, 287) during the two-day 54-hole competition.

"It was fun to see the guys beat some Mountain West schools and some teams in our own conference and get a win," Head Coach Roger Prenzlow said.

Leading the way for the Bears was senior Ben Krueger (Colorado Springs, Colo.) who shot 68 in the final round to pass his teammate and tie for individual medalist honors with an overall score of 212 (69, 75, 68). Krueger's 68 in the third round is his second-lowest single round score of the season, one shot behind the 67 he shot in the third round of the Colorado National Invitational. He shared the title with Loyola Marymount's Lawrence Ree, who was competing as an individual.

Just behind Krueger was sophomore Conner Barr (Beaverton, Ore.) in a tie for third place, shooting a 214 (69, 73, 72). Barr was leading the Bears through the first 36-holes, but ended up two strokes behind his teammate. The third place finish is the best that Barr has had all season. Junior Steve Connell (Thornton, Colo.) ended the competition in a tie for 18th place, his best finish of the season, carding a 221 (72, 77, 72).

"We've got three veteran players," Prenzlow said. "Steve Connell, Ben Krueger and Conner Barr stepped up to the plate today and played great rounds of golf. It was fun to watch. They got off to kind of a shaky start but they had enough experience to hang in there. Julian and Jack, they stuck in there and played a good back-nine for us to win."

Rounding out the scorers for the Bears was redshirt freshman Julian Woodfork, a transfer from the Invitational's host school, Sacramento State. Woodfork finished in a tie for 20th place, just one stroke behind Connell, carding a 222 (73, 74, 75). Freshman Jack Cummings (Arvada, Colo.) was the final member of the team competing, coming in a tie for 59th place, shooting a 237 (85, 74, 78).

"You know, all the putting we've done indoors for the last two months paid off because we made a lot of putts and that's what you've got to do to win," Prenzlow said. "These guys are starting to understand what it's going to take to be a really good golf team. I'm proud of them."

The team's next competition will be on March 14-15 at the Border Olympics in Laredo, Texas.