| 03.18.2018

Battling to the finish


Vandals take second, du Toit ties for first after three rounds at Wyoming Cowboy Classic

The Idaho men’s golf team obviously wasn’t satisfied with its fifth-place position Monday.

Their dissatisfaction was evident when the Vandals played in the final round Tuesday and shot the best score of the round to finish second at the Wyoming Cowboy Classic in Scottsdale, Arizona.

“We were just a couple shots short of accomplishing our goal, but that’s two tournaments in a row where we fired the low round the last day,” Idaho coach John Means said. “That’s what championship teams do.”

The Vandals finished two strokes behind McNeese State, which shot a 26-under-par 838.

“McNeese played well and we weren’t able to catch them, but it was fun,” Means said. “It was fun to be out there. It was fun to be in the hunt.”

Not only did Idaho shoot the lowest third-round score, but Vandal sophomore Jared du Toit shot the lowest individual third-round score, which propelled him to a tie for first place with two other golfers.

Means said du Toit sank some putts, which gave him more confidence.

“It’s amazing,” Means said. “You make a couple putts and all of a sudden you can make all kinds of putts.”

Du Toit headed into Tuesday four strokes off the lead. He shot 5-under-par 67 in the final round to bring his three-round score to 9-under-par 207, which rocketed him up the leaderboard into a three-way tie for first with Weber State’s Devon Purser and McNeese State’s Robert MacIntyre.

Purser won the playoff among the three.

Means said du Toit was discouraged after the first day of the invitational because du Toit felt like he should be at the top of the leaderboard.

“Today he hit the ball the same and the putts started to drop,” Means said. “He shot 67, like I said, on a much more difficult golf course.”

Means said the course was more difficult than Monday when factoring in the wind and the fact that the course was played longer and the pins were tough.

The Vandals will return to competition when they compete at the Hawkeye-Great River Entertainment Invitational April 18-19 in Iowa City, Iowa. Then, Idaho will gear up for the Big Sky Conference Championship April 27-29 in Stockton, California.

Du Toit highlighted Idaho’s performance, but his teammates contributed as well as three other Vandals finished in the top 20.

Junior Rylee Iacolucci moved up the leaderboard and tied for 10th after shooting a 3-under-par 69 the third round. He shot a 6-under-par 210 overall. Senior Aaron Cockerill and freshman Dan Sutton shot 4-under-par 212 and tied for 17th out of the 100 golfers who competed.

Senior Sean McMullen shot even-par 216 and tied for 38th and sophomore Ryan Porch, who competed as an individual, carded 2-over-par 218 and tied for 55th.

“They just played good solid golf and we got that from every single round from every single player,” Means said. “That’s good stuff heading into the championship season.”

Garrett Cabeza can be reached at arg-sports@uidaho.edu

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