cowboys corner

Well hello spring, why have you disappeared so rapidly? It appeared as though you were here to stay with the 60-degree weather and unabated sunshine. Now, you’ve given way to snow and mercury residing around freezing, and let me just say, I’m slightly disappointed in you.

While this is what’s going on in my head currently, it’s also likely what’s going on inside the minds of University of Wyoming golfers. But it’s nothing new for the majority of them.

Many of the athletes that tee it up for the brown and gold are either from Wyoming or the surrounding states, so having to tango with the weather this time of year has become old hat for them. And even though the season for golf within the state of Wyoming is short and unpredictable, that hasn’t stopped the Pokes from competing and at a high level.

Seriously, the level at which the Cowboys and Cowgirls compete at in golf is nothing short of remarkable.

This past week, John Murdock accomplished the greatest feat this season. The Laramie native carded a 203 (-13) and tied for first at the Wyoming Cowboy Classic in Chandler, Arizona, before falling in a three-hole playoff to UCLA’s Cole Madey.

Let that sink in. A golfer from the blustery, cold town of Laradise — err, I mean Laramie — went toe-to-toe with UCLA’s best golfer, not to mention Murdock bested everyone else in the field, which included guys from CSU Fullerton, Grand Canyon and Santa Clara to name a few of the southern-dwelling universities.

Murdock’s score of 13-under par is the second lowest in program history. And, oh yeah, the only score better than Murdock’s 13-under par Tuesday was his 14-under par that he shot at the 2017 Gene Miranda Falcon Invitational.

The lightly recruited high-schooler from the Gem City of the Plains has set a new standard at Wyoming. He’s showing that not only can Wyoming-born golfers dream about playing at the Division I level, but those same players can come to UW and compete at the highest of levels.

Murdock is proof that Wyoming has the facilities necessary for a golfer to stay elite even in the cold winter months. He’s proof that Wyoming golfers have what it takes to compete with their summer counterparts that rarely ever worry about whether or not they can shoot a practice round outside.

Murdock’s win at the Cowboy Classic also made him just the fourth UW golfer to ever win multiple tournaments in his collegiate career. He’s mentioned in the same sentence as former Cowboy great David Hearn, who has consistently teed it up on the PGA Tour for the last decade and a half.

Murdock wasn’t the only UW golfer to make headlines. The entire women’s team set a new high, as well. The Cowgirls set a program record a couple weeks back at the NAU Red Rocks Invitational, firing a team score of 872 (+20).

The state of Wyoming and the sport of golf don’t exactly go hand in hand. This isn’t Florida.

UW’s golf program isn’t the first sport mentioned out of the casual fan’s mouth. That’s usually reserved for the football and men’s basketball teams.

But amid the Laramie snow and within the footnotes of UW athletics, the golf teams shine brighter than ever.


Pokes Notes

University of Wyoming running back Jevon Bigalow left the team for personal reasons. He was third on the team in rushing last season and all signs pointed to him being a big part of the Pokes’ backfield this fall.

UW’s men’s swimming and diving team had eight student-athletes named to the Academic All-WAC team.

Former UW football players Nico Evans, Adam Pilapil, Nick Smith and Andrew Wingard were all honored as members of the 2019 NFF Hampshire Honor Society.


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