May 2, 2012
HENDERSON, Nevada - After struggling the first two days, Louisiana Tech finished the 2012 Western Athletic Conference golf championships in impressive fashion as the Bulldogs recorded the team low total of Wednesday's third and final round.
Senior Cody Blankenship also picked up second team all-Western Athletic Conference honors following the event. Blankenship becomes only the fourth LA Tech golfer to earn all-WAC honors since the program joined the league in 2001.
Tech, which opened Wednesdays final 18 holes in last place, shot a team total of five-over-par 293 to move past three teams and finish in fifth place at the event.
"These guys are fighters," said Tech head coach Jeff Parks. "They never gave up. They came out today and played the way I know they are capable of playing. This is what I expected from them. The first two days were so uncharacteristic. They were unbelievable really. I'm proud of how they responded today."
After an opening 36 holes that saw Tech shoot 33 over par as a team, the Bulldogs got a solid team effort on Wednesday. Sam Forgan and Jonathan Bale both shot even-par 72 while Cody Santone shot 74 and Cody Blankenship 75. Travis Wilmore finished his final round at 77.
"I felt like I played pretty well all week," said Forgan, who finished in a tie for fifth place in the individual competition at four-over-par (220). "I had a really good round going today, but made a mistake on 16. Even with that I felt pretty good."
Tech jumped from eighth to fifth place with Wednesday's final round, moving past Nevada, Hawaii and Utah State.
"We had just a horrendous first two days," Forgan said. "It was good to see us end this way. We had the low round of the day. It justifies what we know we are capable of (doing)."
San Jose State won the 2012 WAC Championship, snapping New Mexico State's four-year run at the title. The Spartans shot 876 as a team over the three rounds, edging New Mexico State (882), Fresno State (886), Idaho (892), LA Tech (902), Nevada (909), Hawaii (911) and Utah State (919).
San Jose State Jay Myers birdied the first playoff hole to edge New Mexico State's Justin Shin for the individual WAC Championship title. Myers and Shin both shot five-under-par (211) through 54 holes.
Louisiana Tech, which started the day ranked 68th in the country, must wait until the NCAA Division I Men's Golf Championship field is announced Monday at 8 p.m. CT via a webcast selection show on www.ncaa.com.
"Hopefully we get a little sleep," Parks said. "We will be up for a bid. We are right on the bubble. I know conference showing won't help but hopefully they will look at our years-worth of accomplishments."