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Washington State scores runaway victory

Washington State scores runaway victory

In the span of just a few weeks, Washington State has run the gamut of emotions. After the team found itself the first one out of an NCAA Regional berth, the call came for a spot in the National Golf Invitational.

And then, a hard-fought, runaway postseason victory.

“We went from real disappointment, obviously having the stinging feeling of not making it to regionals,” White said. “Now you come down here, and I think these guys, this is what they wanted to do. They wanted to come down and play some really good golf and make a statement. I wouldn’t say that was our prime motivation but they just did what they did all year, they put their heads down and got to work and they played awesome.”

White can’t pinpoint one thing that propelled the Cougars to a 19-shot victory at Ak-Chin Southern Dunes in Maricopa, Arizona. It was a combination of everything, he said, and it’s not that surprising considering that Washington State went a head-turning 22 under par in the final round.

ScoresNational Golf Invitational

TCU was second at 22 under for 54 holes and Butler was third at 18 under.

If the Cougars were in the desert to make a statement about what they’re capable of, they did it and then some.

“I felt like considering how we played in the second round, the guys kind of knew that it was out there but I think 22 under was a lot of fun to watch,” White said. “They all came out ready to go and just had one of those days where I guess we saved our best for last and it was a great time to do it.”

Washington State started the day one shot behind second-round leader TCU. They played the first four holes in 9 under par and were off. The Cougars counted a bogey-free 8-under 64 from Sam Renner and a 65 from Pono Yanagi, who missed this tournament last year because he made an individual start in an NCAA Regional.

White and assistant coach Kevin Tucker took a mostly hands-off approach to the final round, letting their players work their own magic.

The night before the final round, the team ate together at Texas Roadhouse. White isn’t sure how much superstition runs through the team, but that night-before meal might be repeated a few times next season.

Past Saturday night’s team dinner, there wasn’t much time for more celebrating. Four of the players White traveled to the NGI are graduating so Washington State will look very different next fall. An NGI win was a validating end for those men.

“Just to come down here and win and I suppose in…


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