CSU Men’s golf dominates Ram Classic as women finish in the middle

Mack Beaulieu

Both of the Colorado State golf teams competed in their annual Ram Classic at the Fort Collins Country Club this week with the men winning theirs by a wide margin. The women had a somewhat disappointing start to their season, struggling in the event. 

The men’s team started their second tournament of the year on Monday and it was the only day that the Rams really had much competition. The Illinois State Redbirds finished one stroke ahead of the Rams after the first round, but never posed much of a challenge once the second round started. Four Rams shot under par in the second round of the tournament, led by freshman Parathakorn Suyasri with a 4-under 66.

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Freshman Parathakorn Suyasri sets up for a putt at the Rams Classic (AJ Frankson | Collegian)

“The golf course is set up really difficult and it’s things you may see down the road, especially in a regional championship,” Coach Christian Newton said. “So it’s good to face some pressure and those types of things in these conditions.”

The Redbirds were still the closest competitor at the end, but by that time the Rams had opened up an 11-stroke lead on the rest of the field. The lead never dropped to less than eight strokes during the third and final round on Tuesday, even with the Rams having their worst day of the tournament.

Perhaps a little complacent, everybody on the team shot over par for the Rams during the final day of the tournament. They still managed to finish with a 4-under 836 as a team and 14 shots ahead of the Redbirds. The win was the Rams fifth-consecutive in the Ram Masters tournament.

“I love to showcase Fort Collins and bring a lot of good teams here with a chance to take home a lot of wins,” Newton said. “Obviously, winning is a really big deal.”

The women’s team went in the other direction.

After a third-place finish last year, the Rams took sixth place in the Ptarmigan Ram Classic with disappointing finishes from some of their top golfers.

The tournament started out slow on Monday with last year’s NCAA Regional qualifiers, Ellen Secor and Katrina Prendergast, posting 6-over 78’s. Haley Greb, who had a strong second half last year and Jessica Sloot surprised and helped carry the Rams through the first day as the team finished the first round in 10th. 

“Jessica Sloot is such a solid player and teammate.” Coach Laura Cilek said. “She’s always grinding and you know she’s playing her hardest until the last putt drops… Ellen had a tough start to the tournament, but her willingness to work hard and get better is what is going to prove to get her back on track. I have no doubt she will come out fighting next week in Idaho.”

Prendergast turned things around on the second day while Secor continued to struggle.

Prendergast led the team with a 1-under 71 while Sloot and Greb both finished with 2-over 74’s. Freshman Sydney Smith registered her first collegiate round as well, finishing the day fourth for the Rams with a 6-over 78.

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The Rams made their biggest push of the weekend in that second round, where they built momentum at the turn. The Rams had six birdies and an eagle on the back nine to help pull them into seventh before the start of Wednesday’s final round.

The third day was the best for the Rams overall, but it did little to change the tournament’s outcome. Behind the third solid day from Greb, who finished the round at even par, the Rams were able to secure sixth place by one stroke.

Both teams will have some decisions to make going forward as both had players finish well as individuals who were not in this week’s top five. The women’s team will make that decision a little sooner as they play in the Coeur D’alene Collegiate Invite on Sep. 24.

The men start a rare individuals tournament on the same day at the Mark Simpson-Colorado Invitational.

Mack Beaulieu is a reporter for the Collegian who can be reached at sports@collegian.com or on Twitter @Macknz_James