Men's Golf
Smith, Becher & Hallisey Earn All-WAC Honors as Men's Golf Finishes Fifth at WAC Championship

HENDERSON, Nev.   Led by junior Ryan Hallisey, the University of Nevada men's golf team finished in fifth place at the 2009 Western Athletic Conference Championship, held Monday-Wednesday, April 27-29 at the par 72, 7,332-yard Rio Secco Golf Club.

The WAC also announced its postseason awards following the conclusion of play on Wednesday. For Nevada, junior Jared Becher and sophomore Scott Smith were named to the All-WAC first team, while junior Ryan Hallisey was a second-team honoree. It marked the first All-WAC honors for both Smith and Becher and the second for Hallisey who was also a second-team honoree in 2007.

Nevada finished the tournament with an eight-over 296 on Wednesday and was fifth with a three-day total of 28-over 892.  New Mexico State won the WAC team championship and earned the league’s automatic bid to the NCAA Regionals with a three-round total of six-over 870. The Aggies turned in a one-stroke victory over Fresno State (871), while Idaho (876), tournament host Utah State (891) and Nevada (892) rounded out the top five teams. San Jose State (895) was sixth, followed by Louisiana Tech (906), Boise State (925) and Hawai’i (945).

For the Wolf Pack, Hallisey led the team with a seventh-place finish. He carded a one-under 71 on Wednesday and finished at two-over 218 (74-73-71) for the tournament. Smith ended up tied for 12th at five-over 221 (70-76-75), while junior Taylor Coffman finished in a tie for 17th at seven-over 223 (75-74-74). Becher tied for 29th (76-80-76=232), while sophomore Chris Plappert shot a five-over 77 on Wednesday (DQ-78-77).

New Mexico State’s Travis Reid captured the individual WAC championship after carding a three-under 69 Wednesday for a three-day total of seven-under 209. He turned in a three-stroke victory over Fresno State’s Grant Doverspike (212).

Nevada will now await a possible invitation to one of the six NCAA Regionals, which are set for May 14-16 in Galloway, N.J., Austin, Texas, Daly City, Calif., Sorrento, Fla., Bowling Green, Ky., and Stillwater, Okla.

The NCAA Men’s Golf Committee will announce the field of 81 teams and 45 individuals for the NCAA Regionals (13 teams and 10 individuals at each of three sites and 14 teams and five individuals at the other three sites) via a conference call at 3 p.m. Pacific Time on Monday, May 4. Nevada looks to earn its 12th all-time NCAA Regional appearance and its first since 2007.

The Wolf Pack finished in the top 10 in nine of 11 tournaments this season, including five top five showings and a win in the Stevinson Ranch Invitational in April. Smith led the team with a 72.79 stroke average and seven top 20 finishes this year.