Chris Russo Wins Southern Utah's Pat Hicks Thunderbird Invitational

ST. GEORGE, Utah - Chris Russo won his second tournament of the 2011-12 season as the Matador junior claimed the Pat Hicks Thunderbird Invitational at Sunbrook G.C. on Tuesday.

Russo, who also won the fall season-opening St. Mary's Invitational in September, carded back-to-back rounds of 70 to edge Cal Poly's Scott Patterson and Cal State Fullerton's Mark Anguiano by one shot. Russo's two-round four under-par 140 led Cal State Nortrhidge to a fifth-place team finish among the 14 teams competing.

"I wasn't sure what to expect with the conditions but it turned out to be a relatively nice day," said Russo. "I didn't hit the ball as well today but was able to capitalize on a few of my opportunities."

In addition to Russo's medalist performance, senior Jason Rosenkranz posted his first top-10 finish of the season. Rosenkranz carded an opening round (+1) 73 on Monday before firing a three under-par 69 on Tuesday to finish tied for fourth at two under-par 142. 

"I'm very happy with the way Jason played, this is what I expect of him and Chris," said head coach Jim Bracken. "Chris didn't strike the ball well but good players find a way to get it done when they're not hitting it real well. If your bad rounds are under par, you're still playing pretty good golf."

Freshman Jared LeGrand, competing as an individual in his first career tournament, had a solid tournament finishing tied for 36th at (+7) 151 following rounds of 73-78. Sophomore Ryan Green also played well on Tuesday as he bounced back from an opening round 81 to card an even-par 72. Green, who was tied for 80th following Monday's round, wound up tied for 45th at (+9) 153. Junior Shane Blanchard also finished 45th at (+9) 153 following rounds of 76-77 and freshman Steven Molumby was 79th at (+14) 158 after rounds of 78-80.

"I'm pleased that we improved from the first round to the second round," added Bracken. "I just hope we keep improving as a team, this is a pretty good start but we've got a long way to go."

Sunbrook G.C.
Feb. 13-14, 2012

1. Cal State Fullerton 288-287--575
2. Southern Utah 284-293--577
3. Col. of Charleston 292-291--583
3. Cal Poly 290-293--583
5. Northridge 297-288--585
6. Oral Roberts 291-297--588
7. Dixie State 302-297--599
7. Western Illinois 299-300--599
9. Utah State 298-305--603
10. Utah Valley 307-300-607
11. Boise State 309-299--608
12. Weber State 308-309--611
13. CSU Bakersfield 308-309--617
13. Seattle 306-311--617

1. Chris Russo Northridge 70-70--140 (-4)
2. Scott Patterson, Cal Poly 70-71--141 (-3)
2. Mark Anguiano, CS Fullerton 71-71--141 (-3)
4. Jeff Evans, So. Utah 71-71--142 (-2)
4. Jason Rosenkranz, Northridge 73-69--142 (-2)
4. Shannon Allen, Oral Roberts 73-69--142 (-2)
7. Scott Rubzin, CS Fullerton 76-67--143 (-1)
7. Tanner Higham, Utah State 70-73--143 (-1)
9. Parker Allen, Charleston 73-71--144 (E)
9. Brad Millard, So. Utah 67-77--144 (E)
9. Sammy Cole, So. Utah 71-73--144 (E)

5. Northridge 297-288--585
1. Chris Russo 70-70--140 (-4)
T4. Jason Rosenkranz 73-69--142 (-2)
T36. Jared LeGrand* 73-78--151 (+7)
T45. Ryan Green 81-72--153 (+9)
T45. Shane Blanchard 76-77--153 (+9)
79. Steven Molumby 78-80--158 (+14)

* - competed as an individual