Student-Athlete of the Week: April 10

WSU men's golf junior Devon Purser.  (Source: Weber State Athletics)
WSU men’s golf junior Devon Purser.
(Source: Weber State Athletics)

Name: Devon Purser

Golf Style: Right handed

Height: 6-foot-3

Year: Junior

Hometown: Syracuse, UT

High School: Syracuse HS

In the first season of men’s golf, sponsored by the Big Sky Conference since 2002, the Wildcats have been seeing improvement and success all year long. On Tuesday, the Wildcats picked up a big individual win as junior Devon Purser became the first Wildcat to win an individual tournament title since 2011 with a close victory at the Wyoming Cowboy Classic.

After finishing the first round of the event tied for 21st place, Purser battled back with four birdies and an eagle in the second round, to move into a tie for fifth place to finish the first day of the tournament. Purser came back the next day and after another strong round he birdied on his final hole to join a tie-breaking playoff against University of Idaho sophomore Jared du Toit and McNeese State University freshman Robert MacIntyre. With back-to-back pars on the 18th hole, Purser came away with the win and the individual title.

“I struck the ball really well this week, and played the par 5’s really good,” Purser said in a statement. “But my play on the par 3’s was really the key for me. In the playoff, I just really focused on hitting the green. It’s a tough hole, and I wanted to give myself a birdie putt and didn’t want to get tempted into going at the flagstick.”

Purser became the first Wildcat to win an individual title since May 4, 2011, when Nick Despain won the America Sky Conference Men’s Golf individual title with a two-over-par score of 215.

As a team, the Wildcats finished the Cowboy Classic in seventh place out of an 18-team field with a 10-under-par score of 854. It was the sixth time in the team’s last seven stroke-play tournaments that the Wildcats have finished among the top 10 teams.

Purser and the Wildcats play in one final tournament next week before the Big Sky Conference Championships on April 27-29. The championships will be the first sponsored by the Big Sky Conference since they dropped men’s golf from the conference in 2002. The Wildcats are the reigning Big Sky champions after winning the 2002 tournament in St. George with a score of 884. Weber State is also the reigning individual champion, as former Wildcat Blair Bingham took the individual title with a score of 211.