Washington men play annual 54-hole day

Washington players Chris Williams (left) and Charlie Hughes

Washington players Chris Williams (left) and Charlie Hughes

Think 36-hole days are rough? Try 54 in one day. That’s what the Washington men’s team did Tuesday at its annual Steve Lane Invitational.

Charlie Hughes won by shooting 72-69-70, finishing two shots ahead of All-American Cheng-Tsung Pan (74-67-72). Hughes played his final five holes in 2-under par to beat out his teammate.

The Lane started several years ago, when there was talk in college golf about getting rid of 36-hole days. “The main argument being put forward was that 36 holes a day was just too much for our student-athletes,” Thurmond said. “I thought this was ridiculous and I wanted to make sure our guys never fell into that type of thinking.”

He also wanted to remind his team of an important, but oft forgotten, fact: golf is supposed to be fun. “I was trying to help my guys remember and embrace the child-like passion for playing golf,” Thurmond said.

Finding a low-traffic course was key to this event. The Huskies played the first and third rounds this year at Suncadia Resort’s Tumble Creek Golf Club in the mountains about 90 minutes outside Seattle. The second round was played at Suncadia’s Rope Rider course. The players walked the first 36 holes and rode carts for the final 18.

“It is the ultimate mental grind, but at the end of the day the guys are very proud of what they did,” Thurmond said. “This event has become a rite of passage that they will proudly remember.”

The event started at 6:45 a.m. Play was completed at 7:40 p.m. The transport time to the second course meant the team had to race to beat darkness. All rounds were played in less than four hours, with the final round taking approximately three hours, Thurmond said.

As for the Husky’s practice plans Thursday? “Today we’ll have a nice relaxing day with some wiffle ball, cornhole and some casual golf practice,” Thurmond said.

It’s a well-deserved rest.

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