Oregon proved less hospitable to the men’s golf team than St. George as they battled wind and rain during the Bandon Dunes Championship. UVU finished 14th overall during the tournament March 11-12.
“There were a couple of reported wind gusts of 58 miles an hour,” said coach Chris Curran, “Conditions were so bad. So for Mason [Casper] to play like he did really shows a lot about his character.”
Casper shot three over par in the final round on March 12 with three birdies, including one on the 18th hole. The round was postponed for several hours as rain and strong wind continued to plague golfers all day.
UVU struggled as they entered the tournament, allowing the conditions to influence their confidence and game.
“We just weren’t mentally tough for the 10 hours we needed to be during the 36-hole day,” said Curran. “We’d have stretches where we’d play really good golf and then there’d be a few holes where we kind of mentally had a lapse.”
Junior Andrew Carlin overcame the difficulties in the second round, putting together the best single-round and overall performance of any UVU golfer. After going 10 over par to begin day one, Carlin turned around to post a score of one over par later that day.
“After the first round was over he had a new outlook,” said Curran, “He really buckled down and played solid in the second round and bogeyed his last two holes…where a lot of guys were making doubles or triples.”
The team struggled equally with only four strokes separating UVU’s top and bottom golfers. Even the strong rounds by Carlin and Casper weren’t enough to lift the team past the competition.
The Wolverine roster was led by Carlin as he finished in 62nd place with rounds of 82, 73 and 80 while Casper finished the tournament in a tie for 68th thanks to his best round of the tournament shooting (75). Juniors Joey Olsen and Nick Tarasiewicz tied for 71st and freshman Stratton Schulz finished tied for 73rd place.
Rather than dwell on the past, Coach Curran was optimistic about the remaining three tournaments of the season. They will be in action today and tomorrow in Alabama to compete in the Grub-Mart Young Oll Collegiate.
The Wolverines will then have a 10-day break before heading back out on the road to the UK Bluegrass Invitaitonal in Lexington, Kentucky before the American Sky Conference championship in Scottsdale, Ariz., May 2-5.