Brady McKinlay’s rise to UVU stardom

Photo courtesy of UVU Athletics.

Utah Valley University star golfer Brady McKinlay has been outstanding for the Wolverines this season, finishing the first half of the season with three-straight tournament wins. 

“It’s been really good,” McKinlay said. “When I got the first one, I was excited, and the same thing, just build off that one again and I knew I was playing well still. To get three, and to cap off the fall with three wins is kind of crazy. I’m not really sure how to feel about it because I know it’s great but it hasn’t settled in yet. But it’s been really cool.”

The UVU men’s golf team has finished the first half of their season after competing in four events. The Wolverines finished 13th overall at the Gene Miranda Falcon Invitational, third at the Colorado State Ram Masters, fifth at the Mark Simpson Colorado Invitational, and second overall at the Grier Jones WSU Shocker Invitational. 

“It’s been up and down,” McKinlay said.“But I think we kind of got a lot of momentum going into the spring. In the spring season, we’ve got a lot of tournaments that we can win as a team. Try to build off of this fall. I think we should have a couple of team victories, at least one, coming soon.”

His first UVU career tournament win was this year at the Colorado State Ram Masters which started his streak. McKinlay attributes his summer tournament win at the Alberta Men’s Amateur Championship to his elevated play this season. 

“That was a big one,” said McKinlay of the win. “It was a really cool thing to say, before that I haven’t really won anything as far as tournaments go in golf … As I went from junior golf to amateur golf it was a bit of a step, and you’ve got to take a couple of jumps in your game, a couple of leaps. I was able to do that … Really cool to have that and keep that momentum going all the way through the fall. It was the first big confidence builder going from the summer to the fall.”

His ultimate goal for the season is to win WAC Player of the Year.

McKinlay, who is in his final year of competition, has been a two-time Srixon/Cleveland Golf All-American Scholar and has received All-WAC Honors twice during his first two years at UVU. 

Born in Lacombe in Alberta, Canada, not many coaches were able to see McKinlay’s talents in high school, so he originally began his collegiate career at York College in Nebraska, where he won the Central Regional Championship at the National Christian College Athletics Association (NCCAA) in 2018.

McKinlay then entered the transfer portal and within a year he had three visits to UVU, the University of Utah, and Kent State University. He visited the University of Utah and UVU in the same trip and ultimately decided on playing at UVU.

“When I came to UVU, it just felt right,” said McKinlay. “It felt like a really good fit. I had some guys on the team that I played with before, known a bit, so that also helped a bit too. It was kind of one of those things where I felt like the best opportunity I had over here and it kind of played out that way over the last two, three years.”

After this season, McKinlay will finish up his schooling next year as a student assistant on the team.

In the next half of the season, McKinlay has a goal to win at least one more tournament and a high ranking, but more importantly, to win a tournament as a team. 

“I think even bigger than just another individual win is that I’d like to get a team win,” said McKinlay. “I think we’ve been so close for a couple of years while I’ve been here and I think there’s no reason why we cannot get at least one in the spring. If the guys could get one or a couple of wins in the spring, that would be huge, I think.”

The men’s golf team will begin the second half of their season in February at the SUU Pat Hicks Invitational from Feb. 11-13. The Wolverines will compete in at least seven events, including the WAC Championship and have the potential to compete in more tournaments. 

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