Brayden Eriksen and The Men’s Golf Team Are Making Strides In The NCAA
Dustan Copeland, Staff Writer, @dustycopey
The 2009-2010 was a tough year for UVU’s Men’s Golf. They were down at the bottom of NCAA Division 1, ranking nationally at 297.
When Coach Chris Curran arrived in the 2010-2011 season, things began to turn around. He gained the interests of some great recruits, selling them on the idea of starting something great and truly turning a program around. Brayden Eriksen explained, “When I first met Coach Curran back in 2010, I was playing in the Junior World Championship in San Diego, California. At that time, he basically told me he was starting to build up the program.” That was something that Eriksen, as well as many other great recruits, was interested in.
Now, the Men’s Golf team is consistently performing much better than they did 5 years ago. Seniors like Eriksen have been on the rise since 2011. “We were one of the worst ranked teams in the country. Last year, I think we finished 140th out of 300 teams. Every season that I’ve been here, the team has improved. Coach continues to bring in good recruits.”
Eriksen has been playing quite well this year, leading the Wolverines in nearly every statistic. And, the season has only just begun. “I’ve only played 3 out of the 4 tournaments that we had this fall,” Eriksen said. “I got off to the start that I like to. The first two events, I had top 10 finishes. The third event that the U of U hosted up in Park City, I didn’t play exactly how I wanted to, but 2 out of 3 top 10’s in the fall was definitely a start.”
A great way to improve is to set goals. Eriksen recognizes this, and has several goals for this season. The standout senior manages to stay humble with his goals, always finding aspects of his game to improve upon. “This year, I wanted to beat my scoring record from last year, which I think finished at 73.06. So I’d like to improve upon that,” Eriksen explained. He wants to take what he gained last year and put it in action for this season. “I plan to just build up last season. Last season was a big confidence building year. I proved to myself that I belong with some of the best players in college golf. I had six top 10 finishes. I came close to winning a few times. I’ve had a lot of top 5 and top 10 finishes the last couple of seasons. I’d like to break through and win a tournament. That’s been a goal of mine since I came here.”
Eriksen isn’t the only great athlete on the team. The Men’s Golf Team has goals just as big as those of Eriksen’s, “As a team, we’re looking to win a tournament. We haven’t done that in a few seasons, so that’s going to be a big goal. But, there’s definitely a lot talent. We’ve got a lot of good players on our team, so there is a lot of potential.”
The potential continues to rise for the Wolverines, with Eriksen leading the way. They’ve come a long way since that 2009-2010 season. With the team still relatively new to Division 1 play, it looks like they are only just beginning.