The season started off well for the UVU men’s golf team, which is expecting big things this year, as they placed second in the Battle in the Tetons golf tournament in Victor, Idaho on Sept. 1-3.
The team has fared well fin the tournament in past seasons, winning it in 2011 and finishing as the runner-up last year.
The team jumped ahead and owned the lead in the first rounds of the tournament despite wet conditions. The team owned a three-stroke lead heading into the final day of play and was playing with a high level of confidence.
“The guys battled hard all day long and never lost focus in terrible conditions,” said UVU head coach Chris Curran “Looking at the team standings, we know we are in a dogfight. We are going to need another good round tomorrow to get it done. If we continue to play like we did today, I like our chances.”
Unfortunately for the Wolverines, Wyoming was also playing well and the three-stroke lead wasn’t enough. The Cowboys were defending their title and pulled ahead for good in the last round.
“Its not that we played bad – Wyoming just played really well and won,” explained sophomore golfer Noah Cook.
The Wolverines replicated their finish from last year, placing second at the tournament. They recorded the fourth-best total score in school history at 862.
Individually, Junior Brayden Eriksen was the top Wolverine on the leaderboard, placing second overall to match the best finish of his career. Sophomore Corey Eccles ended in a tie for 6th, the first top-10 finish of his career. Junior Preston Richards also earned his first top-10 finish, tying for 10th place.
Senior Stratton Schulz and sophomore Clark Fredrickson, who played as an individual, tied for 14th, while freshman JT Timmons and sophomore Noah Cook tied for 27th and 29th repectively. Junior Michael Dart rounded out the scoring, finishing 46th.
“I’m proud of the guys,” said Curran. “We played very well this week. Unfortunately, it just wasn’t enough. To shoot two-under as a team for the week and not win is disappointing, but overall it was a really solid week.”
The Wolverines finished 11 strokes clear of third-place Southern Utah (873). Utah State (880) came in fourth, while host Weber State (889) grabbed fifth. South Dakota State and Valparaiso, each finished at 889, tied for sixth and Westminster rounded out the field at 905.
The Wolverines will look to add to the early success when they travel to Washington State in the Itani Quality Homes Collegiate in Pullman, Wash. The opening rounds are set for Monday, Sept. 9 at the Palouse Ridge Golf Club.
Garrett is native of Orem, Utah. He is a graduate of Timpanogos High School. While in high school, Garrett enjoyed playing sports and was a double lettered athlete in football in wrestling. After a short stint of college football at Dixie State, Garrett made his way back to Utah Valley in pursuit of his aspirations of becoming a sports journalist. Garrett has been contributing for the UVU Review for three years and has covered sports, specializing in wrestling. Garrett is married to Jodi Coleman and served an LDS mission to Baguio Philippines. You can follow him on twitter @legendgary