Golf Looks to Reach New Heights in 2021-22 Season
Salt Lake City - Coming off its best season since 1992, the Utah Golf team is ready to build off that momentum with the 2021-22 season just around the corner.
"I think it was a huge step for the program, but it also meant a lot for the guys to validate where we believed we are as a team," said head coach Garrett Clegg.
Last season, the team qualified for the NCAA Regionals and had one golfer, Tristan Mandur, qualify for the NCAA Championships as an individual. Now the team is hoping to take their game to the next level by competing in five tournaments in the fall of 2021.
"Moving forward we feel there's a new standard of who we believe we're supposed to be," said Clegg. "We are trying to build a program that fits in the top-30 in the country, so we have to keep building off what we have done to move in the right direction."
The Utes return four starters from last years team with plenty of new and familiar faces hoping to help the team on their quest to reshape the way Utah Golf is perceived.
Davis Johnson | Scottsdale, Ariz.
Ranked in the top-100 in the 2021 spring recruiting class by Junior Golf Scoreboard … Earned MVP honors as a Freshman and Sophomore during an impressive career at his high school Scottsdale Prep … Finished sixth in the state as a freshman and second as a sophomore … Recorded eight top 10 finishes as an amateur in 2020.
Joseph Lloyd | Scottsdale, Ariz.
Ranked inside the top 45 of the 2021 class by National Junior Golf Scoreboard … Three-time pinnacle player of the year … Four-time first-team all-district and all-region … Set the school record at Pinnacle high for the lowest nine-hole score (30)
Zack Neff | Salt Lake City, Utah
Returning missionary who won back-to-back Utah 5A individual state championships for Olympus high school in 2017 and 2018 … Four-time first team all-state selection … 2016 Utah Junior Golf associate player of the year … Coach Clegg said Neff is one of the best putters he has seen in recruiting.
Braxton Watts | Farmington, Utah
A three-time all-state and all-region selection ... State champion as an individual in 2019, shooting 7-under with eight birdies and just one bogey ... Won the region championship in 2019 as an individual ... Led Farmington high school to three top-two finishes at the 5A state tournament.
Javier Barcos | Estella, Spain
Competed in eight tournaments last year compelling 1,792 strokes in 25 rounds for a career-low 71.7 average … Finished in third at the 2021 Pat Hicks Thunderbird Invitational after recording a career-low 54-hole score of 207 (-9) … Recorded back-to-back top 20 finishes in 2021 (Bandon Dunes Championship and NIT Invitational) … Finished in the top-40 at the 2021 NCAA Regionals.
Jesper von Reedtz | Taby, Sweden
Competed in eight tournaments last year totaling 1,832 strokes, averaging 73.4 strokes per round … Carded eight rounds of par or better in 2020-21 … Tied for second with a career-low score of 205 (-11) at the 2021 Pat Hicks Thunderbird Invitational … As a freshman he carded six rounds of par or better in 2019-20 season.
Martín León | Santiago, Chile
Won the Utah State Amateur in the summer of 2021 … One of just two players from Chile to ever win a South American Junior Championship (2017) … Won the Araucarias Open and the Sport Frances Open in 2019 … Finished in third place at the Chile Junior Open in 2019.
Coach Clegg's Outlook
"I'm looking for Jesper and Javier to be team leaders. They played every single tournament last year and they played most of the tournaments their freshman year. We expect a lot out of them. They need to continue to progress and make big steps forward, and if they do well then we'll be great. Martín is competitive and I anticipate he'll have an impact in the starting five at some point throughout the year and hopefully he'll be able to push us forward."
Oscar Maxfield | Salt Lake City, Utah
Competed in two events for six rounds of golf in the 2021 season totaling 451 strokes, averaging 75.2 strokes per round…Tied for 53rd with a season-low score of 223 through 54 holes at the 2021 Pat Hicks Thunderbird Invitational…Competed in three events in a shortened season due to the Coronavirus pandemic totaling 676 strokes in nine rounds, averaging 75.1 strokes per round.
Sam Tidd | Meridian, Idaho
Played in one tournament as an individual in 2021, tying for 34th at the Pat Hicks Thunderbird Invitational … Redshirted during the 2018-19 season at the University of Oklahoma before transferring over to Utah … 5A individual state champion in high school in 2017.
Axel Einarsson | Ludvika, Sweden
Played in one tournament in 2021, shooting 27-over (240) at the Arizona Intercollegiate … Competed in four events in a shortened season due to the Coronavirus pandemic totaling 906 strokes in 12 rounds for a 75.5 average … Competed in all 12 events as a freshman totaling 2,742 strokes over 37 rounds for a 74.1 strokes-per-round average.
Tristan Mandur | Mill Bay, British Columbia, Canada
Totaled a team-high 32 rounds of golf (2,289 strokes), averaging a career-low 71.5 strokes per round, which tied for second on the team in 2021 … Recorded 19 rounds of par or better with two top-10 finishes which included one top-five … Recorded Utah's highest finish on record at the NCAA Championships, tying for 17th overall, shooting 3-over (283) through 72 holes ... His 283 was a career-low in a 72-hole tournament … Shot a career-low 54-hole score at the NCAA Regionals, tying for fourth overall (-6, 207) which was the highest finish by a Ute at the NCAA Regionals.
Blake Tomlinson | Salt Lake City, Utah
Competed in nine tournaments, recording 28 rounds of golf totaling 1,995 strokes for a team-low 71.3 strokes per round, which ranks third all-time in program history … One of two players on record at Utah to win two individuals titles in one season … Won the Pat Hicks Thunderbird Invitational with a career-low score of 201 (-15) through 54 holes, which is the lowest 54-hole score on record at Utah … He tied his career-low score of 201 at the Thunderbird Collegiate, tying for first to share the individual title.
Coach Clegg's Outlook
"Tristan and Blake are going to be our anchors and our tournaments will go the way they go. I do believe those two have the potential to be All-Americans this year. That's something that we'd love to see, and we hope they both have great years."
Coach Clegg Looking Toward The Fall
"We are looking to see that the team plays with confidence. We need to go out and showcase to everybody else that last year was the norm and not a fluke."
With the season nearly upon us the team is locked in and ready to take it tournament by tournament but, that doesn't mean they haven't set goals for where they hope to be come May.
"Our goal is to be at the National Championship in the final. That's why you compete, that's what you come here for, and that's where we want to get to," said Clegg. "We got a taste of that at the NCAA Regionals and now we have four guys that played in that tournament hungry to get back to that stage."
The Utes open their season next Friday when they head to Scottsdale, Ariz. for the Maui Jim Invitational, Sept. 10-12.