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Opening Round in the Books for Utah Golf at NCAA Championships

May 27, 2022

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. – The Utah men's golf team completed their first round of play at the 2022 NCAA Championships on Friday. A part of the morning wave, the Utes posted a score of 297 (+17) to place T-9th among the 15 morning round teams and currently sit T-19th with the afternoon wave still finishing up their opening rounds.

"We played really well for the most of the day. The course is exceptionally difficult and the margin for error is so razor thin that any slightly offline shot can cause a double bogey and we made our share of them today," head coach Garrett Clegg said. "Tomorrow we need to be ready for an absolute battle because playing in the afternoon is a huge challenge. The greens are rock hard and the course is incredibly hard. We have a great opportunity tomorrow and I'm excited to see how we respond!" 

Javier Barcos and Blake Tomlinson led the way for the Utes recording solid rounds of 71 (+1) and 72 (+2), scores that have proven to be good on a tough Raptor Course at the Grayhawk Golf Club as only seven players have shot rounds under par so far.  

Teeing off the 10th tee this morning, Barcos birdied his opening hole and went on to par the next seven holes before a bogey on the 18th brought him back to level par. Barcos birdied the par three 205-yard fifth hole and par four seventh (his 14th & 16th) to go along with three bogeys on his second nine to shoot 71, good for T-15th. 

Tomlinson was steady throughout his round, bogeying two holes on his first nine and parring seven. He kicked it into another gear after making the turn with five pars and his lone birdie of the day through the first six holes. A bogey would follow on the seventh (his 16th) to shoot even par and head into the clubhouse with a 72 and sit in T-32nd.

Tristan Mandur made his return to the NCAA Championships after qualifying last year as an individual and saw a slow start to his round with two bogeys and a double in his opening nine holes. After another double bogey at the turn, Mandur finished very strong with seven pars and a birdie on the par five fourth hole (his 13th) to shoot a 75 (+5).

Braxton Watts tied Barcos with the most birdies on the card with three. He had two on his first nine but back-to-back bogeys put him at even par right before the turn. Looking like he got back into a rhythm with two pars and a birdie to start his back nine, a tough stretch of bogey-double-double-triple and a double on his final hole led to him posting a 79 (+9) to start his championships.

Martín León saw a tough day as well, unable to put together a stretch of good holes to build some momentum. Leon found his lone birdie of the day on the par fourth 15th (his sixth), but would card six bogeys and three doubles in his round to shoot an opening 81 (+11).

Up Next
Utah will tee it up tomorrow during the afternoon wave with the Georgia Southern and the College of Charleston starting at 2:20 p.m. MDT off the first tee.

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