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Golf Takes its First Swings of the Fall at the Fighting Irish Classic

Sep 2, 2022

Date: September 4-5
Location: Warren Golf Course | South Bend, Ind.
Par/Yardage: Par 70/7,023 Yards
Live Scoring: or GolfStat app
The 2022-23 season has finally arrived for the University of Utah men's golf team and the program's seventh campaign under coach Garrett Clegg will begin in South Bend, Ind., the site of the Fighting Irish Classic, which will be held on Sept. 4-5 at the Warren Golf Course.
The Utes are only a few months removed from finishing off an historic 2021-22 campaign by taking 27th at the NCAA Championships. That represented the program's highest finish at nationals since they placed 19th in 1954 and Clegg's crew also established a new high-water mark by taking fifth in the NCAA Regional Tournament in Norman, Okla.
The list of returners for 2022-23 includes junior Javier Barcos, who posted his team's second-best stroke average a year ago at 71.4, which also represented a new career-best. Barcos collected three top-10 finishes as a sophomore, including two forays into the top five. The last time his team traveled to South Bend, Barcos etched his name into the Utah record book with an 11-under 199, the lowest 54-hole score in program history. This performance landed him in second place and helped the Utes take third at the 2021 Fighting Irish Classic.
Clegg also welcomes back Braxton Watts, whose first year with the Utes saw him earn a Pac-12 All-Freshman Honorable Mention selection. During the spring, Watts picked up his first collegiate top 10 finish by tying for ninth at the Duck Invitational in March, shooting 2-under. He also helped the Utes reach the NCAA Championships with a performance that included a final round 70 at the Norman Regional, pushing him 24 spots up the leaderboard.
"We're extremely excited to get this season started," said Clegg. "We loved the Fighting Irish Classic last fall. Javier had his best career finish individually in that event and the team had a lot of success on the golf course. Javi is the only player in this weekend's five who has any familiarity with the Warren Course. He'll play a huge role in this tournament and we anticipate leaning on his experience for the rest of the season. Braxton Watts, though only a sophomore, will need to step up into a leadership role along with Javier."
The Utes will be one of 15 teams competing for the tournament title, a list that includes Notre Dame, Cal, Colorado, Florida, Georgia Southern, Indiana, Iowa, Iowa State, Kansas, Kent State, LSU, Michigan State, North Carolina and Virginia Tech.
Barcos and Watts will be joined in the season's first line-up by Davis Johnson, Tanner Telford and Hunter Howe, all of whom will be making their Utah debuts.
"I'm excited to see what this new young group brings to the table," said Clegg, "as we have three players competing for us who've never been in our lineup. I'm looking forward to seeing what we have. Go Utes!"
The Fighting Irish Classic will be a 54-hole event, starting with the first two rounds on Sunday, followed by one more trip around the course on Monday.
Live scoring for the Fighting Irish Classic will be available at or on the GolfStat app.
For an inside look at the Utah Golf program along with tournament, roster and news updates, fans can follow the Utes on social media (Twitter: @UtesGolf | Instagram: @UtesGolf).