Golfers Open in Second Place Tie At Air Force
COLORADO SPRINGS — The University of Colorado men's golf team, fresh off a solid performance four days earlier at Notre Dame, opened up Friday in a second place tie at Air Force's Gene Miranda Invitational.
The Buffaloes shot a 1-under 287, their fourth straight subpar round, and trail in-state rival Colorado State by four shots (the Rams are in at 5-under 283). Cal State-Northridge and Utah State matched CU's score, with rivals New Mexico State and Texas-El Paso tied for fifth with 290 totals.
Sophomore Dylan McDermott once again led CU, as he recorded a 3-under 69 on the 7,541-yard, par-72 Eisenhower Blue Golf Course configuration. It was his fourth straight subpar round to open the 2022-23 season, the most in a row by a Buff since Daniel O'Loughlin had four in the fall of 2019. He did so Friday with four birdies and 13 pars on the 7,541-yard, par-72 Eisenhower Blue Golf Course and is tied for sixth in the massive 120-player field.
McDermott won Notre Dame's Fighting Irish Classic earlier in the week with a school record performance (10-under 200), leading CU to a fifth place finish in the 15-team field.
True freshman Hunter Swanson tied for 22nd after carding an even-par 72; he was steady (36 on each nine) and also had four birdies and 11 pars opposite two bogeys and double.
The three remaining Buffaloes in the event are all tied for 34th with 1-over par 73s: senior Adam Matteson and sophomores Justin Biwer and Tucker Clark. Matteson and Biwer had identical efforts with two birdies, 13 pars and three bogeys, while Clark matched McDermott and Swanson with a team-high four birdies, but with 10 pars, three bogeys and a double.
"Very encouraged by the day. We really didn't have our 'A' games but everyone hung in there and stayed in the mix, said CU head coach Roy Edwards. "The conditions were fairly tough and the guys had to adjust on the fly. They did a great job competing and staying patient."
Meanwhile in the Miranda Individual Invitational, sophomore Jack Hughes, the defending champion, maintained his love affair with the 6,510-yard, par-72 Eisenhower Silver Course. In winning in 2021, he had three eagles over the three days; he had two more on Friday in carding a 4-under 68 to be in a tie for second (he led CU in eagles last year with six). He also had four birdies, eight pars and four bogeys and is one off the lead.
Freshman Robby Keilch made his CU debut and turned in a 2-uncer 70, tying him for 6th; he had a steady round of four birdies and 12 pars with only two bogeys. Sophomores Jack Holland (an even 72) and Frederik Eisenbeis (2-over 74) rounded out CU's contingent down I-25 on Friday, as all players on the roster is participating.
"Jack Hughes was 4-over through four holes in the individual tournament and rallied to shoot 4-under," Edwards proudly noted. "Really nice playing and staying determined. It was also a solid debut by Robby as well. Jack (Holland) and Freddy didn't play their best, but I expect them to play more to their capabilities the next few rounds."
The second round in both events is set for Saturday. In the main tournament, Colorado will tee off between 8:30 and 9:10 off the No. 1 tee and will be paired with San Jose State, Cal Poly and Northern Iowa. (CU's football team is playing at Air Force at 1:30, fans are welcome to watch the golf before tailgating, as the course is right next to Falcon Stadium). The forecast calls for intermittent rain throughout the day with temperatures in the 50s; it could make for a challenging day as patience might be the key as rounds took right around six hours to complete on Friday.
The individuals will have a shotgun start at 9:30 a.m. off nine different holes (1 and 11 through 18).
NOTES: The school record for the most consecutive rounds in the 60s are seven, done twice (by the Paul brothers, Jeremy in 2016 and Yannik in 2018); four ties the mark for third, previously done by Philip Juel-Berg, Ross Macdonald and O'Loughlin … The average score for all 120 rounds on Friday was 74.92; CU's average was an even par 72.0, just behind CSU (71.8), with all five Buffaloes in the top 34. Next best was UTEP, with its quintet all in the top 55 … The Buffs played the par-3s even (best in the field), the par-4s at 6-over (fifth) and the par-5's at 6-under (tied for third; McDermott played them at 3-under, also third-best in the event … CU tied for the fifth-most birdies (16; Utah State is tops with 21) and the second-most pars (60; Weber State has 61).
BUFFALO INDIVIDUALS (GM IND)
|1.||Davis Bryant, Colorado State||33-34—67|
|T2.||Aidan Thomas, New Mexico State||33-35—68|
|T2.||Yuze Zhang, Northern Colorado||34-34—68|
|T2.||Erik Thomassen, CSU-Northridge||35-33—68|
|T2.||Connor Jones, Colorado State||36-32—68|
|2.||Cal State Northridge||287|
|5.||New Mexico State||290|
|8.||San Jose State||292|