Golfers Finish Second in Own Simpson-CU Invitational
BOULDER — The University of Colorado men's golf team captured second place here Tuesday in its own 12th Annual Mark Simpson Colorado Invitational, as the teams completed the weather-shortened second round ahead of the third and final round.
Wyoming, which has appeared in all 12 of the events, broke through for its first win, as the Cowboys recorded one of two subpar rounds in the final 18 to move up from third in the standings. The 1-under 279 gave UW a 2-under 838 score for the meet, besting Colorado (839, -1) by one shot. Rice, which led after two rounds, finished with a 3-over 843, with Arkansas State (845) and Utah Valley (846) rounding out the top five.
The Cowboys finished second in 2016, one stroke behind the Buffs, and thus returned the favor this year. Those are the only two times the winning team claimed victory by a single stroke, though on three occasions two schools tied for top honors.
Sophomore Justin Biwer led the Buffaloes here, as his 70-69-67—206 effort (4-under par) was good for third place – his highest collegiate finish to date – and marked the 12th time in 15 tournaments he turned in a subpar performance. He played the par-4 holes at 4-under over the three rounds, best in the field, while recording 11 birdies (tied for seventh in the 92-man field) and 37 pars in posting a team-low of six holes worse than par on Boulder Country Club's 7,106-yard, par-70 layout.
Sophomore Dylan McDermott finished in a six-way tie for fifth place at 2-under 208 after submitting rounds of 70, 69 and 69. He had nine birdies and 36 pars opposite eight bogeys while also playing the par-4s well, sixth-best overall at 1-under combined.
Sophomore Tucker Clark tied for 11th, closing with a 69 after rounds of 66 – CU's best here – and 74. He had a team-best 12 birdies, tying for the fourth-most overall, along with 31 pars and 11 bogeys and was another Buff who handled BCC's par-4 holes well, fifth-best in the field at 2-under.
Freshman Hunter Swanson tied for 42nd with a 6-over 216 score; a final round 77 derailed him from a potential top finish, as he was tied for sixth through 36 holes. He had eight birdies and 34 pars overall, against 10 bogeys and two doubles. He had a stretch of nine holes Tuesday where he was 8-over, but did close his day with a birdie.
Senior Adam Matteson never got untracked, as he placed 90th with a 25-over total of 235; his best round was a 76 in the second 18. He did have five birdies and 28 pars, with the bulk of his overage due to three double and triple bogeys which accounted for 15 extra strokes.
Four Buffaloes played as individuals (scores didn't count toward CU's team total), led by sophomore Jack Holland; he wrapped things with a 2-under 68 for a 3-over 213 total, tying him for 25th. His 39 pars tied for the sixth-most, while scoring six birdies and nine bogeys. His 17 pars in the second round was a team-high for the season.
Sophomore Jack Hughes tied for 37th with a 5-over 215 and soph Frederik Eisenbeis matched Swanson's 216 for 42nd. Freshman Robby Keilch tied for 67th with 10-over 220 total; he played the par-5s best of all the Buffs and fifth overall at 4-under.
"The team fought hard but just came up a little short against a really good team in Wyoming," CU head coach Roy Edwards said. "Dylan and Justin had really good tournaments, despite not playing their best. They did a great job. Tucker had a nice tournament as well. A few other guys playing as individuals had nice final rounds.
"Overall, we weren't good enough with our short irons and short game and our consistency as we had way too many high rounds," he added. "We have a huge opportunity to get better right away working hard on our short game and wedges. There is a lot to be excited about."
Utah Valley's Brady McKinley took over the individual lead midway through the second round and held on for the win, turning in a 7-under 203 scorecard. That edged Rice's Raghav Chugh by a stroke and CU's Biwer by three shots.
The Buffaloes return to action next Monday, traveling due west to participate in the University of Nevada's Wolfpack Classic, October 10-11 at Hidden Valley Country Club.
NOTES: McKinlay's medalist honor earned him an exemption into The Ascendant presented by Blue at TPC Colorado, next July 10-16 in Berthoud, Colo., one of the newer stops on the Korn Ferry Tour … Biwer now has 27 career subpar rounds and six others at even par out of 46 played in his Buff career … McDermott enjoyed his eighth subpar tournament out of 14 overall … CU has won its own meet on eight occasions; this marked the second time it finished as the runner-up (also doing so in 2012, when Oregon State topped the Buffs by two strokes) … The average score for the 276 rounds for the event was 72.32 (72.13 for the final round) … Colorado played the par-3s at 14-over (tied for ninth in the field), the par-4s at 16-over (fourth) and the par-5s at 6-under (14th) … The Buffs tied for second for the most birdies (46, one back of Rice) and tied for 10th with 166 pars … By going 14-1 against the competition here, Colorado is now 56-14 against Division I competition this fall (.800 winning percentage).
(*—played as an individual)
|1.||Brady McKinlay, Utah Valley||69-68-66—203|
|2.||Raghav Chugh, Rice||67-68-69—204|
|3.||Justin Biwer, Colorado||70-69-67—206|
|4.||Max Schliesing, UTEP||71-71-65—207|
|T5.||Pono Yanagi, Washington State||72-70-66—208|
|T5.||Kristof Panke, Wyoming||66-74-68—208|
|T5.||Dylan McDermott, Colorado||70-69-69—208|
|T5.||Will O'Connor, Boise State||70-69-69—208|
|T5.||Jaren Calkins, Wyoming||65-71-72—208|
|T5.||Mikkel Schmitt, UL-Monroe||67-68-73—208|