Golfers Tie For Fourth in Hawai'i
LAHAINA, Maui — The University of Colorado men's golf team saved its best for last to close out the fall portion of its 2022-23 season, as the Buffaloes recorded their best single round team score in over five years here Sunday to finish in a fourth place tie in the Ka'anapali Classic Collegiate Invitational.
No. 11 Oklahoma pulled away from the pack by shooting a 19-under par score in the final round to finish up with a 41-under 811 score. Clemson grabbed the runner-up spot, some 12 shots behind the Sooners with an 823 total, while Liberty took the bronze spot with an 825 score.
The Buffaloes shot a 17-under 267 in the final round, second only to OU and matched by only Louisiana, its best since a school record 22-under 266 in Wyoming's Desert Intercollegiate in 2017. It was the second sub-270 single round score in CU annals, and tied two other 17-under efforts on par-72 courses. When the smoke cleared, the Buffs moved from a tie for eighth into a four-way tie for fourth with a 22-under 830 score, tying their sixth-best subpar score as well.
Colorado scored 18 birdies before its first bogey on Sunday, as four of CU's five players carded rounds in the 60s and all were under par, helping the Buffaloes defeat three top 40 teams and tie another.
Sophomore Jack Holland led the CU charge on the final day, as he recorded a 7-under 64, tied for the second-best single round score in CU history, the seventh 64 overall but the fourth at 7-under behind three 8-under performances. He birdied five of his first six holes and six of his first eight and was flirting with the school's first 29 on a nine until his only bad hole of the day – a double bogey on No. 18 (which did play the toughest for the field over the three rounds). But he collected himself to finish with three more birdies for nine in the round, and in the end, he finished with a 7-under 206 score, his collegiate best, to tie for 13th.
The nine birdies were a team-high for the fall season and the most by a Buff in seven years, with his 16 overall tying for the ninth-most in the 123-man field.
Tucker Clark was not to be outdone by his fellow sophomore, as he fashioned a 6-under 65 Sunday to end with a 10-under 203, posting CU's highest finish here with an eight-place showing. The 65 was his CU best and matched his collegiate best round as a freshman at Notre Dame, while the 203 score was the second-best in school history for a 54-hole tournament on a par-71 course. He birdied six of his first nine holes in the final round, with his 19 birdies for the weekend were a team-high here as well as for the fall season, and tied for the second-most in the event. He played the par-4 holes at 6-under, tied for fourth in the field, and the par-5s at 7-under, tied for seventh-best.
Sophomore and team stroke average leader Dylan McDermott completed a record-setting fall tying for 27th with a 4-under par 209 effort, as he closed with a 2-under 69, his 13th straight round of subpar or better that set a team record. He had four birdies and 12 pars in all three rounds for 12 and 36 respectively, with four bogeys and two doubles otherwise. He finished up with two birdies that helped the Buffs rally from a three-hole stretch where it was 4-over par to be able to jump into the fourth place tie.
Sophomore Justin Biwer tied for 59th after turning in a 1-under 70, giving him a 1-over 214 overall. While not playing his best, he spent most of Sunday at 1- or 2-under par, and when he bogeyed two holes in three down the stretch, he came right back with a birdie that also helped CU finish in the four spot.
Freshman Hunter Swanson rounded out the Buffalo quintet here, turning in his best score of the weekend – a 2-under 69, which had him finish up with a 4-over total of 217, which tied him for 77th; he moved up from 91st after two rounds. He had 10 birdies overall, five on Sunday, with 32 pars, 10 bogeys and two doubles.
Clemson's Andrew Swanson closed with a 63 to regain his first round lead in capturing medalist honors with a 18-under 195. That bested second round leader, North Florida's Nick Gabrelcik, by two strokes, as he finished with a 67 for a 197 score.
"Great round from the team and specifically from Dutchy (Holland) – he was spectacular," CU head coach Roy Edwards said. "I was particularly proud of how he played 3-under after he doubled the 18th hole and had a really nice tournament overall. Tucker had an outstanding tournament as he has been really playing well with another good round today. Dylan had a nice week all-around with a few late birdies that really helped us. Hunter was good as well with two rounds who helped us out. Justin was a little off his game but he has had a really nice fall and will be a force in the spring."
It was CU's fourth top five finish in six events this fall, one that should have the Buffaloes around 50th in the rankings entering the spring season, which begins February with Wyoming's World Match Play Championship in Palm Desert, Calif.
"I'm really pleased with how we finished the fall here in Hawai'i," Edwards said. "With basically four sophomores and a freshman in the lineup all fall, we are very encouraged about how this team is developing. We had a lot of really good wins against some of the best programs in the country. While we didn't have a tournament where we put it all together, we were generally very consistent in all six events. The next few months will be huge for how we will be later in the season. I expect everyone to get a lot better in the off-season."
NOTES: In 18 rounds this fall, CU had 11 subpar and two even-par, which paved the way for a school record 71.98 stroke average for the fall (129 rounds) … CU has had four players shoot in the 60s in a single round several times, but had five just once – in Hawai'i's Princeville Intercollegiate in 2017 … The average score for all 369 rounds was 71.60; after the second round figure of 72.78, Sunday's saw the field win over the course with a 70.50 norm. The five Buffaloes averaged exactly 70.0 … Colorado played the par-3s at 15-over (tied for 13th in the field), the par-4s at 5-under (third) and the par-5s at 26-under (tied for third) … The Buffs had the fourth-most birdies (67, Oklahoma led with 72) and was one of five schools with the ninth-most pars (157; Boise State topped the list with 168) … McDermott set three school records, the first for the lowest fall average at 69.67 (besting Biwer's 70.07 last year); he was able to do that by finishing the fall season with 13 straight rounds of par or better (eight subpar), breaking Yannik Paul's record of 11 he set in 2017-18. McDermott also set the mark for the most consecutive subpar tournaments with six, breaking a tie with Biwer, who also had five coming in, and Paul who originally set the record back in 2017-18 … McDermott (once) and Biwer (thrice) did not record a score higher than a 73 all fall season ... The Buffs finished the fall season with a 75-22-3 record against Division I teams.
|1.||Andrew Swanson, Clemson||64-68-63—195|
|2.||Nick Gabrelcik, North Florida||65-65-67—197|
|3.||Maxwell Ford, Georgia||69-67-64—200|
|4.||Josh Ryan, Liberty||65-68-68—201|
|T5.||Jase Summy, Oklahoma||67-68-67—202|
|T5.||Jake Holbrook, Oklahoma||70-66-66—202|
|T5.||Drew Goodman, Oklahoma||64-72-66—202|
|4.||East Tennessee State||269-283-278—830|
|19.||Mount St. Mary's||290-305-295—890|