Golf: Utes Finish Second in Season Opener

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Ute golfer Nathan Wunderli

The Utah men’s golf team traveled to Washington this past weekend to participate in the Itani Quality Homes Collegiate tournament. The tournament ended on a positive note for the Utes, as they took second overall with a total score of 9-over 861. The finish represents the best season opening finish since 2003.

“I thought we played really well,” said head coach Garrett Clegg. “We struggled in the beginning, and I think that definitely cost us a chance to win the tournament. But we finished our rounds very well, and I’m happy with how we performed.”

For such a young team, getting started the right way was crucial to set the tone for the season. The Utes placed second out of 13 teams at the tourney. Gentry Hicks, sixth-year senior and star of the team, closed out the weekend strong for the men in red.

“My game was pretty solid,” Hicks said. “I wish I would have made more putts, but that happens sometimes. You just have to play your game and do what you can. But overall, I think we played well. Our team is playing much more consistently, and any of our guys can go under par.”

Hicks ended up in 14th place when all was said and done. The Utes also had two other players finish under par at the tournament. Freshman Mitchell Schow and junior Kyler Dunkle both ended in a tie for 21st place.

Freshmen Jordan Costello and Christian James both finished with impressive performances as well, finishing in ties for 32nd and 48th place, respectively.

Clegg would say that Hicks and Dunkle are the two leaders of this year’s team, and it’s because of them that the Utes got off to a good start.

“They are both incredible golfers and are huge assets to our team,” Clegg said.

The Utes will have this week off, but will find themselves back in tournament action soon enough, heading to the Mark Simpson Invitational in Erie, Colorado. First and second round action begins on Monday, Sept. 26.

j.walch@dailyutahchronicle.com

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