After registering a final round 14-over par, the University of Utah golf team finished in third place, combining for a score of 22-over par, at the Nick Watney Invitational. The two-day tournament took place at the Sunnyside Country Club in Fresno, California. The Utes finished the tournament ranked third — out of 16 teams competing— in par-3 results with a score of 3.15. Winning the event was in-state rival BYU after it posted a combined score of 13-over par.
“It was a solid finish, we just had a poor stretch starting off day two,” said head coach Garrett Clegg. “So to finish in 3rd is great because it could’ve been worse, and [I] liked the way the guys responded after that poor first four holes of day two.”
The third place achievement means that the Utes have now finished in the top-five team standings in each of the three events they have participated in during the fall season.
Freshman Tristan Mandur had a breakout performance as he captured his first top 10 finish in his collegiate career. Tying for sixth place, Mandur recorded a score of 4-over par at the event.
“It was very nice, I played three solid rounds, so I feel pretty good about it and it definitely was a goal of mine to finish in the top,” Mandur said. “Really I’ve been just trying to stick to the game plan and have fun. Trying not to put too much pressure on myself.”
Clegg is proud of Mandur and what he was able to accomplish with this being his first year playing college golf.
“Some challenges on the course were small green and narrow fairways, but I’m not surprised that Tristan played great on this course because these are the types of courses he is use to playing on,” Clegg said. “The freshmen are killing it. That’s one of the reasons why we are consistently finishing in the top-five this year, because the young guys are stepping up and doing their part as well.”
Junior Kyler Dunkle and freshman Blake Tomlinson recorded top-20 finishes. Tomlinson earned a 14th place overall tie after registering a score of 6-over par. Dunkle, who was coming off of his individual title win this past week, tied for 19th place overall, recording a score of 7-over par.
“One of the cool thing is we have had a number of top finishers in different tournaments,” Clegg said. “It’s really exciting and fun to see these guys grow and mature. We are consistently doing well, and all of the guys are playing at a high level and by doing that, it means to me, that we can compete with anyone on the golf course.”
Next up for the Utes, they will compete in the Mountaineer Intercollegiate in Bridgeport, West Virginia. The action will take place on Monday, Oct. 9 and Tuesday, Oct. 10. This tournament will conclude Utah’s fall schedule.