Utes slowly fade away in Hawaii

Utah golf started its spring season with a bang last Wednesday, only to close out the squad’s first tournament in more than three months with a whimper. Utah’s golf team traveled to Honolulu, Hawaii, as one of 22 different schools in attendance for the John Burns Intercollegiate last week.

Competing against several top ranked schools, the John Burns gave the Utes a good opportunity to evaluate where they stood in relation to the rest of the country.

The results held mixed messages, but as the squad struggled to an 18th-place finish, the messages were not generally positive for the Utes.

“The way we played in the first round was as much of a surprise as the way we finished,” head coach Wayne Fisher said. “The first round shows how much talent we have, but we haven’t played competitive golf for almost four months, and it really showed in the last two rounds.”

As a group, Utah got out to a hot start on the first day with sophomore Casey Fowles leading the way by shooting a 4-under-par 68, leaving him in sixth place individually. Seniors Carl Jensen and Luke Swilor both shot 3 under-par 69s, placing the team alone in second place after the first day of competition.

On the second day of competition, the Utes had one of their worst days ever as a team, falling from second place to 16th in just one afternoon. Not one Ute golfer finished the day under par, while Jensen and sophomore Steve Newren experienced complete breakdowns. Jensen shot an 80 (8-over) while Newren shot a 13-over-par 85.

By the third day, too much distance had been created between the leading schools and Utah, meaning that the Utes were no longer in contention.

After another relatively bad day of golf for the Utes, the team concluded its Hawaii road trip with a lowly 18th-place finish, a devastating 46 strokes off the pace of tournament winner Arizona.

“Without question, we were disappointed with the way we finished,” Fisher said.

Swilor finished as the top golfer from the U with a cumulative score of 1-over after the three-day competition. Swilor ended up losing to the top golfer of the tournament by a whopping 16 strokes.

Next up, the Utes will head to Riverside, Calif., for the Braveheart Classic, which begins on March 8.

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