Utah Cracks Top 10

By By Marco Villano, Staff Writer

By Marco Villano, Staff Writer

The Utah golf team didn’t play up to its usual standards last week, but made a better showing than in previous tournaments this season. They cracked the top ten for the first time this season and are showing signs of life.

“I think we’re slowly starting to progress,” head coach Randall McCracken said. “But we still have a long way to go.”

The Utes were guests to the University of New Mexico over the weekend at the William H. Tucker Invitational. They played their best tournament of the year on a very tough 7,400-yard long course with a tie for ninth place. They moved up three places in their final round of the tournament with a score of 299, giving them a final score of 904. Although it wasn’t their best score of the year, it was definitely their best showing on account of how difficult the course was playing.

Senior Chance Cota finally played the way McCracken expected him to play all season. He finished the tournament tied for 13th with a score of 2188212;two over par.

“That’s a good finish for (Cota) right now,” McCracken said. “We’re hoping that will give him some confidence going into the rest of the fall.”

Other notable scores were posted by sophomore Chase Hite at 228, putting him at a tie for 52nd place and fellow sophomore Mike Branca who tied for 74th place.

The Utes have seen some improvements over their Fall Schedule. The tournament this week was the strongest field they’ve played against all season. McCracken said that the team is lacking in confidence, which is something the young team will improve on with experience. They are also struggling in another crucial aspect.

“Putting and short game at this point is just horrendous,” McCracken said. “It needs to get a lot better for us to do what we can do.”
UNLV won the tournament with a final score of 852. Individually, two players tied for first place, UNLV’s Eddie Olson and Colorado’s Derek Tolan with scores of 211. The Utes head to Palm Desert, Calif., next weekend to play in the University of Wyoming Desert Classic.

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