Golf steps up to finish 2nd

By By Bryan Chouinard

By Bryan Chouinard

After finishing in a tie for 15th at New Mexico’s William H. Tucker Intercollegiate a week ago, the men’s golf team responded in a big way during the weekend, finishing second at the 41st USAFA Gene Miranda Falcon Invitational.

The Utes led the tournament after 36 holes behind a 7-under-par performance by junior Mike Branca, who, after the first day, was tied for the individual lead with Steve Bidney of Northern Colorado. Going into the final day, the Utes as a team were 12 under par and three strokes clear of UNLV in second place.

Both the Utes and Branca slipped out of first place on day two. Branca shot a 2-over 74 to end his weekend five under par, the only Ute to shoot in the red during the weekend. Sophomore Kaleb Mahanes shot a 1-under 71 Sunday to finish the weekend at even par. Mahanes was the only Ute not to shoot over par Sunday. Juniors Chase Hite and Derek Adams each shot final rounds of 74 to finish their weekends 3 and 5 over, respectively.

In the end, it was Colorado State that finished first in the team standings by shooting a 9-under 855 as a team, two strokes better than Utah’s 857.

The Utes will look to build on their success next week as they co-host the Purple and Red Invitational with Weber State.

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