Thanks to second round slip-ups, Utes fall short in Washington

Brandon+Kida%2C+Utah+Golf+Sept.+18%2C+2014+in+Salt+lake+City%2C+Utah.+%28Steve+C.+Wilson%2FUniversity+of+Utah%29

Steve C. Wilson

Brandon Kida, Utah Golf Sept. 18, 2014 in Salt lake City, Utah. (Steve C. Wilson/University of Utah)

Brandon Kida, Utah Golf Sept. 18, 2014 in Salt lake City, Utah. (Steve C. Wilson/University of Utah)
Brandon Kida, Utah Golf Sept. 18, 2014 in Salt lake City, Utah. (Steve C. Wilson/University of Utah)

The Utah golf team competed in the Husky Invitational in Bremerton, Wash. on Monday and Tuesday of this week, and despite a good effort, the team finished 12th out of the 15 teams that attended the tournament. There were a handful of teams that competed from the Pac-12, including Washington State, Washington, Oregon State, Oregon and UCLA.
The Utes were hoping to do a lot better in Washington, as finishing outside of the top 10 was definitely not what the team had in mind.
“We were kind of disappointed with how things turned out,” said head coach Randall McCracken. “You’ve got to be consistent, and we weren’t for 58 holes.”
Utah finished with a final team score of 909, 45 strokes over par.
“It was an extremely difficult golf course,” McCracken said.
Leading the way for the Utes was junior Brandon Kida, who finished 17th overall with a scoring line of 72-76-73, five strokes over par. The next best scorers for the team were Gentry Hicks and Max McGrail, who both finished 14 strokes over par.
McCracken, though unhappy with the overall team performance, was pleased with how Kida played.
“It was a good finish for him with this field, it was a really good field,” McCracken said.
Utah had a solid first round posting of 296 and was tied for 5th at the conclusion of the round. With this kind of start, the Utes had a chance of staying near the top of the leaderboard. Kida had a great first round himself, finishing with an even score. He started off strong on the front nine and birdied both holes seven and nine, but he did have one hiccup on the back nine, where he shot a double bogey on hole 13.
The second round is where it all started to unravel for Utah. The team finished with a second round score of 311, 15 strokes worse than its first round score.
“After the first round, we were tied for 5th, and then in the matter of an hour, we fell to 11th,” McCracken said.
Holes four and nine, a par 4 and 5 respectively, seemed to be places where the team struggled. The four scoring players in the second round combined to lose seven strokes on those two holes.
“They are better players than this, and they know that,” McCracken said. “There seemed to be times where we were doubting ourselves.”
The Utes were able to rebound somewhat from their awful second round to show some resiliency and had a decent third round, posting a 302. Even though it was a disappointing finish, McCracken definitely sees room for improvement with his team.
“We need to get more consistent overall in every aspect of our game,” McCracken said.
The Utes will head back up to the northwest next week where they will play in the Itani Quality Homes Collegiate in Pullman, Wash.
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