Utah Golf Struggles at Isleworth Collegiate Despite Recent Success


Jonathan Wang

Sophomore golfer Chris Bratcher golfing at the River Oaks golf course on Saturday, May 21, 2022. (Photo by Jonathan Wang | The Daily Utah Chronicle)

By Kyle Garrison, Sports Writer


As the fall season came to a close, the Utes looked to finish strong at the Isleworth Collegiate in Florida. However, starting the tournament was a struggle for the Utes as they were 19-over and sat in 13th place out of 15 teams after the first round.

Head coach Garrett Clegg didn’t have much to say to Utah Athletics about day one of the tournament besides“Hopefully we can battle back from today with a strong round tomorrow.” Clegg had been challenging his team to overcome adversity all season, and up until now, they had done just that. This time around was different. The Utes were unable to claw their way back and continued to struggle through the rest of the tournament.

Team Play

Rounds one and three were the driving factors for the Utes’ struggles this past weekend. Posting team scores of 307 on day one and 308 on day three was not going to cut it. However, day two was a positive sign heading forward as the team was able to post a score of 286. Clegg was not thrilled with the performance, but had this to say to Utah Athletics about the team heading into their three-month break: “It has been a fall where hopefully we’ve learned a lot of lessons and unfortunately that can be really painful! We’ll get home and put in the work necessary to be ready to compete in 2023.” The fall season has come to an end, and the team will not be in action until mid-February when they will head out to Hawaii for the John Burns Intercollegiate.

Individual Performances

 The Utes finished with one top-20 performance this past weekend by Javier Barcos. Barcos was able to put together three solid rounds, none more impressive than his 4-under 68 in round two. Barcos had been pacing the team as the top golfer all season, and that didn’t change this past weekend. He posted a score of 1-over through three rounds of play, and the junior from Spain would end the tournament tied for 20th place. This was Barcos’s fourth top-20 finish of the year. He’s been playing very consistent and efficient golf all season, and he will look to carry that over into the spring.

Day two was a solid all-around performance for the team as Martín León was also able to post a 4-under 68. León struggled a bit in rounds one and three but still cracked the top 50. Sitting at 9-over after the three rounds, León would eventually finish alone in 43rd place.

Three other Utes were in action this week as well. Braxton Watts ended up at 15-over, which was tied for 61st overall. Tanner Telford and Hunter Howe both scored 19-over and would end up finishing tied for 72nd.

Fall Season Recap

The Utes did not finish the fall season as well as they had hoped, but there were still a lot of bright spots amid the growing pains. The biggest accomplishment of the year was Barcos finishing first overall at the Oregon State Invitational. Barcos’ performance helped the team finish 5th overall, which would be their best team finish of the year.

The Utes participated in three other tournaments that took place between early September and early October. The Fighting Irish Classic was one to forget as the team finished in 13th place. As the team gained more experience, they started to play much better. The team finished 8th overall in the Husky Invitational and 6th overall in the Hamptons Intercollegiate.

Utah was able to climb the leaderboards all season and got progressively better throughout the year. The Utes will look to carry that momentum into the spring season.


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