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Utah Golf Triumphs Over Harsh Weather at Oregon State Invitational

The Utes improved on their standing from the day before, rising from fifth to a tied-4th place finish out of the 14-team field.
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Parker Jenkins
(Design by Parker Jenkins | The Daily Utah Chronicle)

 

Harsh weather conditions and tough competition couldn’t hinder the Utah Men’s Golf team from capturing their highest tournament finish so far in the 2023-2024 season.

The competition in question, aptly named the Oregon State Invitational, saw the Utes travel to Corvallis, Oregon, to compete at the beautiful Trysting Tree Golf Club. Nestled right next to the Willamette River, the course proved to be the perfect setting for both Utah team and individual success. 

Day One

The competition began Monday, Oct. 9, and saw the Utah team waste no time putting together some of their best golf of the season thus far. On the individual side, the team was led by none other than Javier Barcos who at the end of the first day’s two rounds, entered the clubhouse tied for fourth place overall.

Notably, Barcos’ day was highlighted by consistency after he notched 16 pars in the invitational’s opening round. Adding one birdie and a single bogey to finish out the morning, Barcos opened the tournament with an even-par (71) opening round. Consistency didn’t end there, as Barcos’ afternoon round was even better than his previous one. The senior shot a 2-under-par (69) to bump himself up the leaderboard and end the day three strokes off the lead. 

Davis Johnson and Hunter Howe were the Utes’ other highest clubhouse finishers after the first day came to a close. Johnson ended the opening two rounds tied for 17th place, while Howe found himself tied for 38th place after a tough second round. Howe’s first-round score of 72 was followed by a second-round stroke total of 75 (4-over-par). Johnson, on the other hand, closed out his day in dramatic fashion after carding three birdies in the day’s final nine holes to give him an even-par score of 71. 

As a team, the Utes finished day one of the Oregon State Invitational in fifth place. After ending the first round in a tied 10th place, the Utes shot up the leaderboard thanks to a second-round team score of 4-over par (288). A performance that was only bested by two other teams in the second round. 

Day Two

Entering day two of the invitational, the biggest question surrounding the Utah men was how they’d fare in potentially harsh weather conditions. 

“I’m proud of how we battled and now tomorrow we need to bring it in really tough conditions. We are expecting wind and rain, so anything can happen,” said head coach Garrett Clegg before entering the second day of competition. 

Coach Clegg’s predictions were right, as day two of the invitational was plagued with a plethora of undesirable golf weather conditions. The day saw conditions that included rain and consistent wind speeds between 15 and 20mph

The Utes’ best second-day score came from the likes of Sergio Jimenez who put together a masterful even-par performance despite the day’s harsh weather. While Jimenez’s even-par round might not sound especially impressive on paper, the day saw only eight players achieve a score of even-par or less (out of 87 competitors). 

Barcos managed a round good enough to keep himself in the top-10 individual standings. After a turbulent back nine holes, he finished the round three-over (74) and tied for sixth place at the tournament’s end. The finish, which comes after last week’s fifth-place mark at the Fighting Irish Classic, marks the second time in Barcos’ career that he’s had two consecutive top-10 placements. 

The Utes’ other two best rounds from the day, both needed for the four-player final team score, came from Johnson and Howe. The latter finished his tournament with a final round stroke total of 79, while Johnson carded a stronger round, finishing with a total of 73 strokes. Johnson’s final round secured him a tied 14th place finish, while Howe ended tied for 60th overall. 

“Today, the conditions were brutal,” Clegg said. “It was hard for everyone. I thought the boys played well and Sergio and Davis had really good rounds. We had a tough time getting a fourth score and that kept us from finishing in the top three, but overall I’m proud of how the boys fought this week. They did a good job and it is something to build off of moving into our last event of the fall.”

The Utes improved on their standing from the day before, rising from fifth to a tied 4th place finish out of the 14-team field. Their final stroke total was 21-over par as a team. 

The Utes also had three athletes competing as individuals. Peter JungGabriel Palacios and Tanner Telford, all represented the Utes as individual athletes not contributing to the overall team score. Jung, a junior from Honolulu, Hawaii, was the program’s highest finisher of the three, ending the invitational in a tied 32nd place. Palacios finished tied for 42nd, while Telford ended the tournament in 66th place. 

The Utes travel to Stockton, California, next week (Oct. 16-18) to compete in their final competition this fall. The Stockton Pacific Invitational will be the Utes’ last tournament of 2023. 

 

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@AustinEames55

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About the Contributors
Austin Eames, Sports Writer
Austin Eames began writing for the Daily Utah Chronicle as a junior. Now a senior at the U, he writes for the Sports desk. Originally from Mission Viejo, California, he loves the beach but was willing to trade it in for the gorgeous Utah mountains. He loves most if not all sports, especially Lakers basketball and Chargers football. In his free time, you can find him in the never-ending pursuit of improving his golf game.
Parker Jenkins, Designer
(he/him) Parker Jenkins joined the Chronicle in 2023 as a designer. He is currently pursuing a degree in biomedical engineering at the University of Utah. Parker grew up in Portland, OR and graduated from an arts school. In addition to design, he enjoys drone photography, filmmaking and soccer!

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