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Utah Golf Closes Regular Season with Ninth Place Finish at Hawkeye Invitational
By: Dameon Myres, Associate Director of Communications U of U Athletics
IOWA CITY, Iowa – The Utah men's golf team closed out the 2016-17 regular season with a ninth-place finish at the Hawkeye Invitational that was being held at Finkbine Golf Course. The Utes combined to card a three-round total of 17-over par (293-290-298=881) on the weekend.
Utah completed the second round earlier this morning after play was halted yesterday evening due to darkness. The Utes carded a 2-over par (290) and was alone in sixth-place, but a final-round 10-over par (298) dropped the squad back three places for the ninth-place finish.
“We didn't have our best this week,” said Utah head coach Garrett Clegg. “Our struggles were mostly off the tee. We have been playing really solidly as of late and unfortunately, we had a rough day today. We made a move at the end of our second round and I thought it would spark a run for us heading into the final round, but unfortunately it didn't.”
Senior Gentry Hicks led the way for the Utes, posting a three-round score of even par (71-71-74=216) and finishing in a tie for 11th place. Freshman Jordan Costello registered a top-30 performance with a combined score of 3-over par (72-72-75=219) and tying for 26th place, while sophomore Kyler Dunkle finished in a tie for 34th place with a score of 5-over par (75-73-73=221).
Freshman Mitchell Schow finished in a tie for 51st place with a score of 9-over par (75-74-76=225) and sophomore Nathan Wunderli posted a score of 15-over par (75-78-78=231) to finish in a tie for 71st place.
“Gentry had another solid tournament this week,” said Clegg. “Jordan battled really hard to get the most out of his game, but he just never got any momentum going. As a team, we have a lot to work on in the week ahead as we prepare for the Pac-12 Championships.”
Despite the ninth-place finish on Sunday, Utah still managed to register one of its best regular seasons in recent years, collecting five top-three team finishes and seven top-10 individual performances. Utah's five top-three performances are most in a single-season since at least the 1989-90 season.
Along with the seven-different top-10 individual performances on the season, three Utah golfers came away with a hole-in-one in tournament-play. Wunderli managed to record Utah's first hole-in-one since 2012 when he aced the par-3, 228-yard No. 2 hole at Eugene County Club back on March 28.
Meanwhile, Utah had never had more than one player record a hole-in-one in the same tournament prior to this weekend until Hicks and Costello both recorded aces in first-round action yesterday morning. Hicks registered an ace at the par-3, 206-yard No. 4 hole, while Costello holed-out the par-3, 195-yard No. 17 hole, giving Utah three players with a hole-in-one during the same season. Prior to the 2016-17 season beginning, Utah golfers had registered just two hole-in-ones since 2008.
The Utes will have just under two weeks to prepare for the upcoming Pac-12 Championships, which will take place Friday-Sunday, April 28-30, at Boulder Country Club. Colorado will host the event.