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SUU Men’s Golf Set for Season Opener at 50th Gene Miranda Falcon Invitational


By Bryson Lester, Director of Strategic Communication at Southern Utah University


CEDAR CITY, Utah — The Thunderbird men’s golf team will open up their 2018-19 season this weekend, competing at the 50th Gene Miranda Falcon Invitational hosted by Air Force at the Eisenhower Golf Club from September 7-9.  

2017-18 Recap

The Thunderbirds had a very successful 2017-18 campaign, which resulted in the team finishing second at the Big Sky Conference Tournament to the University of Northern Colorado.

As a team the group secured five top-10 finishes, and had a number of impressive individual performances over the course of the season.

Top Returners

This season the Thunderbirds will be tasked with replacing the production of Fidel Concepcion, who graduated from the program following the conclusion of the 2017-18 season. Last year Concepcion played in every round for the Thunderbirds and averaged 71.86 per round. He had a low round of 67 and tied for the Big Sky Conference individual title, eventually losing in a playoff.

Returning for the Thunderbirds is a group of solid golfers with varying levels of experience.

Leading the group will be Jake Vincent, who was the only other T-Bird besides Concepcion to play in every round for SUU last season. Vincent averaged 72.28 shots per round, with a low round of 67. He racked up four top-10 finishes throughout the course of the season, and finished in fourth at the Big Sky Conference Championship.

Entering his junior season like Vincent, Ali Hameed is also coming off a successful campaign for the T-Birds. Hameed averaged 74.08 shots in his 26 rounds, and finished tied for fifth at the Big Sky Conference Championships.

Along with those two, Sam Butler and Austin Jaramillo both participated in over 20 rounds for the T-Birds last season and bring back a lot of experience despite only being sophomores.

Tournament Preview – Gene Miranda Invitational

The Thunderbirds will return to Eisenhower Golf Club this weekend to compete in the 50th edition of the Gene Miranda Falcon Invitational. This year’s event is a three-day, three-round tournament played on a par-72 course measuring in at 7,511 yards.  

The Gene Miranda Invitational is named after the legendary Air Force coach that led the program for 25 years.

Participating teams: Air Force, Abilene Christian, Colorado, Drake, Missouri State, New Mexico State, Northern Colorado, Northern Iowa, SIU-Edwardsville, Southern Utah, Texas State, UC Davis, Utah State, Utah Valley, Weber State and Wyoming

Last Year @ Eisenhower Golf Club

The T-Birds kicked off the 2017-18 season at Eisenhower Golf Club, finishing tied for 18th in the field.

Concepcion was SUU’s top player, finishing in a tie for 56th. Vincent was second in the field for SUU, shooting a 222 and ending play in a tie for 63rd.

Words From Coach Church

“This tournament will be a good opening test for us to see where were at early in the season,” SUU head coach Richard Church said. “We’ve got a good mix of experience and youth on this year’s team, so we’re looking forward to seeing what kind of group we have over these first couple months.”

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Live scoring for the event will be available on