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Weber State takes inaugural Cup competition at Logan Country Club
By Randy Dodson
Photo: Utah State Head Coach Dean Johansen (right) congratulates Weber State’s Coach Scott Erling at Logan Country Club.
If ever there was a tournament where the final score didn’t matter, the inaugural Utah State vs Weber State Cup would fit that bill.
That of course would do disservice however to Weber State’s performance Sept. 4-5 at Logan Country Club, as the Wildcats defeated Utah State in dominating fashion, 12.5 to 3.5.
Discussions of creating the Ryder Cup style event have been ongoing for a few years between Wildcats’ Head Coach Scott Erling and the Aggies’ Dean Johansen, hoping to launch their fall seasons with an event that could get their players’ feet wet before jumping into the Air Force Gene Miranda Falcon Invitational Sept. 10.
Erling said, “I see a lot of possibilities for this becoming one of our premier events and something the kids are always going to look forward to, we’re going to do everything we can to make this an annual event and go back and forth between Logan and Ogden. Hopefully it becomes a cemented part of our schedule. I think this is a good way to start the year, you get to travel without really traveling and it gives us a chance to kind of get our feet on the ground and get going.”
The Aggies are fielding a young team for the 2021-22 season with three foreign born freshman who played a collegiate golf tournament for the first time, along with three sophomores, anchored by just two seniors. In total Utah State will have five international players on the squad this season.
Johansen and Assistant Coach Eric Skinner’s initial idea was to add one or two international players, “…but something happened and all of a sudden we added five,” said Johansen, who has been at the helm of the Aggie golf program for over 20-years. “They have a fire about them and it’s awesome. I love the energy of a very tight group of kids and I think it’s really fun to have them here. So this event is really the first time they’ve competed for us. You definitely would think Logan Country Club would for sure be a home field advantage for us but it wasn’t the case this weekend.”
The Aggies’ inexperience showed as the Wildcats won all three segments of the event, winning the Four Ball 3 to 1, sweeping the Foursome portion 4-0 and winning the Individual Matches 5.5 to 2.5.
Photo: Weber State’s Hayden Banz and Hunter Howe
Erling said, “Well this is obviously their home course but I guarantee our team has played more rounds here than any of his guys, just because they’ve been around longer. This first year is more in our favor than under normal circumstances. But this gives us a great opportunity under pressure, under competition, to say “okay, this is what we need to do to get better.’ We’ve seen it now, it’s not theoretical … it helps us focus on what we need to work on to get better and hopefully continue to get better throughout the year.”
Photo: Weber State’s Hugo Cepeda sinks a putt on hole 16.
Looking to build a rivalry but also camaraderie, the annual competition could be meaningful for both teams for years to come. “I think the fun part of this would be with the guys getting to know each other, building competitive friendships,” Johansen said. “I suspect in two or three years, we won’t have to make rosters for this event. The players will come to us with, ‘Hey, he beat me last year, I want another chance at him this year.”
“I thought this was a great kickoff to our season,” he said with a smile. “But if we don’t win it next year we’re not playing it anymore.”